Commitment as irreversible investment
Considering time inconsistency as a problem of irreversible investment brings some neglected points to the fore. Making a policy choice in real time and under current conditions emphasizes the importance of the timing of commitment, the regret over past decisions, and the option value of not committing. This paper applies these concepts to monetary policy, banking regulation, and capital taxation.
Introduction: Bank concentration and competition: an evolution in the making
The consolidation of banks around the world in recent years is intensifying public policy debates on the influences of concentration and competition on the performance of banks. In light of these developments, this paper first reviews the existing literature on the impact of bank concentration and competition. Second, the paper summarizes the main findings of the papers in this special issue of the JMCB within the context of this active literature. Finally, the paper suggests some directions for future research.
Getting the most out of mandatory subordinated debt requirement
Term structure economics from A to B
The interest rates for bonds of different maturities are related, but the interplay of factors that influence these rates is not easy to tease apart. The author leads the reader through the development of a model of the term structure of interest rates, then works with the model to provide some insights into the interplay of factors, especially the effect of uncertainty on interest rates. His analysis shows how a common simplification known as the expectations hypothesis obscures the significant contribution that uncertainty can make to the determination of interest rates.
Getting the most out of a mandatory subordinated debt requirement
Recent advances in asset pricing-the reduced-form approach to pricing risky debt and derivatives-are used to quantitatively evaluate several proposals for mandatory bank issue of subordinated debt. The authors find that credit spreads on both fixed- and floating-rate subordinated debt provide relatively clean signals of bank risk and are not unduly influenced by non-risk factors. Fixed-rate debt with a put is unacceptable, but making the putable debt floating resolves most problems. The authors' approach also helps to clarify several different notions of "bank risk."
A conference on liquidity in frictional markets
This Policy Discussion Paper summarizes the papers that were presented at the Liquidity in Frictional Markets conference in November 2008. The papers, which looked at markets for assets as diverse as houses, bank loans, and electronic funds transfer, all explored that amorphous concept called liquidity and how its presenceor absenceaffects the economy.
Information and prices
Information problems pervade the economy. This Commentary describes the challenges they create and the clever solutions markets find to overcome them.
A new approach to gauging inflation expectations
This Economic Commentary explains a relatively new method of uncovering inflation expectations, real interest rates, and an inflation-risk premium. It provides estimates of expected inflation from one month to 30 years, an estimate of the inflation-risk premium, and a measure of real interest rates, particularly a short (one-month) rate, which is not readily available from the TIPS market. Calculations using the method suggest that longer-term inflation expectations remain near historic lows. Furthermore, the inflation-risk premium is also low, which in the model means that inflation is not ...
Pricing kernels, inflation, and the term structure of interest rates
We estimate a discrete-time multivariate pricing kernel for the term structure of interest rates, using both yields and inflation rates. This gives a separate estimate of the real kernel and the nominal kernel, taking into account a relatively sophisticated dynamical structure and mutual interaction between the real and nominal side of the economy. Along with obtaining an estimate of the real term structure, we use the estimates to obtain a new perspective on how real and nominal influences interact to produce the observed term structure.