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Author:Keister, Todd 

Journal Article
Why are banks holding so many excess reserves?

The buildup of reserves in the U.S. banking system during the financial crisis has fueled concerns that the Federal Reserve's policies may have failed to stimulate the flow of credit in the economy: banks, it appears, are amassing funds rather than lending them out. However, a careful examination of the balance sheet effects of central bank actions shows that the high level of reserves is simply a by-product of the Fed's new lending facilities and asset purchase programs. The total quantity of reserves in the banking system reflects the scale of the Fed's policy initiatives, but conveys no ...
Current Issues in Economics and Finance , Volume 15 , Issue Dec

Floor systems and the Friedman rule: the fiscal arithmetic of open market operations

In a floor system of monetary policy implementation, the central bank remunerates bank reserves at or near the market rate of interest. Some observers have expressed concern that operating such a system will have adverse fiscal consequences for the public sector and may even require the government to subsidize the central bank. We show that this is not the case. Using the monetary general equilibrium model of Berentsen et al. (2014), we show how a central bank that supplies reserves through open market operations can always generate non-negative net income, even when using a floor system to ...
Staff Reports , Paper 754

Run equilibria in a model of financial intermediation

We study the Green and Lin (2003) model of financial intermediation with two new features: traders may face a cost of contacting the intermediary, and consumption needs may be correlated across traders. We show that each feature is capable of generating an equilibrium in which some (but not all) traders ?run? on the intermediary by withdrawing their funds at the first opportunity regardless of their true consumption needs. Our results also provide some insight into elements of the economic environment that are necessary for a run equilibrium to exist in general models of financial ...
Staff Reports , Paper 312

Working Paper
Optimal policy with probabilistic equilibrium selection

This paper introduces an approach to the study of optimal government policy in economies characterized by a coordination problem and multiple equilibria. Such models are often criticized as not being useful for policy analysis because they fail to assign a unique prediction to each possible policy choice. We employ a selection mechanism that assigns, ex ante, a probability to each equilibrium indicating how likely it is to obtain. With this, the optimal policy is well defined. We show how such a mechanism can be derived as the natural result of an adaptive learning process. This approach ...
Working Paper , Paper 01-03

Working Paper
Should Central Banks Issue Digital Currency?

We study how the introduction of a central bank-issued digital currency affects interest rates, the level of economic activity, and welfare in an environment where both central bank money and private bank deposits are used in exchange. Banks in our model are financially constrained, and the liquidity premium on bank deposits affects the level of aggregate investment. We study the optimal design of a digital currency in this setting, including whether it should pay interest and how widely it should circulate. We highlight an important policy tradeoff: while a digital currency tends to promote ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-26

Discussion Paper
Cash Assets of Foreign Banks: An Example of Seasonal Adjustment Gone Awry

Federal Reserve Statistical Release H.8 provides aggregate data on the assets and liabilities of commercial banks in the United States. Two types of data are provided: one in which each series is adjusted to offset regular, seasonal movements, and another in which no adjustment is made. Recently, a striking pattern has emerged in one particular data series: the cash assets of foreign-related banking institutions.[1] In the seasonally adjusted data, this value has fallen 36 percent since its peak in June 2011?a sharp movement that has generated concern among market observers. The nonseasonally ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20120109

Working Paper
Should Central Banks Issue Digital Currency?

We study how the introduction of central bank digital currency affects interest rates, the level of economic activity, and welfare in an environment where both central bank money and private bank deposits are used in exchange. We highlight an important policy tradeoff: While a digital currency tends to promote efficiency in exchange, it may also crowd out bank deposits, raise banks’ funding costs, and decrease investment. We derive conditions under which targeted digital currencies, which compete only with physical currency or only with bank deposits, raise welfare. If such targeted ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-37

Bailouts and financial fragility

How does the belief that policymakers will bail out investors in the event of a crisis affect the allocation of resources and the stability of the financial system? I study this question in a model of financial intermediation with limited commitment. When a crisis occurs, the efficient policy response is to use public resources to augment the private consumption of those investors facing losses. The anticipation of such a ?bailout? distorts ex ante incentives, leading intermediaries to choose arrangements with excessive illiquidity and thereby increasing financial fragility. Prohibiting ...
Staff Reports , Paper 473

Journal Article
Stability of funding models: an analytical framework

With the recent financial crisis, many financial intermediaries experienced strains created by declining asset values and a loss of funding sources. In reviewing these stress events, one notices that some arrangements appear to have been more stable?that is, better able to withstand shocks to their asset values and/or funding sources?than others. Because the precise determinants of this stability are not well understood, gaining a better grasp of them is a critical task for market participants and policymakers as they try to design more resilient arrangements and improve financial regulation. ...
Economic Policy Review , Issue Feb , Pages 29-47

Expectations and contagion in self-fulfilling currency attacks

This paper presents a model in which currency crises can spread across countries as a result of the self-fulfilling beliefs of market participants. An incomplete-information approach is used to overcome many undesirable features of existing multiple-equilibrium explanations of contagion. If speculators expect contagion across markets to occur, they have an incentive to trade in both currency markets to take advantage of this correlation. These actions, in turn, link the two markets in such a way that a sharp devaluation of one currency will be propagated to the other market, fulfilling the ...
Staff Reports , Paper 249


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