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Author:Lee, Michael Junho 

Discussion Paper
Insider Networks

Modern-day financial systems are highly complex, with billions of exchanges in information, assets, and funds between individuals and institutions. Though daunting to operationalize, regulating these transmissions may be desirable in some instances. For example, securities regulators aim to protect investors by tracking and punishing insider trading. Recent evidence shows that insiders have formed sophisticated networksthat enable them to pursue activities outside the purview of regulatory oversight. In understanding the cat-and-mouse game between regulators and insiders, a key consideration ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200625

Discussion Paper
Hey, Economist! What’s the Case for Central Bank Digital Currencies?

Since the launch of Bitcoin and other first-generation cryptocurrencies, there has been extensive experimentation in the digital currency space. So far, however, digital currencies have yet to gain much ground as a means of payment. Is there a vacuum in the landscape of digital money and payments that central banks are naturally positioned to fill? In this post, Michael Lee and Antoine Martin, economists in the New York Fed’s Money and Payment Studies function, answer some questions regarding the concept of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20210430

Discussion Paper
Monetizing Privacy with Central Bank Digital Currencies

In prior research, we documented evidence suggesting that digital payment adoptions have accelerated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While digitalization of payment activity improves data utilization by firms, it can also infringe upon consumers’ right to privacy. Drawing from a recent paper, this blog post explains how payment data acquired by firms impacts market structure and consumer welfare. Then, we discuss the implications of introducing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) that offers consumers a low-cost, privacy-preserving electronic means of payment—essentially, digital ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20201123

Discussion Paper
Deciphering Americans’ Views on Cryptocurrencies

Having witnessed the dramatic rise and fall in the value of cryptocurrencies over the past year, we wanted to learn more about what motivates people to participate in this market. To find out, we included a special set of questions in the May 2018 Survey of Consumer Expectations, a project of the New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data. This blog post summarizes the results of that survey, shedding light on U.S. consumers’ depth of participation in cryptocurrencies and their motives for entering this new market.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20190325

Report
Insider networks

How do insiders respond to regulatory oversight? History suggests that they form sophisticated networks to share information and circumvent regulation. We develop a theory of the formation and regulation of information transmission networks. We show that agents with sufficiently complex networks bypass any given regulatory environment. In response, regulators employ broad regulatory boundaries to combat gaming, giving rise to regulatory ambiguity. Tighter regulation induces agents to migrate transmission activity from existing social networks to a core-periphery insider network. A small group ...
Staff Reports , Paper 862

Discussion Paper
COVID-19 and the Search for Digital Alternatives to Cash

Today, the majority of retail payments in the United States are digital. Practically all digital payments are tracked, collected, and aggregated by financial institutions, payment providers, and vendors. This trend has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic as payments that require physical contact, such as cash, have been discouraged. As cash gradually becomes obsolete, consumers are left with fewer alternatives for making private transactions. In this post, we outline some evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on consumer payment behavior and follow up in the second post in this Liberty ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200928a

Report
Who Sees the Trades? The Effect of Information on Liquidity in Inter-Dealer Markets

Dealers, who strategically supply liquidity to traders, are subject to both liquidity and adverse selection costs. While liquidity costs can be mitigated through inter-dealer trading, individual dealers? private motives to acquire information compromise inter-dealer market liquidity. Post-trade information disclosure can improve market liquidity by counteracting dealers? incentives to become better informed through their market-making activities. Asymmetric disclosure, however, exacerbates the adverse selection problem in inter-dealer markets, in turn decreasing equilibrium liquidity ...
Staff Reports , Paper 892

Discussion Paper
State-of-the-Field Conference on Cyber Risk to Financial Stability

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York partnered with Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) for the second annual State-of-the-Field Conference on Cyber Risk to Financial Stability on December 14-15, 2020. Hosted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference took place amidst the unfolding news of a cyberattack against a major cybersecurity vendor and software vendor, underscoring vulnerabilities from cyber risk.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20210224

Report
When It Rains, It Pours: Cyber Risk and Financial Conditions

We analyze how systemic cyber risk in the wholesale payments network relates to adverse financial conditions. We show that at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, payment activity increased, became more concentrated, and showed intraday liquidity stress. Cyber vulnerability was elevated in late February and early March 2020, with the potential impact of a cyberattack about 40 percent greater than in the remainder of 2020. Policy interventions to stabilize markets mitigated cyber vulnerability, particularly corresponding to large increases in aggregate reserves. We observe that cyber ...
Staff Reports , Paper 1022

Discussion Paper
Why Central Bank Digital Currencies?

In the past year, a number of central banks have stepped up work on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs – see map). For central banks, are CBDCs just a defensive reaction to private-sector innovations in money, or are they an opportunity for the monetary system? In this post, we consider several long-standing goals of central banks in their support and provision of retail payments, why and how central banks tackle these issues, and where CBDCs fit into the array of potential solutions.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20211201

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