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Author:Lewis, Kurt F. 

Discussion Paper
Updating the Recession Risk and the Excess Bond Premium

Beginning with the publication of this Note, we will provide updated estimates of the EBP and the associated model-implied probability of a U.S. recession every month.
FEDS Notes , Paper 2016-10-06

Working Paper
Credit Risk, Liquidity and Lies

We reexamine the relative effects of credit risk and liquidity in the interbank market using bank-level panel data on Libor submissions and CDS spreads. Our model synthesizes previous work by combining the fundamental determinants of interbank spreads with the effects of strategic misreporting by Libor-submitting firms. We find that interbank spreads were very sensitive to credit risk at the peak of the crisis. However, liquidity premia constitute the bulk of those spreads on average, and Federal Reserve interventions coincide with improvements in liquidity at short maturities. Accounting for ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-112

Working Paper
Distress in the financial sector and economic activity

This paper explores the relationship between the health of the financial sector and the rest of the economy. We develop an indicator of financial sector health using a distance-to-default measure based on a Merton-style option pricing model. Our measure spans over three decades and appears to capture periods when financial sector institutions were strong and when they were weak. We then use vector autoregressions to assess whether our indicator of financial-sector health affects the real economy, in particular non-residential investment. The results indicate that our measure has a ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2009-01

Working Paper
Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest : A Note on Transitory Shocks

We present evidence that the natural rate of interest is buffeted by both permanent and transitory shocks. We establish this result by estimating a benchmark model with Bayesian methods and loose priors on the unobserved drivers of the natural rate. When subject to transitory shocks, the median estimate for the U.S. economy is more procyclical, displays a less marked secular decline, and is therefore higher following the Great Recession than most estimates in the literature.
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-059

Working Paper
Using policy intervention to identify financial stress

This paper describes the construction of a financial stress index. This stress index differs from other indexes in that it incorporates the co-movement and volatility of financial series as well as the levels of the series. Our index also uses past experience more than others to guide the assessment about which characteristics of the data suggest financial stress exists. In addition to describing the construction of our financial stress index, we spend some time discussing issues relevant to the general construction of stress indexes.
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2012-02

Working Paper
The two-period rational inattention model: accelerations and analyses

This paper demonstrates the properties of and a solution method for the more general two-period Rational Inattention model of Sims (2006). It is shown that the corresponding optimization problem is convex and can be solved very quickly. This paper also demonstrates a computational tool well-suited to solving Rational Inattention models and further illustrates a critique raised in Sims (2006) regarding Rational Inattention models whose solutions assume parametric formulations rather than solve for their optimally-derived, non-parametric counterparts.
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2008-22

Working Paper
What Drives Bank Funding Spreads?

We use matched, bank-level panel data on Libor submissions and credit default swaps to decompose bank-funding spreads at several maturities into components reflecting counterparty credit risk and funding-market liquidity. To account for the possibility that banks may strategically misreport their funding rates in the Libor survey, we nest our decomposition within a model of the costs and benefits of lying. We find that Libor spreads typically consist mostly of a liquidity premium and that this premium declined at short maturities following Federal Reserve interventions in bank funding ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2014-23

Working Paper
Distress in the financial sector and economic activity

This paper explores the relationship between the health of the financial sector and the rest of the economy. We develop an index of financial sector health using a distance-to-default measure based on a Merton-style option pricing model. Our index spans over three decades and appears to capture periods when financial sector institutions were strong and when they were weak. We then use vector autoregressions to assess whether our index of financial-sector health affects the real economy, in particular non-residential investment. The results indicate that our index has a considerable impact. ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2008-43

Discussion Paper
Recession Risk and the Excess Bond Premium

In this FEDS Note, we evaluate the information content for recession risk of a component of credit spreads that is not directly attributable to expected default risk and thus to news about future cash flows.
FEDS Notes , Paper 2016-04-08

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