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Author:Lucca, David O. 

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Understanding mortgage spreads

Most mortgages in the U.S. are securitized in agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS). Yield spreads on these securities are thus a key determinant of homeowners? funding costs. We study variation in MBS spreads over time and across securities, and document a cross-sectional smile pattern in MBS spreads with respect to the securities? coupon rates. We propose non-interest-rate prepayment risk as a candidate driver of MBS spread variation and present a new pricing model that uses ?stripped? MBS prices to identify the contribution of this prepayment risk to the spread. The pricing model finds ...
Staff Reports , Paper 674

Discussion Paper
The Housing Boom and the Decline in Mortgage Rates

During the pandemic, national home values and housing activity soared as mortgage rates declined to historic lows. Under the canonical “user cost” house price model, home values are held to be very sensitive to interest rates, especially at low interest rate levels. A calibration of this model can account for the house price boom with the observed decline in interest rates. But empirically, we find that home values are nowhere near as sensitive to interest rates as the user cost model predicts. This lower sensitivity is also found in prior economic research. Thus, the historical ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20210907

Discussion Paper
The Pre-FOMC Announcement Drift: More Recent Evidence

We had previously documented large excess returns on equities ahead of scheduled announcements of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)?the Federal Reserve?s monetary policy-making body?between 1994 and 2011. This post updates our original analysis with more recent data. We find evidence of continued large excess returns during FOMC meetings, but only for those featuring a press conference by the Chair of the FOMC.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20181116a

Discussion Paper
The Economics of Bank Supervision: So Much to Do, So Little Time

While bank regulation and supervision are the two main components of banking policy, the difference between them is often overlooked and the details of supervision can appear shrouded in secrecy. In this post, which is based on a recent staff report, we provide a framework for thinking about supervision and its relation to regulation. We then use data on supervisory efforts of Federal Reserve bank examiners to describe how supervisory efforts vary by bank size and risk, and to measure key trade-offs in allocating resources.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20160412

Discussion Paper
The Sensitivity of Long-Term Interest Rates: A Tale of Two Frequencies

The sensitivity of long-term interest rates to short-term interest rates is a central feature of the yield curve. This post, which draws on our Staff Report, shows that long- and short-term rates co-move to a surprising extent at high frequencies (over daily or monthly periods). However, since 2000, they co-move far less at lower frequencies (over six months or a year). We discuss potential explanations for this finding and its implications for the transmission of monetary policy.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20190304

Discussion Paper
A Peek behind the Curtain of Bank Supervision

Since the financial crisis, bank regulatory and supervisory policies have changed dramatically both in the United States (Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act) and abroad (Third Basel Accord). While these shifts have occasioned much debate, the discussion surrounding supervision remains limited because most supervisory activity? both the amount of supervisory attention and the demands for corrective action by supervisors?is confidential. Drawing on our recent staff report ?Parsing the Content of Bank Supervision,? this post provides a peek behind the scenes of bank ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20160414

Discussion Paper
Worker Flows in Banking Regulation

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, job transitions of personnel in banking supervision and regulation between the public and private sectors?often labeled the revolving door?have come under intense scrutiny and have been blamed by certain economists (Johnson and Kwak), legal scholars (John Coffee in the Financial Times), and policymakers (Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, Section 968) for distorting regulators? actions in favor of banks. However, other commentators have downplayed these distortions and presented a more benign viewpoint of these worker flows?as a means for regulatory ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20150105

Discussion Paper
The Puzzling Pre-FOMC Announcement “Drift”

For many years, economists have struggled to explain the ?equity premium puzzle??the fact that the average return on stocks is larger than what would be expected to compensate for their riskiness. In this post, which draws on our recent New York Fed staff report, we deepen the puzzle further. We show that since 1994, more than 80 percent of the equity premium on U.S. stocks has been earned over the twenty-four hours preceding scheduled Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announcements (which occur only eight times a year)?a phenomenon we call the pre-FOMC announcement ?drift.?
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20120711

Discussion Paper
Reading the Tea Leaves of the U.S. Business Cycle—Part One

The study of the business cycle—fluctuations in aggregate economic activity between times of widespread expansion and contraction—is one of the foremost pursuits in macroeconomics. But even distinguishing periods of expansion and recession can be challenging. In this post, we discuss different conceptual approaches to dating the business cycle, study their past performance for the U.S. economy, and highlight the informativeness of labor market indicators.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200210

Report
Resource Allocation in Bank Supervision: Trade-offs and Outcomes

We estimate a structural model of resource allocation on work hours of Federal Reserve bank supervisors to disentangle how supervisory technology, preferences, and resource constraints impact bank outcomes. We find a significant effect of supervision on bank risk and large technological scale economies with respect to bank size. Consistent with macro-prudential objectives, revealed supervisory preferences disproportionately weight larger banks, especially post-2008 when a resource reallocation to larger banks increased risk on average across all banks. Shadow cost estimates show tight ...
Staff Reports , Paper 769

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