The Blockchain Revolution: Decoding Digital Currencies
Cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance have grown considerably since the publication of the white paper on bitcoin in 2009. This article presents an overview of cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, and their applications, explaining the spirit of the enterprise and how it compares with traditional operations. We discuss money, digital money, and payments; cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and the double-spending problem of digital money; decentralized finance; and central bank digital currency.
Domestic Policies and Sovereign Default
A model with two essential elements, sovereign default and distortionary fiscal and monetary policies, explains the interaction between sovereign debt, default risk and inflation in emerging countries. We derive conditions under which monetary policy is actively used to support fiscal policy and characterize the intertemporal tradeoffs that determine the choice of debt. We show that in response to adverse shocks to the terms of trade or productivity, governments reduce debt and deficits, and increase inflation and currency depreciation rates, matching the patterns observed in the data for ...
The Value of Constraints on Discretionary Government Policy
This paper investigates how institutional constraints discipline the behavior of discretionary governments subject to an expenditure bias. The focus is on constraints implemented in actual economies: monetary policy targets, limits on the deficit and debt ceilings. For a variety of aggregate shocks considered, the best policy is to impose a minimum primary surplus of about half a percent of output. Most welfare gains from constraining government behavior during normal times, which to a large extent is sufficient to discipline policy in adverse times. Monetary policy targets are not generally ...
The Impact of the Fed’s Response to COVID-19 So Far
Since the end of February, the assets of the Federal Reserve have grown by $3 trillion as the Fed has taken measures to alleviate the economic impact of the pandemic.
Policy Rules and Large Crises in Emerging Markets
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Latin American countries temporarily suspended rules limiting debt, fiscal and monetary policies. Despite this increase in flexibility, the crisis implied a substantial deterioration of macroeconomic variables (e.g., real GDP declined by 9.5%) and high welfare costs (which we estimate as equivalent to a 13% one-time reduction in non-tradable consumption). This paper studies a sovereign default model with fiscal and monetary policies to assess the policy response and evaluate the gains from flexibility in times of severe distress.
How to Starve the Beast: Fiscal Policy Rules
Countries have widely imposed fiscal rules designed to constrain government spending and ensure fiscal responsibility. This paper studies the effectiveness and welfare implications of revenue, deficit and debt rules when governments are discretionary and profligate. The optimal prescription is a revenue ceiling coupled with a balance budget requirement. For the U.S., the optimal revenue ceiling is about 15% of output, 3 percentage points below the postwar average. Most of the benefits can still be reaped with a milder constraint or escape clauses during adverse times. Imposing a single fiscal ...
What Are the Risks for Future Inflation?
U.S. inflation has surged in recent months. What are some of the upside and downside risks for future inflation?
A Short History of Prices, Inflation since the Founding of the U.S.
To get an idea of the Fed?s impact on prices and inflation, look at the data before and after its creation in 1913. Learn about the gold standard?s role, too.
How to Starve the Beast: Fiscal Policy Rules
Countries have widely imposed fiscal rules designed to constrain government spending and ensure fiscal responsibility. This paper studies the effectiveness and welfare implications of revenue, deficit and debt rules when governments are discretionary and profligate. The optimal prescription is a revenue ceiling coupled with a balance budget requirement. For the U.S., the optimal revenue ceiling is about 15% of output, 3 percentage points below the postwar average, and yields welfare gains equivalent to 10% of consumption. Most of the benefits can still be reaped with a milder constraint or ...
Revisiting GDP Growth Projections
Based largely on predicted trends for labor force participation, GDP is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 2.2 percent over the next decade.