The term structure of expectations and bond yields
Bond yields can be decomposed into expected short rates and term premiums. We directly measure the former using all available U.S. professional forecasts and obtain the latter as the difference between bond yields and survey-based expected short rates. While the behavior of nominal and real short rate expectations is consistent with standard macroeconomic theory, term premiums account for the bulk of the cross-sectional and time series variation in yields. They also largely explain the yield curve's reaction to a host of structural economic shocks. This dramatic failure of the expectations ...
Macro risk premium and intermediary balance sheet quantities
The macro risk premium measures the threshold return for real activity that receives funding from savers. We base our argument in this paper on the relationship between the macro risk premium and the growth of financial intermediaries' balance sheets. The spare capacity of their balance sheets determines the intermediaries' risk appetite, which in turn determines the real projects that receive funding and, hence, the supply of credit. Monetary policy affects risk appetite by changing the ability of intermediaries to leverage their capital. We estimate the time-varying risk appetite of ...
Decomposing real and nominal yield curves
We present an affine term structure model for the joint pricing of Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) and Treasury yield curves that adjusts for TIPS? relative illiquidity. Our estimation using linear regressions is computationally very fast and can accommodate unspanned factors. The baseline specification with six principal components extracted from Treasury and TIPS yields, in combination with a liquidity factor, generates negligibly small pricing errors for both real and nominal yields. Model-implied expected inflation provides a better prediction of actual inflation than ...
The persistent effects of a false news shock
In September 2008, a six-year-old article about the 2002 bankruptcy of United Airlines' parent company resurfaced on the Internet and was mistakenly believed to be reporting a new bankruptcy filing by the company. This episode caused the parent company's stock price to drop by as much as 76 percent in just a few minutes, before NASDAQ halted trading. After the "news" had been identified as false, the stock price rebounded, but still ended the day 11.2 percent below the previous close. We use this natural experiment and a simple asset-pricing model to study the aftermath of this false news ...
Dynamic hierarchical factor models
This paper uses multi-level factor models to characterize within- and between-block variations as well as idiosyncratic noise in large dynamic panels. Block-level shocks are distinguished from genuinely common shocks, and the estimated block-level factors are easy to interpret. The framework achieves dimension reduction and yet explicitly allows for heterogeneity between blocks. The model is estimated using a Markov chain Monte-Carlo algorithm that takes into account the hierarchical structure of the factors. We organize a panel of 447 series into blocks according to the timing of data ...
Fundamental Disagreement about Monetary Policy and the Term Structure of Interest Rates
Using a unique data set of individual professional forecasts, we document disagreement about the future path of monetary policy, particularly at longer horizons. The stark differences in short rate forecasts imply strong disagreement about the risk-return trade-off of longer-term bonds. Longer-horizon short rate disagreement co-moves with term premiums. We estimate an affine term structure model in which investors hold heterogeneous beliefs about the long-run level of rates. Our model fits U.S. Treasury yields and the short rate paths predicted by different groups of professional forecasters ...
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.?
Making a Statement: How Did Professional Forecasters React to the August 2011 FOMC Statement?
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement released on August 9, 2011, was the first to incorporate language on “forward guidance” with an explicit date tied to the Committee’s expected path of monetary policy. In this post, we exploit the timing of surveys taken before and after this statement’s release to investigate how professional forecasters changed their expectations of growth, inflation, and monetary policy. We find that the average forecast of the federal funds rate shifts considerably and closely aligns with the new language in the statement, while the average ...
Do Treasury Term Premia Rise around Monetary Tightenings?
Some commentators have expressed concern that Treasury yields might rise sharply once the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) begins to raise the federal funds rate (FFR), worrying, in particular, about a sudden increase in Treasury term premia. In this post, we analyze the dynamics of Treasury term premia over the last fifty years and discuss their evolution around recent tightening cycles, paying special attention to the 1994 episode when bond prices dropped sharply around the world. We find that term premia don’t typically rise when monetary policy tightens. We also conclude, based on ...
Preparing for Takeoff? Professional Forecasters and the June 2013 FOMC Meeting
Following the June 18-19 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting different measures of short-term interest rates increased notably. In the chart below, we plot two such measures: the two-year Treasury yield and the one-year overnight indexed swap (OIS) forward rate, one year in the future. The vertical line indicates the final day of the June FOMC meeting. To what extent did this rise in rates following the June FOMC meeting reflect a shift in the expected future path of the federal funds rate (FFR)? Market participants and policy makers often directly read the expected path from ...