Arbitrage: the key to pricing options
Arbitrage has become associated in popular attitudes with the most ruthless and profit-driven of human impulses, but the opposite reputation might be more well-deserved. The ability to arbitrage is essential for the efficient operation of markets. An interesting application of the principle of arbitrage arose when it provided the breakthrough insight in economists? solution to a formerly intractable problem: how to properly price the emergent financial instruments known as options.
Can the US Interbank Market be Revived?
Large-scale asset purchases by the Federal Reserve as well as new Basel III banking regulations have led to important changes in U.S. money markets. Most notably the interbank market has essentially disappeared with the dramatic increase in excess reserves held by banks. We build a model in the tradition of Poole (1968) to study whether interbank market activity can be revived if the supply of excess reserves is decreased sufficiently. We show that it may not be possible to revive the market to pre-crisis volumes due to costs associated with recent banking regulations. Although the volume of ...
The 2007 Summer Workshop on Money, Banking and Payments: an overview
The 2007 Summer Workshop on Money, Banking, Payments and Finance met at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland this summer, as we have over the past several years. The following document summarizes and ties together the contributions presented at the workshop this year.
An Interview with Neil Wallace
A few years ago we sat down with Neil Wallace and had two lengthy, free-ranging conversations about his career and, generally speaking, his views on economics. What follows is a distillation of these conversations.
Bank Panics and Scale Economies
A bank panic is an expectation-driven redemption event that results in a self-fulfilling prophecy of losses on demand deposits. From the standpoint of theory in the tradition of Diamond and Dybvig (1983) and Green and Lin (2003), it is surprisingly di cult to generate bank panic equilibria if one allows for a plausible degree of contractual flexibility. A common assumption employed in the standard banking model is that returns are linear in the scale of investment. Instead, we assume the existence of a fixed investment cost, so that a higher risk-adjusted rate of return is available only if ...
Life cycle wage and job changes
Evidence from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics shows that while the majority of job changers who state they were not fired or laid off choose jobs with wages that are higher than their previous jobs, a substantial proportion of these job changers choose jobs that have lower wages. A model is constructed that is consistent with workers choosing a career path that entails a job change to either a higher paying or lower paying job. In the model, a job consists of a tied wage and amenity package. Due to compensating wage differentials, higher wages are paid where other job amenities are ...
Intermediation in Markets for Goods and Markets for Assets
We analyze agents' decisions to act as producers or intermediaries using equilibrium search theory. Extending previous analyses in various ways, we ask when intermediation emerges and study its efficiency. In one version of the framework, meant to resemble retail, middlemen hold goods, which entails (storage) costs; that model always displays uniqueness and simple transition dynamics. In another version, middlemen hold assets, which entails negative costs, that is, positive returns; that model can have multiple equilibria and complicated belief-based dynamics. These results are consistent ...
Recent developments in monetary economics: a summary of the 2004 Workshop on Money, Banking, and Payments
We provide a summary and an overview of the papers presented at the Federal Reserve Bank of Clevelands 2004 Workshop on Money, Banking, and Payments, held during the weeks of August 3-7 and August 23-27, 2004.
This paper examines the implications associated with a recent Supreme Court ruling, Kelo v. City of New London. Kelo can be interpreted as supporting eminent domain as a means of transferring property rights from one set of private agents ? landowners ? to another private agent ? a developer. Under voluntary exchange, where the developer sequentially acquires property rights from landowners via bargaining, a holdout problem arises. Eminent domain gives all of the bargaining power to the developer and, as a result, eliminates the holdout problem. This is the benefit of Kelo. However, ...
Preventing Bank Runs
Diamond and Dybvig (1983) is commonly understood as providing a formal rationale for the existence of bank-run equilibria. It has never been clear, however, whether bank-run equilibria in this framework are a natural byproduct of the economic environment or an artifact of suboptimal contractual arrangements. In the class of direct mechanisms, Peck and Shell (2003) demonstrate that bank-run equilibria can exist under an optimal contractual arrangement. The difficulty of preventing runs within this class of mechanism is that banks cannot identify whether withdrawals are being driven by ...