Historical Patterns of Inequality and Productivity around Financial Crises
To understand the determinants of financial crises, previous research focused on developments closely related to financial markets. In contrast, this paper considers changes originating in the real economy as drivers of financial instability. Based on long-run historical data for advanced economies, I find that rising top income inequality and low productivity growth are robust predictors of crises ? even outperforming well known early-warning indicators such as credit growth. Moreover, if crises are preceded by such developments, output declines more during the subsequent recession. In ...
A Macroeconomic Model with Occasional Financial Crises
Financial crises are born out of prolonged credit booms and depressed productivity. At times, they are initiated by relatively small shocks. Consistent with these empirical observations, this paper extends a standard macroeconomic model to include financial intermediation, long-term defaultable loans, and occasional financial crises. Within this framework, crises are typically preceded by prolonged boom periods. During such episodes, intermediaries expand their lending and leverage, thereby building up financial fragility. Crises are generally initiated by a moderate adverse shock that puts ...
The Time-Varying Effect of Monetary Policy on Asset Prices
This paper studies how monetary policy jointly affects asset prices and the real economy in the United States. To this end, I develop an estimator that uses high-frequency surprises as a proxy for the structural monetary policy shocks. This is achieved by integrating the surprises into a vector autoregressive model as an exogenous variable. I show analytically that this approach identifies the true relative impulse responses. When allowing for time-varying model parameters, I find that, compared to output, the response of stock and house prices to monetary policy shocks was particularly low ...
The Transmission of Monetary Policy under the Microscope
We investigate the transmission of monetary policy to household consumption using detailed administrative data on the universe of households in Norway. Based on a novel series of identified monetary policy shocks, we estimate the dynamic responses of consumption, income, and saving along the liquid asset distribution of households. We find that low-liquidity but also high-liquidity households show strong responses, interest rate changes faced by borrowers and savers feed into consumption, and indirect effects of monetary policy outweigh direct effects, albeit with a delay. Overall, the ...
Banks, Maturity Transformation, and Monetary Policy
Banks engage in maturity transformation and the term premium compensates them for bearing the associated duration risk. Consistent with this view, I show that banks’ net interest margins and term premia have comoved in the United States over the last decades. On monetary policy announcement days, banks’ stock prices fall in response to an increase in expected future short-term interest rates but rise if term premia increase. These effects are reflected in the response of banks’ net interest margins and amplified for institutions with a larger maturity mismatch. The results reveal that ...
Are Banks Exposed to Interest Rate Risk?
While banks seem to face inherent risk from short-term interest rate changes, in practice they structure their balance sheets to avoid exposure to such risk. Nonetheless, recent research finds that banks cannot offload all of the interest rate risk they are naturally exposed to. Historically, banks’ profit margins reflect their compensation for taking on interest rate risk and their stock prices are highly sensitive to changes in interest rates. These findings can help practitioners assess banks’ risk exposures and may have implications for unconventional monetary policy.
Modeling Financial Crises
Research has revealed several facts about financial crises based on historical data. Crises are rare events that are associated with severe recessions that are typically deeper than normal recessions. They are usually preceded by a buildup of system imbalances, particularly a rapid increase of credit. Financial crises tend to occur after prolonged booms but do not necessarily result from large shocks. Recent work shows a novel way to replicate these facts in a standard macroeconomic model, which policymakers could use to gain insights to prevent future crises.
Monetary Policy Cycles and Financial Stability
Recent research suggests that sustained accommodative monetary policy has the potential to increase financial instability. However, under some circumstances tighter monetary policy may increase financial fragility through two channels. First, a surprise tightening tends to reduce the market value of banks? equity and raise their market leverage, exacerbating balance sheet fragility in the short run. Second, increases in the federal funds rate have historically been followed by an expansion of assets held by money market funds, which proved to be a source of instability in the 2007-09 ...
Does the Fed Know More about the Economy?
In assessing the current or near-term state of the economy, forecasts from Federal Reserve staff seem to provide little additional information to improve commercial forecasts. However, Fed forecasts for economic growth a year or more in the future substantially enhance the accuracy of private-sector forecasts. The Fed?s policy announcements often reveal some of this forecast information. Accordingly, when the Fed surprises financial markets with indications of higher future interest rates, private forecasters tend to revise up their projections of future output growth.
Historical Patterns around Financial Crises
Long-run historical data for advanced economies provide evidence to help policymakers understand specific conditions that typically lead up to financial crises. Recent research finds that rapid growth in the top income share and prolonged low labor productivity growth are robust predictors of crises. Moreover, if crises are preceded by these developments, then the subsequent recoveries are slower. This recent empirical evidence suggests that financial crises are not simply random events but are typically preceded by a prolonged buildup of macrofinancial imbalances.