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Author:Prati, Alessandro 

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Day-to-day monetary policy and the volatility of the federal funds interest rate

We propose a model of the interbank money market with an explicit role for central bank intervention and periodic reserve requirements, and study the interaction of profit-maximizing banks with a central bank targeting interest rates at high frequency. The model yields predictions on biweekly patterns of the federal funds rate's volatility and on its response to changes in target rates and in intervention procedures, such as those implemented by the Fed in 1994. Theoretical results are consistent with empirical patterns of interest rate volatility in the U.S. market for federal funds.
Staff Reports , Paper 110

Report
The execution of monetary policy: a tale of two central banks

The Eurosystem and the U.S. Federal Reserve System follow quite different approaches to the execution of monetary policy. The former institution adopts a "hands-off" approach that largely delegates to depository institutions the task of stabilizing their own liquidity at high frequency. The latter institution follows a much more "hands-on" approach involving daily intervention to fine-tune the liquidity of the banking system. We review the implications of these contrasting approaches, focusing on their impact on the high-frequency behavior of very short-term interest rates. We also examine ...
Staff Reports , Paper 165

Report
Cross-country differences in monetary policy execution and money market rates' volatility

The volatility patterns of overnight interest rates differ across industrial countries in ways that existing models, designed to replicate the features of the U.S. federal funds market, cannot explain. This paper presents an equilibrium model of the overnight interbank market that matches these different patterns by incorporating differences in policy execution by the world's main central banks, including differences in central banks' management of marginal lending and deposit facilities in response to shocks. Our model is consistent with central banks' observed practice of rationing access ...
Staff Reports , Paper 175

Report
Soft exchange rate bands and speculative attacks: theory and evidence from the ERM since August 1993

We present a model of a "soft" exchange rate target zone and interpret it as a stylized description of the post-August 1993 ERM. Our central bank targets a moving average of the current and past exchange rates, rather than the exchange rate's current level, thus allowing the rate to move within wide margins in the short run, but within narrow margins in the long run. For realistic parameters, soft target zones are significantly less vulnerable to speculative attacks than "hard" target zones. These predictions are consistent with the ERM's experience and the abatement of speculative pressure ...
Staff Reports , Paper 43

Report
Money market integration

We use transaction-level data and detailed modeling of the high-frequency behavior of federal funds-Eurodollar yield spreads to provide evidence of strong integration between the federal funds and Eurodollar markets, the two core components of the dollar money market. Our results contrast with previous research indicating that these two markets are segmented, showing them to be well integrated even at high (intraday) frequency. We document several patterns in the behavior of federal funds-Eurodollar spreads, including liquidity effects from trading volume on yield spreads' volatility. Our ...
Staff Reports , Paper 227

Report
The overnight interbank market: evidence from the G-7 and the Euro zone

This study of the major industrial countries' interbank markets for overnight loans links the behavior of very short-term interest rates to the operating procedures of the countries' central banks. Previous studies have focused on key features of the U.S. federal funds rate's behavior. We find that many of these features are not robust to changes in institutional details and in the style of central bank intervention, along both cross-sectional and time-series dimensions of our data. Our results suggest that the empirical features of the day-to-day behavior of short-term interest rates are ...
Staff Reports , Paper 135

Report
Banks' reserve management, transaction costs, and the timing of the Federal Reserve intervention

We use daily data on bank reserves and overnight interest rates to document a striking pattern in the high-frequency behavior of the U.S. market for federal funds: depository institutions tend to hold more reserves during the last few days of each "reserve maintenance period," when the opportunity cost of holding reserves is typically highest. We then propose and analyze a model of the federal funds market where uncertain liquidity flows and transaction costs induce banks to delay trading and to bid up interest rates at the end of each maintenance period. In this context, the central bank's ...
Staff Reports , Paper 109

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