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Author:Sarkar, Asani 

Discussion Paper
Is There Stigma to Discount Window Borrowing?

The Federal Reserve employs the discount window (DW) to provide funding to fundamentally solvent but illiquid banks (see the March 30 post “Why Do Central Banks Have Discount Windows?”). Historically, however, there has been a low level of DW use by banks, even when they are faced with severe liquidity shortages, raising the possibility of a stigma attached to DW borrowing. If DW stigma exists, it is likely to inhibit the Fed’s ability to act as lender of last resort and prod banks to turn to more expensive sources of financing when they can least afford it. In this post, we provide ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20110831

Discussion Paper
Did the Fed’s Term Auction Facility Work?

The Federal Reserve introduced the Term Auction Facility (TAF) in December 2007 to provide term loans to banks during the recent financial crisis. In this post, we report on the effectiveness of the TAF during the early stages of the crisis. We find that the TAF was associated with a decrease in the “liquidity premium,” one component of a bank’s borrowing cost. In other words, the TAF worked as intended.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20111011

Discussion Paper
How Might Increased Transparency Affect the CDS Market?

The credit default swap (CDS) market has grown rapidly since the asset class was developed in the 1990s. In recent years, and especially since the onset of the financial crisis, policymakers both in the United States and abroad have begun to strengthen regulations governing derivatives trading, with a particular focus on the decentralized and opaque nature of current trading arrangements. For example, the Dodd-Frank Act will require U.S.-based market participants to publicly report details of their CDS trades. In this post, we discuss the possible impact of increased transparency in the CDS ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20111123

Discussion Paper
History of Discount Window Stigma

In August 2007, at the onset of the recent financial crisis, the Federal Reserve encouraged banks to borrow from the discount window (DW) but few did so. This lack of DW borrowing has been widely attributed to stigma--concerns that, if discount borrowing were detected, depositors, creditors, and analysts could interpret it as a sign of financial weakness. In this post, we review the history of the DW up until 2003, when the current DW regime was established, and argue that some past policies may have inadvertently contributed to a reluctance to borrow from the DW that persists to this day.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20150810

Discussion Paper
Is Bitcoin Really Frictionless?

Bitcoin is the most popular virtual currency yet developed. Proponents assert that bitcoin can remove frictions involved in payment and settlement systems by eliminating the need for the financial intermediaries that exist in traditional currencies. In this blog post, we show that while bitcoin transfers themselves are relatively frictionless for the user, there are significant frictions when bitcoins trade in exchange markets resulting in meaningful and persistent price differences across bitcoin exchanges. These exchange-related frictions reduce the incentive of market participants to use ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20160323

Discussion Paper
How the Fed Smoothed Quarter-End Volatility in the Fed Funds Market

The federal funds market is an important source of short-term funding for U.S. banks. In this market, banks borrow reserves on an unsecured basis from other banks and from government-sponsored enterprises, typically overnight. Before the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve implemented monetary policy by targeting the overnight fed funds rate and then adjusting the supply of bank reserves every day to keep the rate close to the target. Before the crisis, reserves were generally in scarce supply, which periodically caused temporary spikes in the fed funds rate during times of high demand, ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20160328

Discussion Paper
Is There Discount Window Stigma in the United Kingdom?

At the onset of the financial crisis in the summer of 2007, news that Barclays had borrowed from the Bank of England (BoE) received wide media coverage. This information triggered concerns that the BoE's lending facility may have become stigmatized, prompting market participants to interpret borrowing from the BoE as a sign of financial weakness. If such stigma discouraged borrowing, of course, it would defeat the purpose of the facility. We review the history of the BoE's lending facilities and experiences with stigma, both historically and in the recent period. We also compare the BoE's and ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20160912

Discussion Paper
Why Did the Recent Oil Price Declines Affect Bond Prices of Non-Energy Companies?

Oil prices plunged 65 percent between July 2014 and December of the following year. During this period, the yield spread?the yield of a corporate bond minus the yield of a Treasury bond of the same maturity?of energy companies shot up, indicating increased credit risk. Surprisingly, the yield spread of non?energy firms also rose even though many non?energy firms might be expected to benefit from lower energy?related costs. In this blog post, we examine this counterintuitive result. We find evidence of a liquidity spillover, whereby the bonds of more liquid non?energy firms had to be sold to ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20161005

Report
Capital constraints, counterparty risk, and deviations from covered interest rate parity

We provide robust evidence of a deviation in the covered interest rate parity (CIP) relation since the onset of the financial crisis in August 2007. The CIP deviation exists with respect to several different dollar-denominated interest rates and exchange rate pairings of the dollar vis-a-vis other currencies. The results show that our proxies for margin conditions and for the cost of capital are significant determinants of the CIP deviations, especially during the crisis period. The supply of dollars by the Federal Reserve to foreign central banks via reciprocal currency arrangements (swap ...
Staff Reports , Paper 393

Report
Liquidity in U.S. fixed income markets: a comparison of the bid-ask spread in corporate, government and municipal bond markets

We examine the determinants of the realized bid-ask spread in the U.S. corporate, municipal and government bond markets for the years 1995 to 1997, based on newly available transactions data. Overall, we find that liquidity is an important determinant of the realized bid-ask spread in all three markets. Specifically, in all markets, the realized bid-ask spread decreases in the trading volume. Additionally, risk factors are important in the corporate and municipal markets. In these markets, the bid-ask spread increases in the remaining-time-to maturity of a bond. The corporate bond spread also ...
Staff Reports , Paper 73

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