Why markets in foreign exchange are different from other markets
Interest rates under the U.S. national banking system
According to previous studies, the demand-liability feature of national bank notes did not present a problem for note-issuing banks because the nonbank public treated notes and other currency as perfect substitutes. However, that view, when combined with nonbindingness of the collateral restriction against note issue, itself an implication of the fact that some eligible collateral was not used for that purpose, implies that the safe short-term interest rate is pegged at the tax rate on note circulation. Since evidence on short-term interest rates is inconsistent with such a peg, that view ...
An Attractive Monetary Model with Surprising Implications for Optima: Two Examples
Ex ante optima are described for two examples of a monetary model with random meetings, some perfectly monitored people, and some nonmonitored people. One example describes optimal inflation, the other optimal seasonal policy. Although the numerical examples are arbitrary in most respects, the results are consistent with three general conclusions: if the model is known, then intervention is desirable; even the qualitative aspects of optimal intervention are not obvious; and optimal intervention depends on the details of the model. The results are therefore reminiscent of the conclusions of ...
A suggestion for oversimplifying the theory of money
This paper, originally published in 1988, argues that there is nothing special about government-issued money, that without restrictions of some kind, privately issued money would be a perfect substitute for it. The paper describes the type of intermediation this argument implies for a laissez-faire economy. One important implication is that there would be only one risk-adjusted rate of return; either all assets would pay a low return to match that on money, or money would pay interest. Another important implication is that open market operations would be irrelevant. The paper argues that the ...
Portfolio autarky: a welfare analysis
Portfolio autarky obtains when residents of every country are prohibited from owning real assets located in other countries. Such a regime and a laissez-faire regime, both characterized by free trade in goods, are studied in a model whose resource and technology assumptions are those of the standard two-country, two- (nonreproducible) factor, two- (nonstorable) good model. But to ensure a market for assets (land), the model is peopled by overlapping generations; each two-period lived individual supplies one unit of labor only in the first period of his life. Unique equilibria are described ...
Ricardian equivalence and money dominated in return: are they mutually consistent generally?
Different conclusions about the effects of open market operations are reached even among economists using full employment and rational expectations models. I show that these differences can be attributed to different assumptions regarding the concept of the deficit that is held fixed for an open market operation, the diversity among agents, and the features generating money demand. With regard to those features, I argue that plausible ways of explaining the holding of low-return money preclude the kind of perfect credit markets needed to obtain Ricardian equivalence.
Resolving the National Banking System note-issue puzzle
Under the National Banking System, 1863-1914, national banks that deposited sufficient collateral could issue notes provided they paid a tax on notes in circulation: 1 percent per year before 1900 and 1/2 percent thereafter. Because note issue was far below the allowed maximum, an arbitrage argument predicts that short-term nominal interest rates should have been bounded above by the tax rate. They were not. That is the note-issue puzzle. Our resolution takes the form of a model in which notes play a role, but in which the profitability of note issue is not tied to anything that resembles a ...