Gauging Market Responses to Monetary Policy Communication
The modern model of central bank communication suggests that central bankers prefer to err on the side of saying too much rather than too little. The reason is that most central bankers believe that clear and concise communication of monetary policy helps achieve their goals. For the Federal Reserve, this means to achieve its goals of price stability, maximum employment, and stable long-term interest rates. This article examines the various dimensions of Fed communication with the public and financial markets and how Fed communication with the public has evolved over time. We use daily and ...
The Fed's bloated balance sheet: how we got here and why it's familiar
Quantitative easing has led to the largest expansion of the Fed?s balance sheet since WW II. While this, naturally, leads to concern about inflation, the Fed has the tools to unwind the balance sheet once the economy builds steam.
Independence + accountability: why the Fed is a well-designed central bank
In 1913, Congress purposefully created the Federal Reserve as an independent central bank, which created a fundamental tension: how to ensure the Fed remains accountable to the electorate without losing its independence. Over the years, there have been changes in the Fed?s structure to improve its independence, credibility, accountability, and transparency. These changes have led to a better institutional design that makes U.S. policy credible and based on sound economic reasoning, as opposed to politics. In times of financial and economic crisis, there is an understandable tendency to ...
Price-level targeting and stabilization policy
The authors construct a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model to study optimal monetary stabilization policy. Prices are fully flexible and money is essential for trade. The authors? main result is that if the central bank pursues a price-level target, it can control inflation expectations and improve welfare by stabilizing short-run shocks to the economy. The optimal policy involves smoothing nominal interest rates that effectively smooths consumption across states.
Dual-currency economies as multiple-payment systems
Monetary search models are valuable for studying how a second currency's acceptability arises endogenously in an economy that lacks a stable domestic currency and other more sophisticated payment systems. Search models' basic assumptions (absence of credit, lack of smoothly functioning banking systems, reliance on currency as the sole medium of exchange, and primitive trading environments) are not necessarily consistent with modern financial systems. They do, however, provide good descriptions of transitional and developing economies, particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union, ...
Currency competition in a fundamental model of money
The authors study how two fiat monies, one safe and one risky, compete in a decentralized trading environment. The equilibrium value of the two currencies, their transaction velocities and agents' spending patterns are endogenously determined. The authors derive conditions under which agents holding diversified currency portfolios spend the safe currency first and hold the risky one for later purchases. They also examine when the reverse spending pattern is optimal.
Performance contracts for central bankers
Microfoundations of Money: Why They Matter
What is the value of having microfoundations for monetary exchange in a macro model? In this article, the author attempts to answer this question by listing what he considers the major accomplishments of the field. He argues that the evidence overwhelmingly shows that microfoundations matter for many questions of first-order importance in macroeconomics.
Outside versus inside bonds: a Modigliani-Miller type result for liquidity constrained economies
When agents are liquidity constrained, two options exist - sell assets or borrow. We compare the allocations arising in two economies: in one, agents can sell government bonds (outside bonds) and in the other they can borrow (issue inside bonds). All transactions are voluntary, implying no taxation or forced redemption of private debt. We show that any allocation in the economy with inside bonds can be replicated in the economy with outside bonds but that the converse is not true. However, the optimal policy in each economy makes the allocations equivalent.