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Series:Liberty Street Economics 

Discussion Paper
Municipal Debt Markets and the COVID-19 Pandemic

In March, with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, the market for municipal securities was severely stressed: mutual fund redemptions sparked unprecedented selling of municipal securities, yields increased sharply, and issuance dried up. In this post, we describe the evolution of municipal bond market conditions since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. We show that conditions in municipal markets have improved significantly, in part a result of the announcement and implementation of several Federal Reserve facilities. Yields have decreased substantially, mutual funds ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200629

Discussion Paper
Why the Proposed Border Tax Adjustment Is Unlikely to Promote U.S. Exports

There has been much debate about the proposed border tax adjustment, in which U.S. firms would pay a 20 percent tax on all imported inputs and be exempt from paying taxes on export revenue. The view among many economists, including proponents of the plan, is that the U.S. dollar would appreciate by the full amount of the tax and thus completely offset any relative price effects. In this post, we consider the implications of an alternative scenario where the U.S. dollar only appreciates part of the way. This could happen, for example, as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the policy ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20170224

Discussion Paper
When Debts Compete, Which Wins?

When faced with financial hardship, borrowers might choose to repay some debts while falling behind on others?potentially going into default. Such choices provide insight into consumers? spending priorities and can help us better understand the condition of borrowers under financial distress. In this post, we examine how consumers prioritize their default choices. Do consumers under financial stress default on their credit cards first? Or are they more likely to default on their mortgage?
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20170301

Discussion Paper
Money Market Funds and the New SEC Regulation

On October 14, 2016, amendments to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule 2a-7, which governs money market mutual funds (MMFs), went into effect. The changes are designed to reduce MMFs? susceptibility to destabilizing runs and contain two principal requirements. First, institutional prime and muni funds?but not retail or government funds?must now compute their net asset values (NAVs) using market-based factors, thereby abandoning the fixed NAV that had been a hallmark of the MMF industry. Second, all prime and muni funds must adopt a system of gates and fees on redemptions, which can ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20170320

Discussion Paper
The Need for Very Low Interest Rates in an Era of Subdued Investment Spending

Why have interest rates stayed low for so long after the financial crisis?and will they remain low for the foreseeable future? One way to answer these questions is to use the accounting identity that global saving must equal physical investment spending and argue that low rates have been necessary to prop up investment spending enough to match saving. From this perspective, the extent of any recovery in interest rates depends on whether weak investment spending is driven primarily by secular demographic trends that are a long-term drag on aggregate demand or by the residual effects of the ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20170322

Discussion Paper
Diplomas to Doorsteps: Education, Student Debt, and Homeownership

Evidence overwhelmingly shows that the average earnings premium to having a college education is high and has risen over the past several decades, in part because of a decline in real average earnings for those without a college degree. In addition to high private returns, there are substantial social returns to having a well-educated citizenry and workforce. A new development that may have important longer-term implications for education investment and for the broader economy is a significant change in the financing of higher education. State funding has declined markedly over the past two ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20170403

Discussion Paper
How Do People Find Jobs?

Most people find themselves looking for work at some point in their adult lives. But what brings employers and job seekers together? And does searching for a new job while unemployed lead to different outcomes than searching while employed? Little is known about the job search process for unemployed workers. Even less is known about the search process and outcomes for currently employed workers?so?called ?on?the?job? search. This Liberty Street Economics post aims to shed light on these questions and to draw some conclusions for our understanding of labor market dynamics more generally.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20170405

Discussion Paper
Financial Crises and the Desirability of Macroprudential Policy

The global financial crisis has put financial stability risks?and the potential role of macroprudential policies in addressing them?at the forefront of policy debates. The challenge for macroeconomists is to develop new models that are consistent with the data while being able to capture the highly nonlinear nature of crisis episodes. In this post, we evaluate the impact of a macroprudential policy that has the government tilt incentives for banks to encourage them to build up their equity positions. The government has a role since individual banks do not internalize the systemic benefit of ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20170410

Discussion Paper
U.S. Exporters Could Face High Tariffs without NAFTA

An underappreciated benefit of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is the protection it offers U.S. exporters from extreme tariff uncertainty in Mexico. U.S. exporters have not only gained greater tariff preferences under NAFTA than Mexican exporters gained in the United States, they have also been exempt from potential tariff hikes facing other exporters. Mexico?s bound tariff rates?the maximum tariff rate a World Trade Organization (WTO) member can impose?are very high and far exceed U.S. bound rates. Without NAFTA, there is a risk that tariffs on U.S. exports to Mexico could ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20170417

Discussion Paper
Why Renegotiating NAFTA Could Disrupt Supply Chains

Supply chains have become increasingly interlinked across the U.S.-Mexico border. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), allowing tariff-free commerce between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, has facilitated this integration. Some critics of NAFTA are concerned about the bilateral trade deficit and have proposed stricter rules of origin (ROO), which would make it more cumbersome for firms to access the zero tariff rates they are entitled to with NAFTA. We argue that measures that make it costlier for U.S. firms to import will also hurt U.S. exports because much of U.S.-Mexican ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20170418

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