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Series:Staff Reports 

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Macro news, risk-free rates, and the intermediary: customer orders for thirty-year Treasury futures
Customer order flow correlates with permanent price changes in equity and non-equity markets. We examine macro news events in the thirty-year Treasury futures market to identify causality from customer flow to risk-free rates. We remove the positive feedback trading effect and establish that, in the fifteen minutes subsequent to the news, intermediaries rely on customer orders to determine a substantial part of the announcement?s effect on risk-free rates?about one-third relative to the instantaneous effect. Intermediaries appear to benefit from privately observing informed customers, since their own-account trade profitability correlates with access to customer flow, controlling for volatility, competition, and the macro ?surprise.?
AUTHORS: Menkveld, Albert J.; Sarkar, Asani; Van der Wel, Michel
DATE: 2007

Report
Are market makers uninformed and passive? Signing trades in the absence of quotes
We develop a new likelihood-based approach to signing trades in the absence of quotes. This approach is equally efficient as the existing Markov-chain Monte Carlo methods, but more than ten times faster. It can address the occurrence of multiple trades at the same time and allows for analysis of settings in which trade times are observed with noise. We apply this method to a high-frequency data set of thirty-year U.S. Treasury futures to investigate the role of the market maker. Most theory characterizes the market maker as an uninformed, passive supplier of liquidity. Our findings suggest, however, that some market makers actively demand liquidity for a substantial part of the day and that they are informed speculators
AUTHORS: Menkveld, Albert J.; Sarkar, Asani; Van der Wel, Michel
DATE: 2009

Report
Head and shoulders: not just a flaky pattern
This paper evaluates rigorously the predictive power of the head-and-shoulders pattern as applied to daily exchange rates. Though such visual, nonlinear chart patterns are applied frequently by technical analysts, our paper is one of the first to evaluate the predictive power of such patterns. We apply a trading rule based on the head-and-shoulders pattern to daily exchange rates of major currencies versus the dollar during the floating rate period (from March 1973 to June 1994). We identify head-and-shoulders patterns using an objective, computer-implemented algorithm based on criteria in published technical analysis manuals. The resulting profits, replicable in real-time, are then compared with the distribution of profits for 10,000 simulated series generated with the bootstrap technique under the null hypothesis of a random walk.
AUTHORS: Osler, Carol L.; Chang, P.H. Kevin
DATE: 1995

Report
Watering a lemon tree: heterogeneous risk taking and monetary policy transmission
We build a general equilibrium model with financial frictions that impede monetary policy transmission. Agents with heterogeneous productivity can increase investment by levering up, which increases liquidity risk due to maturity transformation. In equilibrium, more productive agents choose higher leverage than less productive agents, which exposes the more productive agents to greater liquidity risk and makes their investment less responsive to interest rate changes. When monetary policy reduces interest rates, aggregate investment quality deteriorates, which blunts the monetary stimulus and decreases asset liquidation values. This, in turn, reduces loan demand, decreasing the interest rate further and generating a negative spiral. Overall, the allocation of credit is distorted and monetary stimulus can become ineffective even with significant interest rate drops.
AUTHORS: Choi, Dong Beom; Eisenbach, Thomas M.; Yorulmazer, Tanju
DATE: 2015-04-01

Report
The Global Financial Resource Curse
Since the late 1990s, the United States has received large capital flows from developing countries and experienced a productivity growth slowdown. Motivated by these facts, we provide a model connecting international financial integration and global productivity growth. The key feature is that the tradable sector is the engine of growth of the economy. Capital flows from developing countries to the United States boost demand for U.S. non-tradable goods. This induces a reallocation of U.S. economic activity from the tradable sector to the non-tradable one. In turn, lower profits in the tradable sector lead firms to cut back investment in innovation. Since innovation in the United States determines the evolution of the world technological frontier, the result is a drop in global productivity growth. We dub this effect the global financial resource curse. The model thus offers a new perspective on the consequences of financial globalization, and on the appropriate policy interventions to manage it.
AUTHORS: Wolf, Martin; Benigno, Gianluca; Fornaro, Luca
DATE: 2020-02-01

Report
Optimal Monetary Policy According to HANK
We study optimal monetary policy in a heterogeneous agent new Keynesian economy. A utilitarian planner seeks to reduce consumption inequality, in addition to stabilizing output gaps and inflation. The planner does so both by reducing income risk faced by households, and by reducing the pass-through from income to consumption risk, trading off the benefits of lower inequality against productive inefficiency and higher inflation. When income risk is countercyclical, policy curtails the fall in output in recessions to mitigate the increase in inequality. We uncover a new form of time inconsistency of the Ramsey plan—the temptation to exploit households' unhedged interest rate exposure to lower inequality.
AUTHORS: Dogra, Keshav; Challe, Edouard; Acharya, Sushant
DATE: 2020-02-01

Report
The Overnight Drift
Since the advent of electronic trading in the mid-1990s, U.S. equities have traded (almost) twenty-four hours a day through equity index futures. This allows new information to be incorporated continuously into asset prices, yet we show that almost 100 percent of the U.S. equity premium is earned during a one-hour window between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. (EST), which we dub the “overnight drift.” We study explanations for this finding within a framework à la Grossman and Miller (1988) and derive testable predictions linking dealer inventory shocks to high-frequency return predictability. Consistent with the predictions of the model, we document a strong negative relationship between end–of-day order imbalance, arising from market sell-offs, and the overnight drift occurring at the opening of European financial markets. Further, we show that in recent years dealers have increasingly offloaded inventory shocks at the opening of Asian markets, and we exploit a natural experiment based on daylight saving time to show that Asian offloading shifts by one hour between summer and winter.
AUTHORS: Boyarchenko, Nina; Whelan, Paul; Larsen, Lars C.
DATE: 2020-02-01

Report
Uncertainty about Trade Policy Uncertainty
We revisit in this note the macroeconomic impact of the recent rise in trade policy uncertainty. As in the literature, we do find that high trade policy uncertainty can adversely impact domestic and foreign economic activity. In addition, we identify an alternative business sentiment channel that is separate and distinct from the impact of trade policy uncertainty, which provides a complementary explanation of the recent developments in the U.S. and global economic activities. This sentiment channel also implies that subsiding trade policy uncertainty does not necessarily result in a recovery of the manufacturing sector and investment spending as long as business sentiment remains negative.
AUTHORS: Benigno, Gianluca; Groen, Jan J. J.
DATE: 2020-03-01

Report
The Market Events of Mid-September 2019
This paper studies the mid-September 2019 stress in U.S. money markets: On September 16 and 17, unsecured and secured funding rates spiked up and, on September 17, the effective federal funds rate broke the ceiling of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) target range. We highlight two factors that may have contributed to these events. First, reserves may have become scarce for at least some depository institutions, in the sense that these institutions’ reserve holdings may have been close to, or lower than, their desired level. Moreover, frictions in the interbank market may have prevented the efficient allocation of reserves across institutions, so that although aggregate reserves may have been higher than the sum of reserves demanded by each institution, they were still scarce given the market’s inability to allocate reserves efficiently. Second, we provide evidence that some large domestic dealers likely experienced an increase in intermediation costs, which led them to charge higher spreads to ultimate cash borrowers. This increase was due to a temporary reduction in lending from money market mutual funds, including through the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation’s (FICC’s) sponsored repo program.
AUTHORS: Copeland, Adam; Martin, Antoine; La Spada, Gabriele; Cipriani, Marco; Kovner, Anna; Afonso, Gara
DATE: 2020-03-01

Report
The Federal Funds Market over the 2007-09 Crisis
This paper measures how the 2007-09 financial crisis affected the U.S. federal funds market. I accomplish this by developing and estimating a structural model of this market, in which intermediation plays a crucial role and borrowing banks differ in their unobserved probability of default. The estimates imply that the expected probability of default increases 0.29 percentage point at the start of the crisis in mid-2007 and then gains a further 1.91 percentage points after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. These increases do not cause a market freeze, however, because simultaneously there is a shift outward in the supply of funds. The model indicates that amid the turmoil of the crisis, lenders viewed the fed funds market as a relatively attractive place to invest cash overnight.
AUTHORS: Copeland, Adam
DATE: 2019-11-01

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