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Jel Classification:E4 

Report
The side effects of safe asset creation

We present an incomplete markets model to understand the costs and benefits of increasing government debt in a low interest rate environment. Higher risk increases the demand for safe assets, lowering the natural rate of interest below zero, constraining monetary policy at the zero lower bound, and raising unemployment. Higher government debt satiates the demand for safe assets, raising the natural rate and restoring full employment. While this permanently lowers investment, a policymaker committed to low inflation has no alternative. Higher inflation targets, instead, permit both full ...
Staff Reports , Paper 842

Report
The mechanics of a graceful exit: interest on reserves and segmentation in the federal funds market

To combat the financial crisis that intensified in the fall of 2008, the Federal Reserve injected a substantial amount of liquidity into the banking system. The resulting increase in reserve balances exerted downward price pressure in the federal funds market, and the effective federal funds rate began to deviate from the target rate set by the Federal Open Market Committee. In response, the Federal Reserve revised its operational framework for implementing monetary policy and began to pay interest on reserve balances in an attempt to provide a floor for the federal funds rate. Nevertheless, ...
Staff Reports , Paper 416

Report
Reconciling Bagehot with the Fed's response to September 11

The nineteenth-century economist Walter Bagehot maintained that in order to prevent bank panics, a central bank should provide liquidity at a very high rate of interest. However, most of the theoretical literature on liquidity provision suggests that central banks should lend at an interest rate of zero. This latter recommendation is broadly consistent with the Federal Reserve?s behavior in the days following September 11, 2001. This paper shows that Bagehot?s recommendation can be reconciled with the Fed?s policy if one recognizes that Bagehot had in mind a commodity money regime in which ...
Staff Reports , Paper 217

Working Paper
Unconventional monetary policy and the behavior of shorts

In November 2008, the Federal Reserve announced the first of a series of unconventional monetary policies, which would include asset purchases and forward guidance, to reduce long-term interest rates. We investigate the behavior of shorts, considered sophisticated investors, before and after a set of these unconventional monetary policy announcements that spot bond markets did not fully anticipate. Short interest in agency securities systematically predicts bond price changes and other asset returns on the days of monetary announcements, particularly when growth or monetary news is released, ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-31

Working Paper
Rehypothecation and Liquidity

We develop a dynamic general equilibrium monetary model where a shortage of collateral and incomplete markets motivate the formation of credit relationships and the rehypothecation of assets. Rehypothecation improves resource allocation because it permits liquidity to flow where it is most needed. The liquidity benefits associated with rehypothecation are shown to be more important in high-inflation (high interest rate) regimes. Regulations restricting the practice are shown to have very different consequences depending on how they are designed. Assigning collateral to segregated accounts, as ...
Working Papers , Paper 2015-3

Working Paper
A Comparison of Fed "Tightening" Episodes since the 1980s

Deciding to undertake a series of tightening actions present unique challenges for Federal Reserve policymakers. These challenges are both political and economic. Using a variety of economic and financial market metrics, this article examines how the economy and financial markets evolved in response to the five tightening episodes enacted by the FOMC since 1983. The primary aim is to compare the most-recent episode, from December 2015 to December 2018, with the previous four episodes. The findings in this article indicate that the current episode bears some resemblance to previous Fed ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-003

Working Paper
Maturity Structure and Liquidity Risk

This paper studies the optimal maturity structure for government debt when markets for liquidity insurance are incomplete or non-competitive. There is no fiscal risk. Government debt in the model solves a dynamic inefficiency. Issuing debt in short and long maturities solves a liquidity insurance problem, but optimal yield curve policy is only possible if long-duration debt is rendered illiquid. Optimal policy is implementable through treasury operations only--adjustments in the primary deficit are not necessary.
Working Papers , Paper 2020-008

Working Paper
Scarce collateral, the term premium, and quantitative easing

A model of money, credit, and banking is constructed in which the differential pledgeability of collateral and the scarcity of collateralizable wealth lead to a term premium ? an upward-sloping nominal yield curve. Purchases of long-maturity government debt by the central bank are always a good idea, but for unconventional reasons. A floor system is preferred to a channel system, as a floor system permits welfare-improving asset purchases by the central bank.
Working Papers , Paper 2014-8

Working Paper
Interest on Reserves, Interbank Lending, and Monetary Policy

A two-sector general equilibrium banking model is constructed to study the functioning of a floor system of central bank intervention. Only retail banks can hold reserves, and these banks are also subject to a capital requirement, which creates ?balance sheet costs? of holding reserves. An increase in the interest rate on reserves has very different qualitative effects from a reduction in the central bank?s balance sheet. Increases in the central bank?s balance sheet can have redistributive effects, and can reduce welfare. A reverse repo facility at the central bank puts a floor un- der the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2015-24

Working Paper
Keynesian inefficiency and optimal policy: a new monetarist approach

A simple model of monetary/labor search is constructed to study Keynesian indeterminacy and optimal policy. In the model, economic agents have trouble splitting the surplus from exchange appropriately, and we consider monetary and fiscal policies that correct this Keynesian inefficiency. A Taylor rule does not imply determinacy, nor does it support an efficient outcome, in general. Optimal policies yield an efficient and determinate allocation of resources, but equilibrium policy actions, wages, and prices are indeterminate at the optimum.
Working Papers , Paper 2014-9

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