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Jel Classification:E40 

The inflation-output trade-off revisited

A rich literature from the 1970s shows that as inflation expectations become more and more ingrained, monetary policy loses its stimulative effect. In the extreme, with perfectly anticipated inflation, there is no trade-off between inflation and output. A recent literature on the interest-rate zero lower bound, however, suggests there may be some benefits from anticipated inflation when he economy is in a liquidity trap. In this paper, we reconcile these two views by showing that while it is true, at positive interest rates, that inflation loses its stimulative effects as it becomes better ...
Staff Reports , Paper 608

Stressed, not frozen: the Federal Funds market in the financial crisis

We examine the importance of liquidity hoarding and counterparty risk in the U.S. overnight interbank market during the financial crisis of 2008. Our findings suggest that counterparty risk plays a larger role than does liquidity hoarding: the day after Lehman Brothers? bankruptcy, loan terms become more sensitive to borrower characteristics. In particular, poorly performing large banks see an increase in spreads of 25 basis points, but are borrowing 1 percent less, on average. Worse performing banks do not hoard liquidity. While the interbank market does not freeze entirely, it does not seem ...
Staff Reports , Paper 437

Segregated balance accounts

This paper describes segregated balance accounts (SBAs), a concept for a new type of account that could provide increased competition for deposits, reduce system-wide balance sheet costs, and improve the transmission of monetary policy by facilitating greater pass-through of interest on excess reserves (IOER). SBAs are designed to remove credit risk by creating narrow accounts that could allow any bank to compete for money market funds. Because of increased competition, the rates paid on borrowings secured by SBAs, along with other money market rates, would likely be pushed up closer to the ...
Staff Reports , Paper 730

Do Monetary Policy Announcements Shift Household Expectations?

We use daily survey data from Gallup to assess whether households' beliefs about economic conditions are influenced by surprises in monetary policy announcements. We first provide more general evidence that public confidence in the state of the economy reacts to certain types of macroeconomic news very quickly. Next, we show that surprises about the federal funds target rate are among the news that have statistically significant and instantaneous effects on economic confidence. In contrast, surprises about forward guidance and asset purchases do not have similar effects on household beliefs, ...
Staff Reports , Paper 897

Evaluating the quality of fed funds lending estimates produced from Fedwire payments data

A number of empirical analyses of interbank lending rely on indirect inferences from individual interbank transactions extracted from payments data using algorithms. In this paper, we conduct an evaluation to assess the ability of identifying overnight U.S. fed funds activity from Fedwire payments data. We find evidence that the estimates extracted from the data are statistically significantly correlated with banks' fed funds borrowing as reported on the FRY-9C. We find similar associations for fed funds lending, although the correlations are lower. To be conservative, we believe that the ...
Staff Reports , Paper 629

Journal Article
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 ...
Quarterly Review , Issue March , Pages 1-16

Coordination and Crisis in Monetary Unions

We study fiscal and monetary policy in a monetary union with the potential for rollover crises in sovereign debt markets. Member-country fiscal authorities lack commitment to repay their debt and choose fiscal policy independently. A common monetary authority chooses inflation for the union, also without commitment. We first describe the existence of a fiscal externality that arises in the presence of limited commitment and leads countries to over-borrow; this externality rationalizes the imposition of debt ceilings in a monetary union. We then investigate the impact of the composition of ...
Staff Report , Paper 511

Working Paper
On the Theoretical Efficacy of Quantitative Easing at the Zero Lower Bound

We construct a monetary economy in which agents face aggregate demand shocks and hetero- generous idiosyncratic preference shocks. We show that, even when the Friedman rule is the best interest rate policy, not all agents are satiated at the zero lower bound. Thus, quantitative easing can be welfare improving since it temporarily relaxes the liquidity constraint of some agents, without harming others. Moreover, due to a pricing externality, quantitative easing may also have beneficial general equilibrium effects for the unconstrained agents. Lastly, our model suggests that it can be optimal ...
Working Papers , Paper 2015-27

Working Paper
Monetary Policy and Liquid Government Debt

We examine the conduct of monetary policy in a world where the supply of outside money is controlled by the fiscal authority-a scenario increasingly relevant for many developed economies today. Central bank control over the long-run inflation rate depends on whether fiscal policy is Ricardian or Non-Ricardian. The optimal monetary policy follows a generalized Friedman rule that eliminates the liquidity premium on scarce treasury debt. We derive conditions for determinacy under both fiscal regimes and show that they do not necessarily correspond to the Taylor principle. In addition, ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-2

Working Paper
Why Have Interest Rates Fallen Far Below the Return on Capital

Risk-free rates have been falling since the 1980s while the return on capital has not. We analyze these trends in a calibrated OLG model with recursive preferences, designed to encompass many of the "usual suspects'' cited in the debate on secular stagnation. Declining labor force and productivity growth imply a limited decline in real interest rates and deleveraging cannot account for the joint decline in the risk free rate and increase in the risk premium. If we allow for a change in the (perceived) risk to productivity growth to fit the data, we find that the decline in the risk-free ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2018-1


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