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Jel Classification:E42 

Discussion Paper
Bitcoin Is Not a New Type of Money

Bitcoin, and more generally, cryptocurrencies, are often described as a new type of money. In this post, we argue that this is a misconception. Bitcoin may be money, but it is not a new type of money. To see what is truly new about Bitcoin, it is useful to make a distinction between “money,” the asset that is being exchanged, and the “exchange mechanism,” that is, the method or process through which the asset is transferred. Doing so reveals that monies with properties similar to Bitcoin have existed for centuries. However, the ability to make electronic exchanges without a trusted ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200618

Report
A primer on the GCF Repo® Service

This primer provides a detailed description of the GCF Repo Service, a financial service provided by the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation. The primer is composed of an introductory note and two separate papers. {{p}} The first paper focuses on the clearance and settlement of GCF Repo. These financial plumbing details are especially important because the settlement of GCF Repo has been and will continue to be impacted by the current reforms to the tri-party repo settlement platform. In particular, the authors lay out the various ways that intraday credit was used pre-reform to facilitate the ...
Staff Reports , Paper 671

Report
A model of the federal funds market: yesterday, today, and tomorrow

The landscape of the federal funds market changed drastically in the wake of the Great Recession as large-scale asset purchase programs left depository institutions awash with reserves and new regulations made it more costly for these institutions to lend. As traditional levers for implementing monetary policy became less effective, the Federal Reserve introduced new tools to implement the target range for the federal funds rate, changing this landscape even more. In this paper, we develop a model that is capable of reproducing the main features of the federal funds market, as observed before ...
Staff Reports , Paper 840

Report
Liquidity-saving mechanisms in collateral-based RTGS payment systems

This paper studies banks? incentives for choosing the timing of their payment submissions in a collateral-based real-time gross settlement payment system and the way in which these incentives change with the introduction of a liquidity-saving mechanism (LSM). We show that an LSM allows banks to economize on collateral while also providing incentives to submit payments earlier. The reason is that, in our model, an LSM allows payments to be matched and offset, helping to settle payment cycles in which each bank must receive a payment that provides sufficient funds to allow the settlement of its ...
Staff Reports , Paper 438

Report
Monetary Policy Implementation with an Ample Supply of Reserves

Methods of monetary policy implementation continue to change. The level of reserve supply—scarce, abundant, or somewhere in between—has implications for the efficiency and effectiveness of an implementation regime. The money market events of September 2019 highlight the need for an analytical framework to better understand implementation regimes. We discuss major issues relevant to the choice of an implementation regime, using a parsimonious framework and drawing from the experience in the United States since the 2007-09 financial crisis. We find that the optimal level of reserve supply ...
Staff Reports , Paper 910

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 ...
Staff Reports , Paper 918

Working Paper
Should the central bank issue e-money?

Should a central bank take over the provision of e-money, a circulable electronic liability? We discuss how e-money technology changes the tradeoff between public and private provision, and the tradeoff between e-money and a central bank's existing liabilities like bank notes and reserves. The tradeoffs depend on i) the technological setup of the e-money system (as a token or an account; centralized or decentralized); ii) the potential improvement in the implementation and transmission of monetary policy; iii) the risks to safety and privacy from cyber attacks; and iv) the uncertain impact on ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-3

Working Paper
Banking panics and protracted recessions

This paper develops a dynamic theory of money and banking that explains why banks need to hold an illiquid portfolio to provide socially optimal transaction and liquidity services, opening the door to the possibility of equilibrium banking panics. Following a widespread liquidation of banking assets in the event of a panic, the banking portfolio consistent with the optimal provision of transaction and liquidity services during normal times cannot be quickly reestablished, resulting in an unusual loss of wealth for all depositors. This negative wealth effect stemming from the liquid portion of ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-37

Working Paper
Excess Reserves and Monetary Policy Implementation

In response to the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve resorted to several unconventional policies that drastically altered the landscape of the federal funds market. The current environment, in which depository institutions are flush with excess reserves, has forced policymakers to design a new operational framework for monetary policy implementation. We provide a parsimonious model that captures the key features of the current federal funds market along with the instruments introduced by the Federal Reserve to implement its target for the federal funds rate. We use this model to analyze ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-33

Working Paper
Should Central Banks Issue Digital Currency?

We study how the introduction of a central bank-issued digital currency affects interest rates, the level of economic activity, and welfare in an environment where both central bank money and private bank deposits are used in exchange. Banks in our model are financially constrained, and the liquidity premium on bank deposits affects the level of aggregate investment. We study the optimal design of a digital currency in this setting, including whether it should pay interest and how widely it should circulate. We highlight an important policy tradeoff: while a digital currency tends to promote ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-26

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