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Jel Classification:E43 

Working Paper
Let's Close the Gap: Revising Teaching Materials to Reflect How the Federal Reserve Implements Monetary Policy

The topic of the Federal Reserve’s (the Fed’s) implementation of monetary policy has a significant presence in economics textbooks as well as standards and guidelines for economics instruction. This presence likely reflects the fact that it is the implementation framework that helps ensure that the Fed’s desired level of its policy interest rate is transmitted to financial markets, which helps it steer the economy toward the Congressional dual mandate of maximum employment and price stability. Over the past decade or so, the Fed has purposefully shifted the way it implements monetary ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-092

Working Paper
The Credit Line Channel

Aggregate bank lending to firms expands following adverse macroeconomic shocks, such as the outbreak of COVID-19 or a monetary policy tightening, at odds with canonical models. Using loan-level supervisory data, we show that these dynamics are driven by draws on credit lines by large firms. Banks that experience larger drawdowns restrict term lending more — an externality onto smaller firms. Using a structural model, we show that credit lines are necessary to reproduce the flow of credit toward less constrained firms after adverse shocks. While credit lines increase total credit ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-26

Working Paper
A New Daily Federal Funds Rate Series and History of the Federal Funds Market, 1928-1954

This article describes the origins and development of the federal funds market from its inception in the 1920s to the early 1950s. We present a newly digitized daily data series on the federal funds rate from April 1928 through June 1954. We compare the behavior of the funds rate with other money market interest rates and the Federal Reserve discount rate. Our federal funds rate series will enhance the ability of researchers to study an eventful period in U.S. financial history and to better understand how monetary policy was transmitted to banking and financial markets. For the 1920s and ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-059

Working Paper
Paying Too Much? Price Dispersion in the U.S. Mortgage Market

We document wide dispersion in the mortgage rates that households pay on identical loans, and show that borrowers' financial sophistication is an important determinant of the rates obtained. We estimate a gap between the 10th and 90th percentile mortgage rate that borrowers with the same characteristics obtain for identical loans, in the same market, on the same day, of 54 basis points|equivalent to about $6,500 in upfront costs (points) for the average loan. Time-invariant lender attributes explain little of this rate dispersion, and considerable dispersion remains even within loan officer. ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-062

Working Paper
Are Shadow Rate Models of the Treasury Yield Curve Structurally Stable?

We examine the structural stability of Gaussian shadow rate term structure models of Treasury yields over a period that includes the time during which the U.S. policy rate was at its effective lower bound. After a conceptual discussion of several potential sources of a structural break in the context of the shadow rate model, we document various pieces of evidence for structural instability based on predictive tests and Lagrange multiplier tests, as well as with separate estimations of the pre-ELB and post-ELB subsamples. In order to overcome the difficulties associated with the latent-factor ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-061

Journal Article
Do Changes in Reserve Balances Still Influence the Federal Funds Rate?

Over the past decade, the implementaton of U.S. monetary policy has changed significantly. Rather than adjusting the quantity of reserves in the banking system, policymakers now primarily use the interest rate paid on reserve balances, the IOR rate, to bring the federal funds rate within the target range. However, the recent rise in the federal funds rate relative to the IOR rate has raised questions about the primary drivers of the spread between the federal funds rate and the IOR rate in the Federal Reserve?s new operating framework. {{p}} A. Lee Smith examines the role declining reserve ...
Economic Review , Issue Q I , Pages 5-34

Report
Corporate Debt Maturity and Monetary Policy

Do firms lengthen the maturity of their borrowing following a flattening of the Treasury yield curve that results from monetary policy operations? We explore this question separately for the years before and during the zero lower bound (ZLB) period, recognizing that the same change in the yield curve slope signifies different states of the economy and monetary policy over the two regimes. We find that the answer is robustly yes for the pre-ZLB period: Firms extended the maturity of their bond issuance by nearly three years in response to a policy-induced reduction of 1 percentage point in the ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Report
The equilibrium real policy rate through the lens of standard growth models

The long-run equilibrium real policy rate is a key concept in monetary economics and an important input into monetary policy decision-making. It has gained particular prominence lately as the Federal Reserve continues to normalize monetary policy. In this study, we assess the evolution, current level, and prospective values of this equilibrium rate within the framework of standard growth models. Our analysis considers as a baseline the single-sector Solow model, but it places more emphasis on the multi-sector neoclassical growth model, which better fits the data over the past three decades. ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 17-6

Report
Predicting Recessions Using the Yield Curve: The Role of the Stance of Monetary Policy

The yield curve is often viewed as a leading indicator of recessions. While the yield curve’s predictive power is not without controversy, its ability to anticipate economic downturns endures across specifications and time periods. This note examines the predictive power of the yield curve after accounting for the current stance of monetary policy—a relevant issue given that monetary policy was unusually accommodative during the most recent yield curve inversion, in the third quarter of 2019. The results show that a yield curve inversion likely overstates the probability of a recession ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Report
The Great Leverage 2.0? A Tale of Different Indicators of Corporate Leverage

Many policymakers have expressed concerns about the rise in nonfinancial corporate leverage and the risks this poses to financial stability, since (1) high leverage raises the odds of firms becoming a source of adverse shocks, and (2) high leverage amplifies the role of firms in propagating other adverse shocks. This policy brief examines alternative indicators of leverage, focusing especially on the somewhat disparate signals they send regarding the current state of indebtedness of nonfinancial corporate businesses. Even though the aggregate nonfinancial corporate debt-to-income ratio is at ...
Current Policy Perspectives

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