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Jel Classification:E5 

Working Paper
Assessing the Impact of Central Bank Digital Currency on Private Banks
I investigate the theoretical impact of central bank digital currency (CBDC) on a monopolistic banking sector. The framework combines the Diamond (1965) model of government debt with the Klein (1971) and Monti (1972) model of banking. There are two main results. First, the introduction of interest-bearing CBDC increases financial inclusion, diminishing the demand for physical cash. Second, while interest-bearing CBDC reduces monopoly profit, it need not disintermediate banks in any way. CBDC may, in fact, lead to an expansion of bank deposits if CBDC competition compels banks to raise their deposit rates.
AUTHORS: Andolfatto, David
DATE: 2018-10-05

Working Paper
Reconciling Orthodox and Heterodox Views on Money and Banking
A wide range of heterodox theories claim that banks are special because they create money in the act of lending. Put another way, banks can create the funding they need ex nihilo, whereas all other agencies must first acquire the funding they need from other parties. Mainstream economic theory largely agrees with this assessment, but questions its theoretical and empirical relevance, preferring to view banks as one of many potentially important actors in the financial market. In this paper, I develop a formal economic model in an attempt to make these ideas precise. The model lends some support to both views on banking.
AUTHORS: Andolfatto, David
DATE: 2018-10-09

Working Paper
Incomplete Credit Markets and Monetary Policy
We study monetary policy when private credit markets are incomplete. The macroeconomy we study has a large private credit market, in which participant households use non-state contingent nominal contracts (NSCNC). A second, small group of households only uses cash, supplied by the monetary authority, and cannot participate in the credit market. There is an aggregate shock. We find that, despite the substantial heterogeneity, the monetary authority can provide for optimal risk-sharing in the private credit market and thus overcome the NSCNC friction via a counter-cyclical price level rule. The counter-cyclical price level rule is not unique. To pin down a unique monetary policy rule, we consider two secondary goals for the monetary authority, (i) expected inflation targeting and, (ii) nominal GDP targeting. We examine the impact of each of these approaches on the price level rule and other nominal variables in the economy.
AUTHORS: Azariadis, Costas; Bullard, James B.; Singh, Aarti; Suda, Jacek
DATE: 2015-05-27

Working Paper
Credit markets, limited commitment, and government debt
A dynamic model with credit under limited commitment is constructed, in which limited memory can weaken the effects of punishment for default. This creates an endogenous role for government debt in credit markets, and the economy can be non-Ricardian. Default can occur in equilibrium, and government debt essentially plays a role as collateral and thus improves borrowers? incentives. The provision of government debt acts to discourage default, whether default occurs in equilibrium or not.
AUTHORS: Williamson, Stephen D.; Carapella, Francesca
DATE: 2014-02-24

Working Paper
Current Federal Reserve Policy Under the Lens of Economic History: A Review Essay
This review essay is intended as a critical review of Humpage (2015), and it expands on the issues raised in that volume. Federal Reserve Policy during the financial crisis, and in its aftermath are addressed, along with the relationship to historical experience in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world.
AUTHORS: Williamson, Stephen D.
DATE: 2015-07-09

Working Paper
Scarcity of Safe Assets, Inflation, and the Policy Trap
We construct a model in which all consolidated government debt is used in transactions, with money being more widely acceptable. When asset market constraints bind, the model can deliver low real interest rates and positive rates of inflation at the zero lower bound. Optimal monetary policy in the face of a financial crisis shock implies a positive nominal interest rate. The model reveals some novel perils of Taylor rules.
AUTHORS: Andolfatto, David; Williamson, Stephen D.
DATE: 2015-01-23

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 prescribed in the Dodd-Frank Act, is generally welfare-reducing. In contrast, an SEC15c3-3 type regulation can improve welfare through the regulatory premium it confers on cash holdings, which are inefficiently low when interest rates and inflation are high.
AUTHORS: Andolfatto, David; Martin, Fernando M.; Zhang, Shengxing
DATE: 2015-02-02

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 tightening episodes, but also differs in several key dimensions. For example, in the first four episodes, the data show the FOMC was generally tightening into a strengthening economy with building price pressures. In contrast, in the fifth episode the FOMC began its tightening regime during a deceleration in economic activity and with headline and core inflation remaining well below the FOMC’s 2 percent inflation target. Moreover, both short- and long-term inflation expectations were drifting lower. These developments helped explain why there was a one-year gap between the first and second increases in the federal funds target rate in the most-recent episode. Another key difference is that in three of the first four episodes, the FOMC continued to tighten after the yield curve inverted; a recession then followed shortly thereafter. However, in the final episode, the FOMC ended its tightening policy about eight months before the yield curve inverted. It remains to be seen if a recession follows this inversion.
AUTHORS: Kliesen, Kevin L.
DATE: 2020-01-30

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.
AUTHORS: Williamson, Stephen D.
DATE: 2014-01-15

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 interbank interest rate, and is always welfare improving. However, an increase in reverse repos outstanding can increase the margin between the interbank interest rate and the interest rate on government debt.
AUTHORS: Williamson, Stephen D.
DATE: 2015-09-13

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