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Jel Classification:E5 

Working Paper
Low Real Interest Rates and the Zero Lower Bound

How do low real interest rates constrain monetary policy? Is the zero lower bound optimal if the real interest rate is sufficiently low? What is the role of forward guidance? A model is constructed that can in- corporate sticky price frictions, collateral constraints, and conventional monetary distortions. The model has neo-Fisherian properties. Forward guidance in a liquidity trap works through the promise of higher future inflation, generated by a higher future nominal interest rate. With very tight collateral constraints, the real interest rate can be very low, but the zero lower bound ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-10

Discussion Paper
Why Are Interest Rates So Low?

In a recent series of blog posts, the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve System, Ben Bernanke, has asked the question: 'Why are interest rates so low?' (See part 1, part 2, and part 3.) He refers, of course, to the fact that the U.S. government is able to borrow at an annualized rate of around 2 percent for ten years, or around 3 percent for thirty years. If you expect that inflation is going to be on average 2 percent over the next ten or thirty years, this implies that the U.S. government can borrow at real rates of interest between 0 and 1 percent at the ten- and thirty-year ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20150520

Working Paper
When does the cost channel pose a challenge to inflation targeting central banks?

In a sticky-price model where firms finance their production inputs, there is both a lower and an upper bound on the central bank's inflation response necessary to rule out the possibility of self-fulfilling inflation expectations. This paper shows that real wage rigidities decrease this upper bound, but coefficients in the range of those on the Taylor rule place the economy well within the determinacy region. However, when there is time-variation in the share of firms who finance their inputs (i.e. Markov-Switching) then inflation targeting interest rate rules are often found to result in ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 15-6

Journal Article
Seven Faces of \\"The Peril\\"

In this paper the author discusses the possibility that the U.S. economy may become enmeshed in a Japanese-style deflationary outcome within the next several years. To frame the discussion, the author relies on an analysis that emphasizes two possible long-run steady states for the economy: one that is consistent with monetary policy as it has typically been implemented in the United States in recent years and one that is consistent with the low nominal interest rate, deflationary regime observed in Japan during the same period. The data considered seem to be quite consistent with the two ...
Review , Issue Nov , Pages 613-628

Discussion Paper
Is There Discount Window Stigma in the United Kingdom?

At the onset of the financial crisis in the summer of 2007, news that Barclays had borrowed from the Bank of England (BoE) received wide media coverage. This information triggered concerns that the BoE's lending facility may have become stigmatized, prompting market participants to interpret borrowing from the BoE as a sign of financial weakness. If such stigma discouraged borrowing, of course, it would defeat the purpose of the facility. We review the history of the BoE's lending facilities and experiences with stigma, both historically and in the recent period. We also compare the BoE's and ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20160912

Discussion Paper
Central Bank Solvency and Inflation

The monetary base in the United States, defined as currency plus bank reserves, grew from about $800 billion in 2008 to $2 trillion in 2012, and to roughly $4 trillion at the end of 2014 (see chart below). Some commentators have viewed this increase in the monetary base as a sure harbinger of inflation. For example, one economist wrote that this “unprecedented expansion of the money supply could make the ’70s look benign.” These predictions of inflation rest on the monetarist argument that nominal income is proportional to the money supply. The fact that the money supply has expanded ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20150401

Discussion Paper
From Policy Rates to Market Rates—Untangling the U.S. Dollar Funding Market

How do changes in the interest rate that the Federal Reserve pays on reserves affect interest rates in money markets in which the Fed does not participate? And through which channels do changes in the so-called administered rates influence rates in onshore and offshore U.S. dollar money markets? This post offers an interactive map illustrating the web of relationships between the Fed, key market players, and the various instruments in the U.S. dollar funding market.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20190708

Discussion Paper
Do Asset Purchase Programs Push Capital Abroad?

Euro area sovereign bond yields fell to record lows and the euro weakened after the European Central Bank (ECB) dramatically expanded its asset purchase program in early 2015. Some analysts predicted massive financial outflows spilling out of the euro area and affecting global markets as investors sought higher yields abroad. These arguments ignore balance of payments accounting, which requires any financial outflow from the euro area to be matched by a similar-sized inflow, absent a quick and substantial current account improvement. The focus on cross-border financial flows also is misguided ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20150812

Working Paper
On what states do prices depend? answers from ecuador

In this paper, we argue that differences in the cost structure across sectors play an important role in the decision of firms to adjust their prices. We develop a menu cost model of pricing in which retail firms intermediate trade between producers and consumers. An important facet of our analysis is that the labor-cost share of retail production differs across goods and services in the consumption basket. For example, the price of gasoline at the retail pump is predicted to adjust more frequently and by more than the price of a haircut due to the high volatility in wholesale gasoline prices ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 278

Working Paper
A Unified Measure of Fed Monetary Policy Shocks

Identification of Fed monetary policy shocks is complex, in light of the distinct policymaking regimes before, during, and after the ZLB period of December 2008 to December 2015. We develop a heteroscedasticity-based partial least squares approach, combined with Fama-MacBeth style cross-section regressions, to identify a US monetary policy shock series that usefully bridges periods of conventional and unconventional policymaking and is effectively devoid of the central bank information effect. Our series has moderately high correlation with the shocks identified by Nakamura and Steinsson ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-043

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