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 ...
The early years of the primary dealer system
This paper presents a history of the primary dealer system from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. The paper focuses on two formal programs: the ?recognized? dealer program adopted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 1939 and the ?qualified? dealer program adopted by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) in 1944 and abandoned in 1953. Following his selection as Manager of the System Open Market Account (SOMA) in 1939, Robert Rouse formalized the New York Fed?s system of ?recognized? dealer counterparties. Although the Bank typically dealt with recognized dealers, it also did ...
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.
Even Keel and the Great Inflation
Using IV-GMM techniques and real-time data, we estimate a forward looking, Taylor-type reaction function incorporating dummy variables for even-keel operations and a variable for foreign official pressures on the U.S. gold stock during the Great Inflation. We show that when the Federal Reserve undertook even-keel operations to assist U.S. Treasury security sales, the FOMC tended to delay monetary-policy adjustments and to inject small amounts of reserves into the banking system. The operations, however, did not contribute significantly to the Great Inflation, because they occurred during ...
Federal Reserve policy and Bretton Woods
During the Bretton Woods era, balance-of-payments developments, gold losses, and exchange-rate concerns had little influence on Federal Reserve monetary policy, even after 1958 when such issues became critical. The Federal Reserve could largely disregard international considerations because the U.S. Treasury instituted a number of stopgap devices?the gold pool, the general agreement to borrow, capital restraints, sterilized foreign-exchange operations?to shore up the dollar and Bretton Woods. These, however, gave Federal Reserve policymakers the latitude to focus on the domestic objectives ...
The Second Era of Globalization is Not Yet Over:An Historical Perspective
The recent rise of populist anti-globalization political movements has led to concerns that the current wave of globalization that goes back to the 1870s may end in turmoil just like the first wave which ended after World War I. It is too soon to tell. The decline and then levelling off of trade and capital flows in recent years reflects the drastic decline in global real income during the Great Recession. Other factors at work include the slowdown in the growth rate of China and the reversal of the extended international supply chains developed in the 1990s, as well as increased financial ...
Bank integration and business volatility
We investigate how bank migration across state lines over the last quarter century has affected the size and covariance of business fluctuations within states. Starting with a two-state version of the unit banking model in Holmstrom and Tirole (1997), we conclude that the theoretical effect of integration on business cycle size is ambiguous, because some shocks are dampened by integration while others are amplified. Empirically, we find that integration diminishes employment growth fluctuations within states and decreases the deviations in employment growth across states. In other words, ...
Even Keel and the Great Inflation
During the early part of the Great Inflation (1965-1975), the Federal Reserve undertook even-keel operations to assist the US Treasury’s coupon security sales. Accordingly, the central bank delayed any tightening of monetary policy and permanently injected reserves into the banking system. Using real-time Taylor-type and McCallum-like reaction functions, we show that the Fed routinely undertook these operations only when it was otherwise tightening monetary policy. Using a quantity-equation framework, we show that the Federal Reserve’s even-keel actions added approximately one percentage ...
Federal Reserve Policy and Bretton Woods
During the Bretton Woods era, balance-of-payments developments, gold losses, and exchange rate concerns had little influence on Federal Reserve monetary policy, even after 1958 when such issues became critical. The Federal Reserve could largely disregard international considerations because the U.S. Treasury instituted a number of stop-gap devices?the gold pool, the general agreement to borrow, capital restraints, sterilized foreign-exchange operations?to shore up the dollar and Bretton Woods. These, however, gave Federal Reserve policymakers the latitude to focus on domestic objectives and ...
The pre-crisis monetary policy implementation framework
This article describes the Federal Reserve?s (?the Fed?s?) operating framework for monetary policy prior to the expansion of the Fed?s balance sheet during the financial crisis. To implement the Fed?s mandate of promoting price stability consistent with full employment, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) sets a target for the overnight rate in the federal funds market, where banks trade reserve balances. In the pre-crisis framework, aggregate reserves were scarce, so relatively small changes in the level of reserves would affect rates in the fed funds market. The Federal Reserve Bank of ...