Preparing for a smooth (eventual) exit
Remarks at the National Association for Business Economics Policy Conference, Arlington, Virginia
Financial intermediation, asset prices, and macroeconomic dynamics
Fluctuations in the aggregate balance sheets of financial intermediaries provide a window on the joint determination of asset prices and macroeconomic aggregates. We document that financial intermediary balance sheets contain strong predictive power for future excess returns on a broad set of equity, corporate, and Treasury bond portfolios. We also show that the same intermediary variables that predict excess returns forecast real economic activity and various measures of inflation. Our findings point to the importance of financing frictions in macroeconomic dynamics and provide quantitative ...
Financial intermediary balance sheet management
Conventional discussions of balance sheet management by nonfinancial firms take the set of positive net present value (NPV) projects as given, which in turn determines the size of the firm?s assets. The focus is on the composition of equity and debt in funding such assets. In contrast, the balance sheet management of financial intermediaries reveals that it is equity that behaves like the predetermined variable, and the asset size of the bank or financial intermediary is determined by the degree of leverage that is permitted by market conditions. The relative stickiness of equity reveals ...
Size and value anomalies under regime shifts
This paper finds strong evidence of time-variations in the joint distribution of returns on a stock market portfolio and portfolios tracking size- and value effects. Mean returns, volatilities and correlations between these equity portfolios are found to be driven by underlying regimes that introduce short-run market timing opportunities for investors. The magnitude of the premia on the size and value portfolios and their hedging properties are found to vary significantly across regimes. Regimes are also found to have a large impact on the optimal asset allocation - especially under ...
Asset bubbles and the implications for central bank policy
Remarks at The Economic Club of New York, New York City.
Pessimistic beliefs under rational learning: quantitative implications for the equity premium puzzle
In the presence of infrequent but observable structural breaks, we show that a model in which the representative agent is on a rational learning path concerning the real consumption growth process can generate high equity premia and low risk-free interest rates. In fact, when the model is calibrated to U.S. consumption growth data, average risk premia and bond yields similar to those displayed by post- depression (1938-1999) U.S. historical experience are generated for low levels of risk aversion. Even ruling out pessimistic beliefs, recursive learning inflates the equity premium without ...
Liquid asset holdings of individuals and businesses
Remarks on the role of central bank interactions with financial markets
Remarks at New York University's Stern School of Business, New York City.
Monetary policy implementation: common goals but different practices
While the goals that guide monetary policy in different countries are very similar, central banks diverge in their methods of implementing policy. This study of the policy frameworks of four central banks?the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England, and the Swiss National Bank?focuses on two notable areas of difference. The first is the choice of an interest rate target, a standard feature of conventional monetary policy. The second is the choice of instruments for managing the central banks? expanded balance sheets?a decision made necessary by the banks? ...
Financial intermediary leverage and value at risk
We study a contracting model for the determination of leverage and balance sheet size for financial intermediaries that fund their activities through collateralized borrowing. The model gives rise to two features: First, leverage is procyclical in the sense that leverage is high when the balance sheet is large. Second, leverage and balance sheet size are both determined by the riskiness of assets. For U.S. investment banks, we find empirical support for both features of our model, that is, leverage is procyclical, and both leverage and balance sheet size are determined by measured risks. In a ...