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The Inverted Leading Indicator Property and Redistribution Effect of the Interest Rate
The interest rate at which US firms borrow funds has two features: (i) it moves in a countercyclical fashion and (ii) it is an inverted leading indicator of real economic activity: low interest rates today forecast future booms in GDP, consumption, investment, and employment. We show that a Kiyotaki-Moore model accounts for both properties when interest-rate movements are driven, in a significant way, by self-fulfilling shocks that redistribute income away from lenders and to borrowers during booms. The credit-based nature of such self-fulfilling equilibria is shown to be essential: the ...