Economic statistics: new needs for the twenty-first century
Selected Papers from a Conference Cosponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth, and the National Association for Business Economics, July 11, 2002. Beverly Hirtle examines the market risk capital figures reported to regulators by U.S. bank holding companies (BHCs) to assess the extent to which such disclosures provide meaningful information about bank risk. The study by Michael J. Fleming finds that the commonly used bid-ask spread--the difference between bid and offer prices--is a useful tool for assessing and tracking liquidity in the ...
Economic statistics: new needs for the twenty-first century - opening remarks
The purpose of this conference was to deepen our understanding of some of the key conceptual issues current facing those charged with measuring the performance of the U.S. economy and other economies around the globe. The speakers discussed recent efforts to improve economic and financial data and explore strategies for meeting the challenges that lay ahead. The conference focused on four key areas: 1) the measurement of intangible capital, 2) the measurement of service sector output, prices and productivity, 3) the measurement of international capital positions and flows, and 4) the use of ...
Evaluating the impact of fair value accounting on financial institutions: implications for accounting standards setting and bank supervision
Recent standard-setting activity related to fair value accounting has injected new life into questions of whether fair value provides information useful for decision-making, and whether there might be unintended consequences on financial stability. This discussion paper provides insight into these questions by performing a holistic evaluation of fair value accounting?s usefulness, the potential impacts it may have on financial institutions and any broader macroeconomic effects. Materials reviewed as part of this analysis include public bank regulatory filings, financial statements, and fair ...
Cashing out: the treasurer's evolving role
Making the numbers
Capital account liberalization as a signal
This paper presents a model in which a government's current capital controls policy signals future policies. Controls on capital outflows evolve in response to news on technology, contingent on government attitudes toward taxation of capital. When there is uncertainty over government types, a policy of liberal capital outflows sends a positive signal that may trigger a capital inflow. This prediction is consistent with the experience of several countries that have recently liberalized their capital accounts.
A Closer Look at the Fed’s Balance Sheet Accounting
An earlier post on how the Fed changes the size of its balance sheet prompted several questions from readers about the Federal Reserve?s accounting of asset purchases and the payment of principal by the Treasury on Treasury securities owned by the Fed. In this post, we provide a more detailed explanation of the accounting rules that govern these transactions.
Beyond the numbers: an analysis of optimistic and pessimistic language in earnings press releases
In this paper, we examine whether managers use optimistic and pessimistic language in earnings press releases to provide information about expected future firm performance to the market, and whether the market responds to optimistic and pessimistic language usage in earnings press releases after controlling for the earnings surprise and other factors likely to influence the market*s response to the earnings announcement. We use textual-analysis software to measure levels of optimistic and pessimistic language for a sample of approximately 24,000 earnings press releases issued between 1998 and ...
Accounting for non-annuitization
Why don't people buy annuities? Several explanations have been provided by the previous literature: large fraction of preannuitized wealth in retirees' portfolios; adverse selection; bequest motives; and medical expense uncertainty. This paper uses a quantitative model to assess the importance of these impediments to annuitization and also studies three newer explanations: government safety net in terms of means-tested transfers; illiquidity of housing wealth; and restrictions on minimum amount of investment in annuities. This paper shows that quantitatively the last three explanations play a ...
Accounting for Central Neighborhood Change, 1980-2010
Neighborhoods within 2 km of most central business districts of U.S. metropolitan areas experienced population declines from 1980 to 2000 but have rebounded markedly since 2000 at greater pace than would be expected from simple mean reversion. Statistical decompositions reveal that 1980-2000 departures of residents without a college degree (of all races) generated most of the declines while the return of college educated whites and the stabilization of neighborhood choices by less educated whites promoted most of the post-2000 rebound. The rise of childless households and the increase in the ...