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A New Reserves Regime? COVID-19 and the Federal Reserve Balance Sheet
Aggregate reserves declined from nearly $3 trillion in August 2014 to $1.4 trillion in mid-September 2019, as the Federal Reserve normalized its balance sheet. This decline came to a halt in September 2019 when the Federal Reserve responded to turmoil in short-term money markets, with reserves fluctuating around $1.6 trillion in the early months of 2020. Then, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve dramatically expanded its balance sheet, both directly, through outright purchases and repurchase agreements, and indirectly, as a consequence of the facilities to support market ...
Banking Deserts, Branch Closings, and Soft Information
U.S. banks have shuttered nearly 5,000 branches since the financial crisis, raising concerns that more low-income and minority neighborhoods may be devolving into ?banking deserts? with inadequate, or no, mainstream financial services. We investigate this issue and also ask whether such neighborhoods are particularly exposed to branch closings?a development that, according to recent research, could reduce credit access, even with other branches present, by destroying ?soft? information about borrowers that influences lenders? credit decisions. Our findings are mixed, suggesting that further ...