Why Do We Need Both Liquidity Regulations and a Lender of Last Resort? A Perspective from Federal Reserve Lending during the 2007-09 U.S. Financial Crisis
During the 2007-09 financial crisis, there were severe reductions in the liquidity of financial markets, runs on the shadow banking system, and destabilizing defaults and near-defaults of major financial institutions. In response, the Federal Reserve, in its role as lender of last resort (LOLR), injected extraordinary amounts of liquidity. In the aftermath, lawmakers and regulators have taken steps to reduce the likelihood that such lending would be required in the future, including the introduction of liquidity regulations. These changes were motivated in part by the argument that central ...
On Balance: All Things Considered on the Road to Normal
Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker discussed the U.S. and global economies and the Fed?s monetary policy outlook at the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Ninth Economists? Meeting in Frankfurt, Germany. Regarding unwinding the balance sheet, Harker said a "slow and steady approach" that leads to a gradual decrease in average reserves is ?not only the safer option, it has the additional advantage of reducing uncertainty. ..."
An Early Experiment with "Permazero"
We investigate a monetary regime with persistent, near-zero policy interest rates ("permazero" in the terminology of Bullard 2015). This regime was implemented in 1683 by a prominent early central bank called the Bank of Amsterdam ("Bank"). The Bank fixed its policy rate at one-half percent and held it unchanged for more than a century. Maintaining the rate helped stabilize the value of Bank money. We employ archival data to reconstruct the Bank's activities during a portion of that interval (1736?91) for which data are most readily available. The data suggest that "permazero" worked well for ...
The Outlook for the Economy and Monetary Policy: Low-Frequency Policymaking in a High-Frequency World
Good afternoon. I thank Ellen Zentner and the New York Association for Business Economics for the invitation to speak to you today. I believe that one of the important responsibilities of a Federal Reserve policymaker is to share his or her economic perspectives with the public. Congress has wisely given the Fed independence in making monetary policy decisions in pursuit of our statutory goals of price stability and maximum employment. I say "wisely" because a body of research and practical experience both here and abroad show that when central banks formulate monetary policy free from ...
Death of a Reserve Currency
The Dutch bank florin was the dominant currency in Europe during much of the 17th and 18th centuries. The florin, a fiat money, was managed by an early central bank, the Bank of Amsterdam. Using a new reconstruction of the Bank of Amsterdam's balance sheet, we analyze the florin's loss of reserve currency status during the period 1781?92. The reconstruction shows that by 1784, accommodative policies rendered the Bank of Amsterdam "policy insolvent," meaning that its net worth would have been negative under continuation of its policy objectives. Policy insolvency coincided with the Bank of ...
Early Public Banks
Publicly owned or commissioned banks were common in Europe from the 15th century. This survey argues that while the early public banks were characterized by great experimentation in their design, a common goal was to create a liquid and reliable monetary asset in environments where such assets were rare or unavailable. The success of these banks was, however, never guaranteed, and even well-run banks could become unstable over time as their success made them susceptible to fiscal exploitation. The popularization of bearer notes in the 18th century broadened the user base for the public banks' ...
A Solution to Every Puzzle
Remarks at the 2020 U.S. Treasury Market Conference (delivered via videoconference).
The Fed’s Yield-Curve-Control Policy
The recent global financial crisis left governments in many advanced countries with very heavy debt burdens and their central banks with huge portfolios of government bonds. With many central banks today still facing policy rates that are uncomfortably close to zero, some may follow the example of Japan, which recently added a new long-term interest rate target to its short-term target to give itself ?yield-curve control.? The Federal Reserve?s foray into similar territory around the Second World War suggests that combining yield-curve control with quantitative easing when government ...
Does the Fed Have a Financial Stability Mandate?
Governments around the world have devoted increasing attention to maintaining overall financial system stability. Central banks play strong roles in domestic financial stability policy, but the full scopes of their financial stability mandates are ambiguous. The Federal Reserve appeared to embrace a stronger role in financial system stability starting in the late 1960s and accelerating with its unprecedented actions during the 2007?08 financial crisis. Questions remain, however, about the proper scope and design of a central bank?s financial stability mandate.
Recent Global Developments and Central Bank Responsibilities in a Changing Risk Landscape
Remarks at the Official Sector Service Providers (OSSP)-Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)-South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Research and Training Centre Forum on Central Bank Foreign Currency Operations.