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Keywords:convenience yields 

Discussion Paper
A DSGE Perspective on Safety, Liquidity, and Low Interest Rates

The preceding two posts in this series documented that interest rates on safe and liquid assets, such as U.S. Treasury securities, have declined significantly in the past twenty years. Of course, short-term interest rates in the United States are under the control of the Federal Reserve, at least in nominal terms. So it is legitimate to ask, To what extent is this decline driven by the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy? This post addresses this question by coupling the results presented in the previous post with those obtained from an estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20180207

Working Paper
Monetary policy surprises, positions of traders, and changes in commodity futures prices

Using futures data for the period 1990?2008, this paper finds evidence that expansionary monetary policy surprises tend to increase crude and heating oil prices, and contractionary monetary policy shocks increase gold and platinum prices. Our analysis uncovers substantial heterogeneity in the magnitude of this response to positive and negative surprises across different commodities and commodity groups. The results also suggest that the positions of futures traders for the metals and energy commodities strongly respond to monetary policy shocks. The adjustment of the net long positions of ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2013-12

Drivers of Dollar Share in Foreign Exchange Reserves

The share of U.S. dollar assets in the official foreign exchange reserve portfolios of central banks is sometimes taken as an indicator of dollar status. We show that the observed decline in the aggregate share of U.S. dollar assets does not stem from a systematic shift in currency preferences away from holding dollar assets. Instead, a small group of countries with large foreign exchange reserve balances drive the dollar share decline observed in aggregate statistics. This arises either due to countries conducting monetary policy vis-à-vis the euro or due to preference shifts away from ...
Staff Reports , Paper 1087

Working Paper
The role of commodity prices in forecasting U.S. core inflation

This note documents a curious finding about the substantial forecast ability of a simple aggregator of three commodity futures prices for U.S. core inflation. The proposed aggregator reduces the out-of-sample root mean squared error for 12-month-ahead inflation forecasts of the benchmark AR(1) model by 28 percent (20 percent) for the PCE (CPI) measure of core inflation. To avoid obfuscation of the sources of forecast ability, the model is intentionally kept simple, although extensions for improving and increasing the robustness of the forecast procedure are also discussed.
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2016-5

Risk-Free Rates and Convenience Yields Around the World

We infer risk-free rates from index option prices to estimate safe asset convenience yields in ten G-11 currencies. Countries' convenience yields increase linearly with the level of their interest rates, with U.S. convenience yields being the fifth largest. During financial crises, convenience yields grow, but the difference between U.S. and foreign convenience yields generally does not. Covered interest parity (CIP) deviations using our option-implied rates are roughly the same size between the U.S. and each other country. A model where convenience yields depend on domestic financial ...
Staff Reports , Paper 1032

Global trends in interest rates

The trend in the world real interest rate for safe and liquid assets fluctuated close to 2 percent for more than a century, but has dropped significantly over the past three decades. This decline has been common among advanced economies, as trends in real interest rates across countries have converged over this period. It was driven by an increase in the convenience yield for safety and liquidity and by lower global economic growth.
Staff Reports , Paper 866

Discussion Paper
A Time-Series Perspective on Safety, Liquidity, and Low Interest Rates

The previous post in this series discussed several possible explanations for the trend decline in U.S. real interest rates since the late 1990s. We noted that while interest rates have generally come down over the past two decades, this decline has been more pronounced for Treasury securities. The conclusion that we draw from this evidence is that the convenience associated with the safety and liquidity embedded in Treasuries is an important driver of the secular (long-term) decline in Treasury yields. In this post and the next, we provide an overview of the two complementary empirical ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20180206

Working Paper
Quantitative Easing and Safe Asset Scarcity: Evidence from International Bond Safety Premia

Through large-scale asset purchases, widely known as quantitative easing (QE), central banks around the world have reduced the available supply of safe assets. We examine the effects of the European Central Bank’s asset purchases in the 2015-2021 period on an international panel of bond safety premia from four highly rated countries: Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland. We find statistically significant negative effects for all four countries. This points to a novel and important international spillover channel of QE programs to bond safety premia that operates via changes in the ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2023-23

Safety, liquidity, and the natural rate of interest

Why are interest rates so low in the Unites States? We find that they are low primarily because the premium for safety and liquidity has increased since the late 1990s, and to a lesser extent because economic growth has slowed. We reach this conclusion using two complementary perspectives: a flexible time-series model of trends in Treasury and corporate yields, inflation, and long-term survey expectations, and a medium-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model. We discuss the implications of this finding for the natural rate of interest.
Staff Reports , Paper 812

Discussion Paper
Global Trends in Interest Rates

Long-term government bond yields are at their lowest levels of the past 150 years in advanced economies. In this blog post, we argue that this low-interest-rate environment reflects secular global forces that have lowered real interest rates by about two percentage points over the past forty years. The magnitude of this decline has been nearly the same in all advanced economies, since their real interest rates have converged over this period. The key factors behind this development are an increase in demand for safety and liquidity among investors and a slowdown in global economic growth.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20190227


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