The Credit Line Channel
Aggregate bank lending to ﬁrms expands following adverse macroeconomic shocks, such as the outbreak of COVID-19 or a monetary policy tightening, at odds with canonical models. Using loan-level supervisory data, we show that these dynamics are driven by draws on credit lines by large ﬁrms. Banks that experience larger drawdowns restrict term lending more — an externality onto smaller ﬁrms. Using a structural model, we show that credit lines are necessary to reproduce the ﬂow of credit toward less constrained ﬁrms after adverse shocks. While credit lines increase total credit ...
COVID-19 Impacts on Housing Stability in the Twelfth Federal Reserve District
In the face of layoffs and furloughs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many renters and homeowners across the country have struggled to make their mortgage or rent payments. Banks have provided flexibility to borrowers through loan deferrals and forbearance during the pandemic. The federal CARES Act provided stimulus payments to low- and moderate-income people and expanded unemployment insurance payments by states, allowing many to continue paying their bills during the early months of the pandemic. The CARES Act also included rental assistance to be disbursed by states, a moratorium on evictions ...
The Importance of an Equitable Workforce Recovery: A New Kind of Back to Work: Talent, Recovery, and the Future of Greater Philadelphia
Speaking at a virtual conference, Patrick T. Harker, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, said that ensuring an equitable economic recovery is not only the right thing to do, but also an economic imperative. Harker addressed an event called A New Kind of Back to Work: Talent, Recovery, and the Future of Greater Philadelphia.
Average-Inflation Targeting and the Effective Lower Bound
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve cut the federal funds rate to essentially zero. It took further measures to support the functioning of financial markets and the flow of credit. Nevertheless, the economic downturn is putting downward pressure on inflation, which had already been running below the Fed’s 2% target for several years. This raises additional concerns that inflation expectations could decline and push inflation down further, ultimately hampering economic activity. A monetary policy framework based on average-inflation targeting could help address these ...
The Impact of COVID on Potential Output
The level of potential output is likely to be subdued post-COVID relative to its previous estimates. Most clearly, capital input and full-employment labor will both be lower than they previously were. Quantitatively, however, these effects appear relatively modest. In the long run, labor scarring could lead to lower levels of employment, but the slow pre-recession pace of GDP growth is unlikely to be substantially affected.
Weather, Social Distancing, and the Spread of COVID-19
Using high-frequency panel data for U.S. counties, I estimate the full dynamic response of COVID-19 cases and deaths to exogenous movements in mobility and weather. I find several important results. First, weather and mobility are highly correlated and thus omitting either factor when studying the COVID-19 effects of the other is likely to result in substantial omitted variable bias. Second, temperature is found to have a negative and significant effect on future COVID-19 cases and deaths, though the estimated effect is sensitive to which measure of mobility is included in the regression. ...
The Economic Gains from Equity
How much is inequity costing us? Using a simple growth accounting framework we apply standard shift-share techniques to data from the Current Population Survey (1990-2019) to compute the aggregate economic costs of persistent educational and labor market disparities by gender and race. We find significant economic losses associated with these gaps. Building on this finding, we consider which disparities generate the largest costs, paying specific attention to differences in employment, hours worked, educational attainment, educational utilization, and occupational allocation. We also examine ...
Adjusting the Unemployment Thermometer
Stay-at-home orders issued to slow the spread of COVID-19 may have severely distorted labor market statistics, notably the official unemployment rate. A method to correct the survey biases associated with the pandemic indicates that the true unemployment rate was substantially higher than the official rate in April and May. However, the biases appeared to fade thereafter, making the drop in June even more dramatic than implied by the official data.
Risk of Business Insolvency during Coronavirus Crisis
Many businesses had amassed high levels of debt, or leverage, before the COVID-19 pandemic. Out of precaution or necessity, firms increased their borrowing further after the onset. Although the shock to those firms’ value significantly increased their risk, measured by their distance-to-default, the default risk remains relatively small for most corporate debt. Nevertheless, the amount of outstanding liabilities among firms with elevated risk of insolvency is more than two times higher than at the peak of the global financial crisis.
Assessing Recent Stock Market Valuation with Macro Data
History suggests that elevated values of the cyclically adjusted price-earnings (CAPE) ratio may indicate an overvalued stock market. A valuation model that uses a small set of economic variables can help account for movements in the CAPE ratio over the past six decades. One of these variables is a macroeconomic uncertainty index. Comparing the model’s prediction for the second and third quarters of 2020 to the 2008–2009 period suggests that investors have reacted to macroeconomic uncertainty very differently during the COVID-19 outbreak than they did during the financial crisis.