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How the New Fed Municipal Bond Facility Capped Muni-Treasury Yield Spreads in the COVID-19 Recession
For over two centuries, the municipal bond market has been a source of systemic risk, which returned early in the COVID-19 downturn when borrowing from securities markets became costly for many private and public entities, and some found it difficult to borrow at all. Indeed, just before the Fed announced its unprecedented intervention into the municipal (muni) bond market, spreads of muni over Treasury yields rose in line with the unemployment rate and appeared headed to levels not seen since the Great Depression, when real municipal gross investment plunged 35 percent below 1929 levels. To ...
Macro Credit Policy and the Financial Accelerator
This paper studies macro credit policies within the celebrated financial accelerator model of Bernanke, Gertler and Gilchrist (1999). The focus is on borrower-based restrictions on lending such as loan-to-value (LTV) ratios. We find that the efficacy of cyclical taxes on LTV ratios depends upon the nature of the underlying loan contract. If the loan contract contains equity-like features such as indexation to aggregate conditions, then there is little role for cyclical taxation. But if the loan contract is not indexed to aggregate conditions, then there are substantial gains to procyclical ...