The Sensitivity of Long-Term Interest Rates: A Tale of Two Frequencies
The sensitivity of long-term interest rates to short-term interest rates is a central feature of the yield curve. This post, which draws on our Staff Report, shows that long- and short-term rates co-move to a surprising extent at high frequencies (over daily or monthly periods). However, since 2000, they co-move far less at lower frequencies (over six months or a year). We discuss potential explanations for this finding and its implications for the transmission of monetary policy.
The execution of monetary policy: a tale of two central banks
The Eurosystem and the U.S. Federal Reserve System follow quite different approaches to the execution of monetary policy. The former institution adopts a "hands-off" approach that largely delegates to depository institutions the task of stabilizing their own liquidity at high frequency. The latter institution follows a much more "hands-on" approach involving daily intervention to fine-tune the liquidity of the banking system. We review the implications of these contrasting approaches, focusing on their impact on the high-frequency behavior of very short-term interest rates. We also examine ...
Addressing the Economic Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Today, we’re witnessing the pandemic’s stark effects on public health. Meanwhile, the necessary response – social distancing – has stilled our strong economy, disrupting countless lives and livelihoods. It’s also been distorting the credit and liquidity flows that underpin our economy, threatening the greater pain of a full-blown financial crisis. Traditional economic models are challenged by this unique situation. To me, the most important factors are how well we avoid financial spillovers, and how effective the fiscal stimulus is, as well as the progression of COVID-19 infections. ...
The Opportunistic Approach to Disinflation
This paper explores the theoretical foundations of a new approach to monetary policy. Proponents of this approach hold that when inflation is moderate but still above the long-run objective, the Fed should not take deliberate anti-inflation action, but rather should wait for external circumstances-such as favorable supply shocks and unforeseen recessions-to deliver the desired reduction in inflation. While waiting for such circumstances to arise, the Fed should aggressively resist incipient increases in inflation. This strategy has come to be known as "the opportunistic approach to ...
The liquidity effect of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet reduction on short-term interest rates
I examine the impact of the Federal Reserve?s balance sheet reduction on short-term interest rates emanating from the declining supply of reserve balances. Using an exogenous shift in the supply of reserves, I estimate that by January 2019, when the Fed will have reduced its portfolio by $500 billion, the overnight repurchase agreement (repo) spread (relative to the lower bound of the federal funds target range) will be 10 basis points higher and the fed funds spread will be 2 basis points higher than in October 2017, all else being equal. I also find that a declining supply of reserve ...
The Fiscal Theory of the Price Level in a World of Low Interest Rates
A central equation for the fiscal theory of the price level (FTPL) is the government budget constraint (or "government valuation equation"), which equates the real value of government debt to the present value of fiscal surpluses. In the past decade, the governments of most developed economies have paid very low interest rates, and there are many other periods in the past in which this has been the case. In this paper, we revisit the implications of the FTPL in a world where the rate of return on government debt may be below the growth rate of the economy, considering different sources for ...
Special Repo Rates and the Cross-Section of Bond Prices: the Role of the Special Collateral Risk Premium
We estimate the joint term-structure of U.S. Treasury cash and repo rates using daily prices of all outstanding Treasury securities and corresponding special collateral (SC) repo rates. This allows us to derive a risk premium associated to the SC value of Treasuries and quantitatively link this premium to various price anomalies, such as the on-the-run premium. We show that a time-varying SC risk premium can explain between 74%?90% of the on-the-run premium, and is highly correlated with a number of other Treasury market anomalies. This suggests a commonality across these price anomalies, ...
A Sequential Bargaining Model of the Fed Funds Market with Excess Reserves
We model bargaining between non-bank investors and heterogeneous bank borrowers in the federal funds market. The analysis highlights how the federal funds rate will respond to movements in other money market interest rates in an environment with elevated levels of excess reserves. The model predicts that the administered rate offered through the Federal Reserve's overnight reverse repurchase agreement facility influences the fed funds rate even when the facility is not used. Changes in repo rates pass through to the federal funds rate, but by less than one-for-one. We calibrate the model to ...
Forward Guidance: Communication, Commitment, or Both?
A policy of forward guidance has been suggested either as a form of commitment ("Odyssean") or as a way of conveying information to the public ("Delphic"). I analyze the strategic interaction between households and the central bank as a game in which the central bank can send messages to the public independently of its actions. In the absence of private information, the set of equilibrium payoffs is independent of the announcements of the central bank: forward guidance as a pure commitment mechanism is a redundant policy instrument. When private information is present, central bank ...
Monetary Policy Implementation With an Ample Supply of Reserves
Methods of monetary policy implementation continue to change. The level of reserve supply—scarce, abundant, or somewhere in between—has implications for the efficiency and effectiveness of an implementation regime. The money market events of September 2019 highlight the need for an analytical framework to better understand implementation regimes. We discuss major issues relevant to the choice of an implementation regime, using a parsimonious framework and drawing from the experience in the United States since the 2007-2009 financial crisis. We find that the optimal level of reserve supply ...