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Since the Financial Crisis, Aggregate Payments Have Co-moved with Aggregate Reserves. Why?
Fedwire Funds, a key payment system in the United States, is used by banks to wire money to one another throughout the day. Historically, the total value of payments sent over Fedwire has been roughly proportional to economic activity. Since the financial crisis, however, we have instead observed a strong co-movement between total payments and the level of aggregate reserves. This co-movement suggests that a fraction of every dollar of reserves created recirculates on a daily basis. In this post, we investigate why total payments, a flow variable driven by real and financial activity, would ...
What If the U.S. Dollar's Global Role Changed?
It isn’t surprising that the dollar is always in the news, given the prominence of the United States in the global economy and how often the dollar is used in transactions around the world (as discussed in a 2010 Current Issues article). But the dollar may not retain this dominance forever. In this post, we consider and catalog the implications for the United States of a potential lessening of the dollar’s primacy in international transactions. The circumstances surrounding such a possibility are important for the effects. As long as U.S. fundamentals remain strong, key consequences could ...
The Turnaround in Private and Public Financial Outflows from China
China lends to the rest of the world because it saves much more than it needs to fund its high level of physical investment spending. For years, the public sector accounted for this lending through the Chinese central bank?s purchase of foreign assets, but this changed in 2015. The country still had substantial net financial outflows, but unlike in previous years, more private money was pouring out of China than was flowing in. This shift in private sector behavior forced the central bank to sell foreign assets so that the sum of net private and public outflows would equal the saving surplus ...
Money Market Developments: Views from the Desk
Remarks at the Annual Primary Dealer Meeting, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York City.
The payment system benefits of high reserve balances
The policy measures taken since the financial crisis have greatly expanded the size of the Federal Reserve?s balance sheet and have thus raised the level of aggregate bank reserves as well. Over the same period there has been a significant shift in the timing of payments made over the Federal Reserve?s Fedwire Funds Service toward earlier settlement. This paper documents this timing change and presents regression results suggesting that the increase in overall reserve balances explains the vast majority of this development. The paper also discusses the benefits of high aggregate reserve ...
Federal Reserve tools for managing rates and reserves
The Federal Reserve announced in January 2019 that it would maintain an ample supply of reserves amid its balance sheet reduction. We model the impact of reserves on banks? liquidity and balance sheet costs. In competitive general equilibrium, the optimal supply of reserves equates bank deposit rates to the interest rate paid on excess reserves (IOER), consistent with ample reserves. Raising the Fed?s overnight reverse repo rate up to IOER would increase liquidity, expediently reduce the overabundance of reserves, and stabilize the volatility of overnight market rates. Empirical analysis ...
A New Reserves Regime? COVID-19 and the Federal Reserve Balance Sheet
Aggregate reserves declined from nearly $3 trillion in August 2014 to $1.4 trillion in mid-September 2019, as the Federal Reserve normalized its balance sheet. This decline came to a halt in September 2019 when the Federal Reserve responded to turmoil in short-term money markets, with reserves fluctuating around $1.6 trillion in the early months of 2020. Then, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve dramatically expanded its balance sheet, both directly, through outright purchases and repurchase agreements, and indirectly, as a consequence of the facilities to support market ...
Large Excess Reserves and the Relationship between Money and Prices
As a consequence of the Federal Reserve's response to the financial crisis of 2007?08 and the Great Recession, the supply of reserves in the U.S. banking system increased dramatically. Historically, over long horizons, money and prices have been closely tied together, but over the past decade, prices have risen only modestly while base money (reserves plus currency) has grown substantially. A macroeconomic model helps explain this behavior and suggests some potential limits to the Fed's ability to increase the size of its balance sheet indefinitely while remaining consistent with its ...