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 ...
Impact of Abundant Reserves on Money Markets and Policy Implementation
Remarks at the SIFMA Webinar (delivered via videoconference).
Money Market Developments: Views from the Desk
Remarks at the Annual Primary Dealer Meeting, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York City.
International Capital Flows: Private Versus Public Flows in Developing and Developed Countries
Empirically, net capital inflows are pro-cyclical in developed countries and counter-cyclical in developing countries. That said, private inflows are pro-cyclical and public in flows are counter-cyclical in both groups of countries. The dominance of private (public) in flows in developed (developing) countries drives the difference in total net inflows. We rationalize these patterns using a dynamic stochastic two-sector model of a small open economy facing borrowing constraints. Private agents over-borrow because of the pecuniary externality arising from constraints. The government saves ...
What Quantity of Reserves Is Sufficient?
A concern of the Federal Reserve is how to manage its balance sheet and whether, over the long run, the balance sheet should be small or large. In this post, we highlight results from a recent paper in which we show how, even during a period of “ample” reserves, the Fed’s management of its balance sheet had material impacts on funding markets and especially the repo market. We argue that the Fed’s “balance-sheet normalization” from March 2017 to September 2019—under which aggregate reserves declined by more than $950 billion—combined with post-crisis liquidity regulations, ...
The Rapidly Changing Nature of Japan’s Public Debt
Japan’s general government debt-to-GDP ratio is the highest of advanced economies, due in part to increased spending on social services for an aging population and a level of nominal GDP that has not increased for two decades. The interest rate payments from taxpayers on this debt are moderated by income earned on government assets and by low interest rates. One might think that the Bank of Japan’s purchases of government bonds would further ease the burden on taxpayers, with interest payments to the Bank of Japan on its bond holdings rebated back to the government. Merging the balance ...
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 ...
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 ...
A Return to Operating with Abundant Reserves
Remarks before the Money Marketeers of New York University (delivered via videoconference).