Available for Sale? Understanding Bank Securities Portfolios
It’s natural to think of banks as intermediaries that take in deposits and use them to make loans to businesses and individuals. But in fact, loans make up only 45 percent of the assets of U.S. banking organizations. What’s the rest? A large chunk, representing 24 percent of total assets, is accounted for by securities, such as U.S. Treasury and foreign government bonds, mortgage-backed securities (MBS), municipal and corporate bonds, and equities. In this post, we take a tour of bank securities portfolios, making use of charts and statistics from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s ...
Thoughts on cybersecurity from a supervisory perspective: remarks at SIPA’s Cyber Risk to Financial Stability: State-of-the-Field Conference 2019, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York City
Remarks at SIPA?s Cyber Risk to Financial Stability: State-of-the-Field Conference 2019, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York City.
Time variation in asset price responses to macro announcements
Although the effects of economic news announcements on asset prices are well established, these relationships are unlikely to be stable. This paper documents the time variation in the responses of yield curves and exchange rates using high-frequency data from January 2000 through August 2011. Significant time variation in news effects is present for those announcements that have the largest effects on asset prices. The time variation in effects is explained by economic conditions, including the level of policy rates at the time of the news release, and risk conditions: Government bond yields ...
International Trade, Risk and the Role of Banks
Banks play a critical role in international trade by providing trade finance products that reduce the risk of exporting. This paper employs two new data sets to shed light on the magnitude and structure of this business, which, as we show, is highly concentrated in a few large banks. The two principal trade finance instruments, letters of credit and documentary collections, covered about 10 percent of U.S. exports in 2012. They are preferred for larger transactions, which indicates the existence of substantial fixed costs in the provision and use of these instruments. Letters of credit are ...
What Happens When Regulatory Capital Is Marked to Market?
Minimum equity capital requirements are a key part of bank regulation. But there is little agreement about the right way to measure regulatory capital. One of the key debates is the extent to which capital ratios should be based on current market values rather than historical ?accrual? values of assets and liabilities. In a new research paper, we investigate the effects of a recent regulatory change that ties regulatory capital directly to the market value of the securities portfolio for some banks.
Why Have Interest Rates Fallen Far Below the Return on Capital
Risk-free rates have been falling since the 1980s while the return on capital has not. We analyze these trends in a calibrated OLG model with recursive preferences, designed to encompass many of the "usual suspects'' cited in the debate on secular stagnation. Declining labor force and productivity growth imply a limited decline in real interest rates and deleveraging cannot account for the joint decline in the risk free rate and increase in the risk premium. If we allow for a change in the (perceived) risk to productivity growth to fit the data, we find that the decline in the risk-free ...
Interest Rates or Haircuts? Prices Versus Quantities in the Market for Collateralized Risky Loans
Markets for risky loans clear on two dimensions - an interest rate (or equivalently a spread above the riskless rate) and a specification of the amount of collateral per dollar of lending. The latter is summarized by the margin or "haircut" associated with the loan. Some key models of endogenous collateral constraints imply that the primary equilibrating force will be in the form of haircuts rather than movements in interest rate spreads. Indeed, an important benchmark model, derived in a two-state world, implies that haircuts will adjust to render all lending riskless, and that a loss of ...
Risk Management for Monetary Policy Near the Zero Lower Bound
As projections have inflation heading back toward target and the labor market continuing to improve, the Federal Reserve has begun to contemplate an increase in the federal funds rate. There is however substantial uncertainty around these projections. How should this uncertainty affect monetary policy? In many standard models uncertainty has no effect. In this paper, we demonstrate that the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates implies that the central bank should adopt a looser policy when there is uncertainty. In the current context this result implies that a delayed liftoff is ...
Domestic bond markets and inflation
This paper explores the relationship between inflation and the existence of a local, nominal, publicly-traded, long-maturity, domestic-currency bond market. Bond holders are exposed to capital losses through inflation and therefore represent a potential anti-inflationary force; we ask whether their influence is apparent both theoretically and empirically. We develop a simple theoretical model with heterogeneous agents where the issuance of such bonds leads to political pressure on the government to choose a lower inflation rate. We then check this prediction empirically using a panel of data, ...
The system of national accounts and alternative economic perspectives
Brent Moulton and Nicole Mayerhauser (2015) point out that, for more than 50 years, economists have featured the concept of human capital in their models of labor, growth, productivity, and distribution of income. The authors recommend the addition to the System of National Accounts (SNA) of supplemental person-level accounts: i.e., a System of Person Accounts (SPA). They see this as the best way of recognizing the processes of human capital creation as well as related issues of how income is distributed among individuals and families. The authors argue that this change would support three ...