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Evaluating Asset-Market Effects of Unconventional Monetary Policy: A Cross-Country Comparison
This paper examines the effects of unconventional monetary policy by the Federal Reserve, Bank of England, European Central Bank and Bank of Japan on bond yields, stock prices and exchange rates. We use common methodologies for the four central banks, with daily and intradaily asset price data. We emphasize the use of intradaily data to identify the causal effect of monetary policy surprises. We find that these policies are effective in easing financial conditions when policy rates are stuck at the zero lower bound, apparently largely by reducing term premia.
Are Banks Exposed to Interest Rate Risk?
While banks seem to face inherent risk from short-term interest rate changes, in practice they structure their balance sheets to avoid exposure to such risk. Nonetheless, recent research finds that banks cannot offload all of the interest rate risk they are naturally exposed to. Historically, banks’ profit margins reflect their compensation for taking on interest rate risk and their stock prices are highly sensitive to changes in interest rates. These findings can help practitioners assess banks’ risk exposures and may have implications for unconventional monetary policy.
The Recent Bond Market Selloff in Historical Perspective
Long-term Treasury yields have risen sharply in recent months. The yield on the most recently issued ten-year note, for example, rose from 1.63 percent on May 2 to 2.74 percent on July 5, reaching its highest level since July 2011. Increasing yields result in realized or mark-to-market losses for fixed-income investors. In this post, we put these losses in historical perspective and investigate whether the yield changes are better explained by expectations of higher short-term rates in the future or by investors demanding greater compensation for holding long-term Treasuries.
Fundamental Disagreement about Monetary Policy and the Term Structure of Interest Rates
Using a unique data set of individual professional forecasts, we document disagreement about the future path of monetary policy, particularly at longer horizons. The stark differences in short rate forecasts imply strong disagreement about the risk-return trade-off of longer-term bonds. Longer-horizon short rate disagreement co-moves with term premiums. We estimate an affine term structure model in which investors hold heterogeneous beliefs about the long-run level of rates. Our model fits U.S. Treasury yields and the short rate paths predicted by different groups of professional forecasters ...