What Is Yield Curve Control?
Australia and Japan have recent experience in controlling the yield curve as a tool to conduct monetary policy. The U.S. did so in the 1940s and early 1950s.
Corporate Debt Maturity and Monetary Policy
Do firms lengthen the maturity of their borrowing following a flattening of the Treasury yield curve that results from monetary policy operations? We explore this question separately for the years before and during the zero lower bound (ZLB) period, recognizing that the same change in the yield curve slope signifies different states of the economy and monetary policy over the two regimes. We find that the answer is robustly yes for the pre-ZLB period: Firms extended the maturity of their bond issuance by nearly three years in response to a policy-induced reduction of 1 percentage point in the ...
Around and Around: The Expectations Hypothesis
We show how to construct arbitrage-free models of he term structure of interest rates in which various expectations hypotheses can hold. McCulloch (1993) provided a Gaussian non-Markovian example of the unbiased expectations hypothesis (U--EH), thereby contradicting the assertion by Cox, Ingersoll, and Ross (CIR, 1981) that only the so-called local expectations hypothesis could hold. We generalize that example in three ways: (i) We characterize the U--EH in terms of forward rates; (ii) we extend this characterization to a class of expectations hypotheses that includes all of those considered ...
A Comparison of Fed "Tightening" Episodes since the 1980s
Deciding to undertake a series of tightening actions present unique challenges for Federal Reserve policymakers. These challenges are both political and economic. Using a variety of economic and financial market metrics, this article examines how the economy and financial markets evolved in response to the five tightening episodes enacted by the FOMC since 1983. The primary aim is to compare the most-recent episode, from December 2015 to December 2018, with the previous four episodes. The findings in this article indicate that the current episode bears some resemblance to previous Fed ...
Maturity Structure and Liquidity Risk
This paper studies the optimal maturity structure for government debt when markets for liquidity insurance are incomplete or non-competitive. There is no fiscal risk. Government debt in the model solves a dynamic inefficiency. Issuing debt in short and long maturities solves a liquidity insurance problem, but optimal yield curve policy is only possible if long-duration debt is rendered illiquid. Optimal policy is implementable through treasury operations only--adjustments in the primary deficit are not necessary.
Nominal rigidities in debt and product markets
Standard models used for monetary policy analysis rely on sticky prices. Recently, the literature started to explore also nominal debt contracts. Focusing on mortgages, this paper compares the two channels of transmission within a common framework. The sticky price channel is dominant when shocks to the policy interest rate are temporary, the mortgage channel is important when the shocks are persistent. The first channel has significant aggregate effects but small redistributive effects. The opposite holds for the second channel. Using yield curve data decomposed into temporary and persistent ...
A Portfolio-Balance Approach to the Nominal Term Structure
Explanations of why changes in the relative quantities of safe debt seem to affect asset prices often appeal informally to a ?portfolio balance? mechanism. I show how this type of effect can be incorporated in a general class of structural, arbitrage-free asset-pricing models using a numerical solution method that allows for a wide range of nonlinearities. I consider some applications in which the Treasury market is isolated, investors have mean-variance preferences, and the short-rate process is truncated at zero. Despite its simplicity, a version of this model incorporating inflation can ...
Resolving the spanning puzzle in macro-finance term structure models
Previous macro-finance term structure models (MTSMs) imply that macroeconomic state variables are spanned by (i.e., perfectly correlated with) model-implied bond yields. However, this theoretical implication appears inconsistent with regressions showing that much macroeconomic variation is unspanned and that the unspanned variation helps forecast excess bond returns and future macroeconomic fluctuations. We resolve this contradiction?or ?spanning puzzle??by reconciling spanned MTSMs with the regression evidence, thus salvaging the previous macro-finance literature. Furthermore, we ...
Unspanned macroeconomic factors in the yield curve
In this paper, we extract common factors from a cross-section of U.S. macro-variables and Treasury zero-coupon yields. We find that two macroeconomic factors have an important predictive content for government bond yields and excess returns. These factors are not spanned by the cross-section of yields and are well proxied by economic growth and real interest rates.
Term Structure Modeling with Supply Factors and the Federal Reserve's Large Scale Asset Purchase Programs
This paper estimates an arbitrage-free term structure model with both observable yield factors and Treasury and Agency MBS supply factors, and uses it to evaluate the term premium effects of the Federal Reserve's large-scale asset purchase programs. Our estimates show that the first and the second large-scale asset purchase programs and the maturity extension program jointly reduced the 10-year Treasury yield by about 100 basis points.