Search

You searched for: Content Type Working Paper Remove constraint Content Type: Working Paper Publishing Institution Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Remove constraint Publishing Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Author: Steven B. Kamin, Laurie Pounder DeMarco
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: The global financial crisis clearly started with problems in the U.S. subprime sector and spread across the world from there. But was the direct exposure of foreigners to the U.S. financial system a key driver of the crisis, or did other factors account for its rapid contagion across the world? To answer this question, we assessed whether countries that held large amounts of U.S. mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and were highly dependent on dollar funding experienced a greater degree of financial distress during the crisis. We found little evidence of such “direct contagion” from the United States to abroad. Although CDS spreads generally rose higher and bank stocks generally fell lower in countries with more exposure to U.S. MBS and greater dollar funding needs, these correlations were not robust, and they fail to explain the lion’s share of the deterioration in asset prices that took place during the crisis. Accordingly, channels of “indirect contagion” may have played a more important role in the global spread of the crisis: a generalized run on global financial institutions, given the opacity of their balance sheets; excessive dependence on short-term funding; vicious cycles of mark-to-market losses driving fire sales of MBS; the realization that financial firms around the world were pursuing similar (flawed) business models; and global swings in risk aversion. The U.S. subprime crisis, rather than being a fundamental driver of the global crisis, may have been merely a trigger for a global bank run and for disillusionment with a risky business model that already had spread around the world.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis, Global Financial Crisis, Housing
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: David Bowman, Etienne Gagnon, Mike Leahy
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the experience of eight major foreign central banks with policy interest rates comparable to the interest rate on excess reserves paid by the Federal Reserve. We pursue two main lines of inquiry: 1) To what extent have these policy interest rates been lower bounds for short-term market rates, and 2) to what extent has tightening that included increasing these policy rates been achieved without reliance on reductions in reserves or other deposits held at the central bank? The foreign experience suggests that policy rate floors can be effective lower bounds for market rates, although incomplete access to central bank accounts and interest on them weakens this result. In addition, the foreign experience suggests that tightening by increasing the interest rate paid on central bank balances can help reduce or eliminate the need to drain balances. These results are consistent with theoretical results that show that tightening without draining is possible, irrespective of whether excess reserves are large or small.
  • Topic: Markets, Interest Rates, Central Bank, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Steven B. Kamin
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the available evidence and previous research on potential effects of financial globalization, that is, the international integration of financial markets. In particular, we address the questions: Has financial globalization materially increased the influence of external developments on domestic monetary conditions? And, has it reduced the influence of central banks over financial and economic conditions in their own country? We find that central banks with floating currencies retain the ability to independently determine short-term interest rates and thus influence broader financial conditions and macroeconomic performance in their economies. However, domestic financial conditions appear to have become more vulnerable to a wide range of external shocks, complicating the task of making appropriate monetary policy decisions. Moreover, the financial crisis has highlighted the importance of cross-border channels for the transmission of liquidity and credit shocks. With financial transactions increasingly being undertaken in vehicle currencies such as dollars and euros, the liquidity provision and the lender-of-last resort functions of many central banks are being challenged. Accordingly, international arrangements for liquidity provision may become increasingly important in the future.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Cooperation, Monetary Policy, Interest Rates
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jian Wang, Jason J. Wu
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: This paper attacks the Meese-Rogoff (exchange rate disconnect) puzzle from a different perspective: out-of-sample interval forecasting. Most studies in the literature focus on point forecasts. In this paper, we apply Robust Semi-parametric (RS) interval forecasting to a group of Taylor rule models. Forecast intervals for twelve OECD exchange rates are generated and modified tests of Giacomini and White (2006) are conducted to compare the performance of Taylor rule models and the random walk. Our contribution is twofold. First, we find that in general, Taylor rule models generate tighter forecast intervals than the random walk, given that their intervals cover out-of-sample exchange rate realizations equally well. This result is more pronounced at longer horizons. Our results suggest a connection between exchange rates and economic fundamentals: economic variables contain information useful in forecasting the distributions of exchange rates. The benchmark Taylor rule model is also found to perform better than the monetary and PPP models. Second, the inference framework proposed in this paper for forecast-interval evaluation can be applied in a broader context, such as inflation forecasting, not just to the models and interval forecasting methods used in this paper.
  • Topic: Economics, Exchange Rate Policy, Models
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David M. Arseneau, Sanjay K. Chugh
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: We re-examine the optimality of tax smoothing from the point of view of frictional labor markets. Our central result is that whether or not this cornerstone optimal fiscal policy pre- scription carries over to an environment with labor market frictions depends crucially on the cyclical nature of labor force participation. If the participation rate is exogenous at business- cycle frequencies — as is typically assumed in the literature — we show it is not optimal to smooth tax rates on labor income in the face of business-cycle shocks. However, if households do optimize at the participation margin, then tax-smoothing is optimal despite the presence of matching frictions. To understand these results, we develop a concept of general-equilibrium efficiency in search-based environments, which builds on existing (partial-equilibrium) search- efficiency conditions. Using this concept, we develop a notion of search-based labor-market wedges that allows us to trace the source of the sharply-contrasting fiscal policy prescriptions to the value of adjusting participation rates. Our results demonstrate that policy prescriptions can be very sensitive to the cyclical nature of labor-force participation in search-based environments.
  • Topic: Markets, Labor Issues, Tax Systems
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Joseph Gagnon
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: Sharp exchange rate depreciations, or currency crashes, are associated with poor economic outcomes in industrial countries only when they are caused by inflationary macroeconomic policies. Moreover, the poor outcomes are attributable to inflationary policies in general and not the currency crashes in particular. On the other hand, crashes caused by rising unemployment or external deficits have always had good economic consequences with stable or falling inflation rates.
  • Topic: Economics, Exchange Rate Policy, Inflation, Currency
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Scott Baier, Mark Clements, Jane Ihrig
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: This paper examines the effect that biofuels production has had on commodity and global food prices. The innovative contribution of this paper is the interactive spreadsheet that allows the reader to choose the assumptions behind the estimates. By allowing the reader to choose the country, time period, supply and demand elasticities, and the size of indirect effects we explicitly illustrate the sensitivity of the estimated effect of biofuels production on prices. Our best estimates suggest that the increase in biofuels production over the past two years has had a sizeable impact on corn, sugar, barley and soybean prices, but a much smaller impact on global food prices. Over the past two years (ending June 2008), we estimate that the increase in worldwide biofuels production pushed up corn, soybean and sugar prices by 27, 21 and 12 percentage points respectively. The countries that account for most of the upward pressure on these prices are the United States and Brazil. Our best estimates suggest that the increase in U.S. biofuels production (ethanol and biodiesel) pushed up corn prices by more than 22 percentage points and soybean prices (soybeans and soybean oil) by more than 15 percentage points, while the increase in EU biofuels production pushed corn and soybean prices up around 3 percentage points. Brazil’s increase in sugar-based ethanol production accounts for the entire rise in the price of sugar. Although biofuels had a noticeable impact on individual crop prices, they had a much smaller impact on global food prices. Our best estimate suggests that the increase in worldwide biofuels production over the past two years accounts for just over 12 percent of the rise in the IMF’s food price index. The increase in U.S. biofuels production accounts for roughly 60 percent of this effect, while Brazil accounts for 14 percent and the EU accounts for 15 percent. The key take- away point is that nearly 90 percent of the rise in global food prices comes from factors other than biofuels.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Food, Biofuels, Ethanol
  • Political Geography: United States, Brazil, South America, North America
  • Author: David Berger, Jon Faust, John H. Rogers, Kai Steverson
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: We analyze retail prices and at-the-dock (import) prices of speciÖc items in the Bureau of Labor Statisticsí(BLS) CPI and IPP databases, using both databases simultaneously to identify items that are identical in description at the dock and when sold at retail. This identiÖcation allows us to measure the distribution wedge associated with bringing traded goods from the point of entry into the United States to their retail outlet. We Önd that overall U.S. distribution wedges are 50-70%, around 10 to 20 percentage points higher than that reported in the literature. We discuss the implications of this for measuring the size of the "pure" tradeables sector, exchange rate pass-through, and real exchange rate determination. We Önd that distribution wedges are very stable over time but there is considerable variation across items. There is some variation across the country of origin for the imported item, for our major trading partners, but not as much as the cross-item variation. We also investigate the determinants of distribution wedges, Önding that wedges do not vary systematically with exchange rates, but are related to other features of the micro data.
  • Topic: Economics, Exchange Rate Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Fang Cai, Hyunsoo Joo
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: This paper utilizes a unique high-frequency database to measure how exchange rates in nine emerging markets react to macroeconomic news in the U.S. and domestic economies from 2000 to 2006. We find that major U.S. macroeconomic news have a strong impact on the returns and volatilities of emerging market exchange rates, but many domestic news do not. Emerging market currencies have become more sensitive to U.S. news in recent years. We also find that market sentiment could sway the impact of news on these currencies systematically, as good (bad) news seems to matter more when optimism (pessimism) prevails. Market uncertainty also interacts with macroeconomic news in a statistically significant way, but its role varies across currencies and news.
  • Topic: Emerging Markets, Exchange Rate Policy, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Brahima Coulibaly, Trevon Logan
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: During Apartheid, there was little need for redistributional policies or to borrow for public works since the vast majority of the population was underserved. With the arrival of a representative democracy in 1994, however, South Africa faced a unique problem-- providing new and improved public services for the majority of its citizens while at the same time ensuring that filling this void would not undermine macroeconomic stability. Over the past fifteen years, policy makers have achieved macrostability, but progress on social needs has been below expectations and South Africa continues to lag behind its peers. This paper reviews the progress made so far and examines the challenges ahead for the upcoming administration. Our analysis suggest an increase in skill formation as a possible solution to the policy dilemma of fullfilling the outsized social demands while maintaining macrostability.
  • Topic: Apartheid, Economics, Political stability, Welfare
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Southern Africa