Assessing the Impact of Central Bank Digital Currency on Private Banks
I investigate the theoretical impact of central bank digital currency (CBDC) on a monopolistic banking sector. The framework combines the Diamond (1965) model of government debt with the Klein (1971) and Monti (1972) model of banking. There are two main results. First, the introduction of interest-bearing CBDC increases financial inclusion, diminishing the demand for physical cash. Second, while interest-bearing CBDC reduces monopoly profit, it need not disintermediate banks in any way. CBDC may, in fact, lead to an expansion of bank deposits if CBDC competition compels banks to raise their ...
The Blockchain Revolution: Decoding Digital Currencies
Cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance have grown considerably since the publication of the white paper on bitcoin in 2009. This article presents an overview of cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, and their applications, explaining the spirit of the enterprise and how it compares with traditional operations. We discuss money, digital money, and payments; cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and the double-spending problem of digital money; decentralized finance; and central bank digital currency.
Monetary policy regimes and beliefs
Recent monetary history has been characterized by monetary authorities that appear to shift periodically between distinct policy regimes associated with higher or lower average rates of money creation. As policy regimes are not directly observable and as the rate of monetary expansion varies for reasons other than regime changes, the general public must form beliefs over current monetary policy based on historical realizations of money growth rates. Depending on the parameters governing the behaviour of monetary policy, beliefs (and therefore inflation forecasts) may evolve very slowly in ...
Reconciling Orthodox and Heterodox Views on Money and Banking
A wide range of heterodox theories claim that banks are special because they create money in the act of lending. Put another way, banks can create the funding they need ex nihilo, whereas all other agencies must first acquire the funding they need from other parties. Mainstream economic theory largely agrees with this assessment, but questions its theoretical and empirical relevance, preferring to view banks as one of many potentially important actors in the financial market. In this paper, I develop a formal economic model in an attempt to make these ideas precise. The model lends some ...
Quantitative easing in Japan: past and present
Inflation expectations in Japan have recently risen above their historical average.
Liquidity shocks, real interest rates, and global imbalances
The author uses a simple neoclassical model to show how liquidity shocks at home and abroad can contribute to trade imbalances and low real interest rates. The author?s interpretation is consistent with Bernanke?s (2005) ?global saving glut? hypothesis.
Many moving parts: the latest look inside the U.S. labor market
The U.S. economy has gained roughly 2.8 million jobs since early 2010. That may be cold comfort, considering that more than 8 million jobs have been lost since the recession began. The Federal Reserve has lowered its policy rate as far as it can go, and the economy is flush with liquidity. Yet the unemployment rate remains persistently high. From policymakers to private citizens, the debate continues over what to do to help the labor market adjust. Disagreements stem, in part, from the complicated nature of the labor market itself. There are many moving parts, and the authors examine several ...
Hot Money for a Cold Economy
What is the theoretical justification for taxing unspent money transfers in a recession? To examine this question, I study a model economy where fiat money is necessary as a medium of exchange and, incidentally, serves as a store of value. This latter property is shown to open the door to business cycles and depressions driven entirely by speculation. Unconditional money transfers do not guarantee escape from a psychologically-induced depression. I demonstrate how money transfers subject to a short expiration date do eliminate speculative equilibria. This hot money policy compares favorably ...
Bank runs without sequential service
Banking models in the tradition of Diamond and Dybvig (1983) rely on sequential service to explain belief driven runs. But the run-like phenomena witnessed during the financial crisis of 2007-08 occurred in the wholesale shadow banking sector where sequential service is largely absent. This suggests that something other than sequential service is needed to help explain runs. We show that in the absence of sequential service runs can easily occur whenever bank-funded investments are subject to increasing returns to scale consistent with available evidence. Our framework is used to understand ...
On the social cost of transparency in monetary economies
I study a class of models commonly used to motivate monetary exchange, extended to include a physical asset whose expected short-run return is subject to exogenous news events, but whose expected long-run return is independent of this information. I show that there are circumstances in which the nondisclosure of news by an asset manager is welfare-improving. When nondisclosure is infeasible, the framework admits a role for government debt. The theory is used to interpret the nondisclosure practices of reputable financial agencies and suggests caveats for legislation designed to promote ...