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The payment system benefits of high reserve balances
The policy measures taken since the financial crisis have greatly expanded the size of the Federal Reserve?s balance sheet and have thus raised the level of aggregate bank reserves as well. Over the same period there has been a significant shift in the timing of payments made over the Federal Reserve?s Fedwire Funds Service toward earlier settlement. This paper documents this timing change and presents regression results suggesting that the increase in overall reserve balances explains the vast majority of this development. The paper also discusses the benefits of high aggregate reserve ...
International Capital Flows: Private Versus Public Flows in Developing and Developed Countries
Empirically, net capital inflows are pro-cyclical in developed countries and counter-cyclical in developing countries. That said, private inflows are pro-cyclical and public in flows are counter-cyclical in both groups of countries. The dominance of private (public) in flows in developed (developing) countries drives the difference in total net inflows. We rationalize these patterns using a dynamic stochastic two-sector model of a small open economy facing borrowing constraints. Private agents over-borrow because of the pecuniary externality arising from constraints. The government saves ...
A New Reserves Regime? COVID-19 and the Federal Reserve Balance Sheet
Aggregate reserves declined from nearly $3 trillion in August 2014 to $1.4 trillion in mid-September 2019, as the Federal Reserve normalized its balance sheet. This decline came to a halt in September 2019 when the Federal Reserve responded to turmoil in short-term money markets, with reserves fluctuating around $1.6 trillion in the early months of 2020. Then, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve dramatically expanded its balance sheet, both directly, through outright purchases and repurchase agreements, and indirectly, as a consequence of the facilities to support market ...
Desk Operations: The New Normal
Remarks at the Annual Primary Dealer Meeting (delivered via videoconference).
Since the Financial Crisis, Aggregate Payments Have Co-moved with Aggregate Reserves. Why?
Fedwire Funds, a key payment system in the United States, is used by banks to wire money to one another throughout the day. Historically, the total value of payments sent over Fedwire has been roughly proportional to economic activity. Since the financial crisis, however, we have instead observed a strong co-movement between total payments and the level of aggregate reserves. This co-movement suggests that a fraction of every dollar of reserves created recirculates on a daily basis. In this post, we investigate why total payments, a flow variable driven by real and financial activity, would ...
Interest, Reserves, and Prices
We would like to propose a new framework for monetary policy analysis that encompasses, as a special case, the Neo-Wicksellian paradigm. A general form of an aggregate-demand equation reveals a role for liquidity, as well as less effective movements in future real rates with respect to current ones, in stimulating aggregate demand. The quantity of reserves and their interest rate both matter for determining inflation and economic activity.
The Rapidly Changing Nature of Japan’s Public Debt
Japan’s general government debt-to-GDP ratio is the highest of advanced economies, due in part to increased spending on social services for an aging population and a level of nominal GDP that has not increased for two decades. The interest rate payments from taxpayers on this debt are moderated by income earned on government assets and by low interest rates. One might think that the Bank of Japan’s purchases of government bonds would further ease the burden on taxpayers, with interest payments to the Bank of Japan on its bond holdings rebated back to the government. Merging the balance ...
Transcript of Lorie Logan on the Macro Musings Podcast
A closer look at monetary policy operations, the Fed’s new Standing Repo Facility, and the future of the Fed’s balance sheet.
Reserves Were Not So Ample After All
The Federal Reserve's “balance-sheet normalization,” which reduced aggregate reserves between 2017 and September 2019, increased repo rate distortions, the severity of rate spikes, and intraday payment timing stresses, culminating with a significant disruption in Treasury repo markets in mid-September 2019. We show that repo rates rose above efficient-market levels when the total reserve balances held at the Federal Reserve by the largest repo-active bank holding companies declined and that repo rate spikes are strongly associated with delayed intraday payments of reserves to these large ...
How Bank Reserves Are Distributed Matters. How You Measure Their Distribution Matters Too.
Changes in the distribution of banks’ reserve balances are important since they may impact conditions in the federal funds market and alter trading dynamics in money markets more generally. In this post, we propose using the Lorenz curve and Gini coefficient as a new approach to measuring reserve concentration. Since 2013, concentration, as captured by the Lorenz curve and the Gini coefficient, has co-moved with aggregate reserves, decreasing as aggregate reserves declined (such as in 2015-18) and increasing as aggregate reserves increased (such as at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic).