Liberty Street Economics
June 24, 2016

Just Released: May’s Indexes of Coincident Economic Indicators Show Economic Growth Moderating across the Region



LSE_Just Released: May’s Indexes of Coincident Economic Indicators Show Economic Growth Moderating across the Region

The May Indexes of Coincident Economic Indicators (CEIs) for New Jersey, New York State, and New York City, released today, show some slowing in economic growth across the region—in part reflecting the Verizon strike (which has since been settled), as well as somewhat weaker economic fundamentals. As shown in the chart below, New York City continues to be the strongest engine of growth in the region, by far, though there too, we have seen some deceleration.

Posted by Blog Author at 9:15 AM in Macroecon , Regional Analysis | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

June 22, 2016

The Rapidly Changing Nature of Japan’s Public Debt



LSE_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 sheets of the government and the Bank, however, shows that the asset purchase program alters the composition of public debt, with reserves in the banking system replacing government bonds, but not the amount of the debt taxpayers must pay interest on.

June 20, 2016

Risky Business: Government Mortgage Insurance Programs



Editors’ note: The column headings in the final table in this post have been corrected from an earlier version.

LSE_Risky Business: Government Mortgage Insurance Programs

Homeownership has long been a U.S. public policy goal. One of the many ways that the federal government subsidizes homeownership is through mortgage insurance programs operated by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the USDA’s Rural Housing Service (RHS). These programs facilitate home financing opportunities for first-time and low- and moderate-income homebuyers. Virtually all of these government-insured mortgages are securitized by Ginnie Mae, a government agency that guarantees the timely payment of principal and interest of these loans to investors that purchase the securities. That is, the U.S. taxpayers assume the credit risk on these mortgages. In this post, we assess the riskiness of these loans.

June 06, 2016

Is Health Insurance Good for Your Financial Health?



LSE_Is Health Insurance Good for Your Financial Health?

What is the purpose of health care? What is the purpose of health insurance? When people fall ill, they seek health care in order to get better. But insurance has a slightly different function: Its main role is not to protect our health per se, but to protect our finances. For most people, lifetime health expenditures are quite low. However, some people have enormous health costs owing to major illnesses or health conditions. And this is where health insurance comes in—its goal (like that of any other form of insurance) is to protect these individuals against large, and sometimes ruinous, health expenditures. Has the recent health reform served this purpose?

Posted by Blog Author at 10:00 AM in Household Finance | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

Just Released: Mapping the Differences in School Spending in New York City



LSE_Just Released: Mapping the Differences in School Spending in New York City

This morning, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a set of interactive visuals that present data on school spending and its various components—such as instructional spending, instructional support, leadership support, and building services spending—across all thirty-two community school districts (CSD) in New York City and map their progression over time. A key feature of these interactive visuals is that they present the data in two forms: as adjusted data, which control for student categories that receive differential funding from the City based on their needs, and as raw data that do not include this adjustment. The interactive features allow the user to easily view (and compare) the adjusted and raw data, to observe trends for different spending categories, and to compare spending profiles across community school districts for each form of data. Demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of each CSD can be viewed by clicking on the district of interest. Our purpose is to make data on education finance and education indicators more accessible to a broader audience, including education researchers.

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Education , Regional Analysis | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

June 03, 2016

At the N.Y. Fed: The Transatlantic Economy: Convergence or Divergence?



LSE_At the N.Y. Fed: The Transatlantic Economy: Convergence or Divergence?

On April 18, 2016, the New York Fed hosted a conference on current and future policy directions for the linked economies of Europe and the United States. "The Transatlantic Economy: Convergence or Divergence?"—organized jointly with the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the European Commission—brought together U.S. and Europe-based policymakers, regulators, and academics to discuss a series of important issues: Are the economies of the euro area and the United States on a convergent or divergent path? Are financial regulatory reforms making the banking and financial structures more similar? Will this imply a convergence in macroprudential policies? Which instruments do the United States and the euro area have at their disposal to raise investment, spur productivity, and avoid secular stagnation? In this post, we summarize the principal themes and findings of the conference discussion.

June 02, 2016

Just Released: 2016 SCE Housing Survey Shows Modest Decline in Home Price Expectations



LSE_2016 SCE Housing Survey Shows Modest Decline in Home Price Expectations

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s 2016 SCE Housing Survey indicates that home price growth expectations have declined somewhat relative to last year, but the majority of households still view housing as a good financial investment. Mortgage rate expectations have also declined since last year’s survey, and renters now perceive that it has become somewhat less difficult to get a mortgage if they wanted to buy a home.

Posted by Blog Author at 11:00 AM in Housing | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

June 01, 2016

Revisiting the Case for International Policy Coordination

Sushant Acharya, Ozge Akinci, Julien Bengui, and Bianca De Paoli

LSE_Revisiting the Case for International Policy Coordination

Prompted by the U.S. financial crisis and subsequent global recession, policymakers in advanced economies slashed interest rates dramatically, hitting the zero lower bound (ZLB), and then implemented unconventional policies such as large-scale asset purchases. In emerging economies, however, the policy response was more subdued since they were less affected by the financial crisis. As a result, capital flows from advanced to emerging economies increased markedly in response to widening interest rate differentials. Some emerging economies reacted by adopting measures to slow down capital inflows, acting under the presumption that these flows were harmful. This type of policy response has reignited the debate over how to moderate international spillovers.

May 25, 2016

The Macro Effects of the Recent Swing in Financial Conditions



Credit conditions tightened considerably in the second half of 2015 and U.S. growth slowed. We estimate the extent to which tighter credit conditions last year were responsible for the slowdown using the FRBNY DSGE model. We find that growth would have slowed substantially more had the Federal Reserve not delayed liftoff in the federal funds rate.

May 24, 2016

Just Released: Hints of Increased Hardship in America’s Oil-Producing Counties



LSE_Just Released: Hints of Increased Hardship in America’s Oil-Producing Counties

Today, the New York Fed released the Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for the first quarter of 2016. Overall debt saw one of its larger increases since deleveraging ended, while delinquency rates for the United States continued to improve and remain at very low levels. Although the overall picture of Americans’ liabilities has continued to improve since the financial crisis, we wondered what the variation looks like at local levels. One advantage of our Consumer Credit Panel (CCP), which is based on Equifax credit data, is that we can examine geographic variation in debt and delinquency rates. Here, we use the CCP to examine the borrowing and delinquency in oil-producing geographies in the United States, where the economic trends since the Great Recession have been very different from those in the rest of the country.

Posted by Blog Author at 11:05 AM in Household Finance , Housing | Permalink | Comments ( 5 )

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