Liberty Street Economics
Liberty Street Economics
February 16, 2018

Just Released: Very Favorable Business Climate Indicated in February Business Leaders Survey



LSE_Just Released: Very Favorable Business Climate Indicated in February Business Leaders Survey

The region’s services sector continues to experience solid growth, according to the New York Fed’s February Business Leaders Survey. The survey’s business climate index reached a record high, and the activity, employment, and capital spending indexes were all fairly steady at high levels, indicating continued expansion. Firms were increasingly optimistic about future business conditions, and strong gains in employment were expected in the months ahead. Notably, price pressures picked up, with the prices paid index advancing to a level not seen since 2014, and the prices received measure reaching its highest mark in six years.

Posted by Blog Author at 8:45 AM in Regional Analysis | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

February 14, 2018

Landing a Jumbo Is Getting Easier



LSE_2018_Landing a Jumbo Is Getting Easier

The United States relies heavily on securitization for funding residential mortgages. But for institutional reasons, large mortgages, or “jumbos,” are more difficult to securitize, and are instead usually held as whole loans by banks. How does this structure affect the pricing and availability of jumbo mortgages? In this post we show that the supply of jumbo mortgages has improved in recent years as banks have become more willing to take on mortgage credit risk on their own balance sheets.

February 13, 2018

Just Released: Great Recession’s Impact Lingers in Hardest-Hit Regions



LSE_2018_Just Released: Great Recession’s Impact Lingers in Hardest-Hit Regions

The New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data today released our Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for the fourth quarter of 2017. Along with this report, we have posted an update of state-level data on balances and delinquencies for 2017. Overall aggregate debt balances increased again, with growth in all types of balances except for home equity lines of credit. In our post on the first quarter of 2017 we reported that overall balances had surpassed their peak set in the third quarter of 2008—the result of a slow but steady climb from several years of sharp deleveraging during the Great Recession.

February 12, 2018

Does More "Skin in the Game" Mitigate Bank Risk-Taking?



LSE_2018_Does More

It is widely said that a lack of “skin in the game” would distort lenders’ incentives and cause a moral hazard problem, that is, excessive risk‑taking. If so, does more skin in the game—in the form of extended liability—reduce bankers’ risk‑taking? In order to examine this question, we investigate historical data prior to the Great Depression, when bank owners’ liability for losses in the event of bank failure differed by state and primary regulator. This post describes our preliminary findings.

February 09, 2018

Hey, Economist! What Do Cryptocurrencies Have to Do with Trust?



LSE_Hey, Economist!  What Do Cryptocurrencies Have to Do with Trust?


Bitcoin and other “cryptocurrencies” have been much in the news lately, in part because of their wild gyrations in value. Michael Lee and Antoine Martin, economists in the New York Fed’s Money and Payment Studies function, have been following cryptocurrencies and agreed to answer some questions about digital money.

February 07, 2018

A DSGE Perspective on Safety, Liquidity, and Low Interest Rates



Third of three posts
LSE_A DSGE Perspective on Safety, Liquidity, and Low Interest Rates

The preceding two posts in this series documented that interest rates on safe and liquid assets, such as U.S. Treasury securities, have declined significantly in the past twenty years. Of course, short-term interest rates in the United States are under the control of the Federal Reserve, at least in nominal terms. So it is legitimate to ask, To what extent is this decline driven by the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy? This post addresses this question by coupling the results presented in the previous post with those obtained from an estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model.

February 06, 2018

A Time-Series Perspective on Safety, Liquidity, and Low Interest Rates



Second of three posts
LSE_A Time-Series Perspective on Safety, Liquidity, and Low Interest Rates

The previous post in this series discussed several possible explanations for the trend decline in U.S. real interest rates since the late 1990s. We noted that while interest rates have generally come down over the past two decades, this decline has been more pronounced for Treasury securities. The conclusion that we draw from this evidence is that the convenience associated with the safety and liquidity embedded in Treasuries is an important driver of the secular (long-term) decline in Treasury yields. In this post and the next, we provide an overview of the two complementary empirical strategies we adopt to extract the trends in real interest rates and quantify their driving factors. Much more detail on all of this can be found in our recently published Brookings paper.

February 05, 2018

A New Perspective on Low Interest Rates



First of three posts
LSE_A New Perspective on Low Interest Rates

Interest rates in the United States have remained at historically low levels for many years. This series of posts explores the forces behind the persistence of low rates. We briefly discuss some of the explanations advanced in the academic literature, and propose an alternative hypothesis that centers on the premium associated with safe and liquid assets. Our argument, outlined in a paper we presented at the Brookings Conference on Economic Activity last March, suggests that the increase in this premium since the late 1990s has been a key driver of the decline in the real return on U.S. Treasury securities.

February 02, 2018

New Report Assesses Structural Changes in Global Banking



LSE_2018_New Report Assesses Structural Changes in Global Banking

The Committee on the Global Financial System, made up of senior officials from central banks around the world and chaired by New York Fed President William Dudley, recently released a report on “Structural Changes in Banking after the Crisis.” The report includes findings from a wide-ranging study documenting the significant structural adjustments in banking systems around the world in response to regulatory, technological, and market changes after the crisis, while also assessing their implications for financial stability, credit provision, and capital markets activity. It includes a new banking database spanning over twenty-one countries from 2000 to 2016 that could serve as a valuable reference for further analysis. Overall, the study concludes that the changed regulatory and market environment since the crisis has led banks to alter their business models and balance sheets in ways that make them more resilient but also less profitable, while continuing their role as intermediaries providing financial services to the real economy.

January 17, 2018

Did Import Competition Boost Household Debt Demand?



LSE_Did Import Competition Boost Household Debt Demand?t

In the years preceding the Great Recession, the United States experienced a dramatic rise in household debt and an unprecedented increase in import competition. In a recent staff report, we outline a link between these two seemingly unrelated phenomena. We argue that the displacement of workers exposed to import competition fueled their demand for mortgage credit, which left many households more vulnerable to the eventual downturn in the housing market.

About the Blog
Liberty Street Economics features insight and analysis from New York Fed economists working at the intersection of research and policy. Launched in 2011, the blog takes its name from the Bank’s headquarters at 33 Liberty Street in Manhattan’s Financial District.

The editors are Michael Fleming, Andrew Haughwout, Thomas Klitgaard, and Donald Morgan, all economists in the Bank’s Research Group.

The views expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the New York Fed or the Federal Reserve System.


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