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63 posts on "Household Finance"

February 12, 2016

Just Released: Household Debt Grew Slowly in 2015 as Mortgage Balances Stayed Flat



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This morning, New York Fed President William Dudley spoke to the press about the growing resilience of the U.S. household sector. His speech was followed by a briefing by New York Fed economists on developments in household borrowing. Their presentation included a detailed decomposition on mortgage borrowing and payment trends, and some new research on how borrowing has evolved differently across age groups. Today, the New York Fed also released the Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for the fourth quarter of 2015. The report, the press briefing , and the following analysis are all based on the New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel, which is itself based on consumer credit data from Equifax.

Continue reading "Just Released: Household Debt Grew Slowly in 2015 as Mortgage Balances Stayed Flat" »

Posted by Blog Author at 10:05 AM in Household Finance, Housing | Permalink | Comments (1)

January 06, 2016

Hedging Income Fluctuations with Foreign Currency Assets



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The world has gone through a process of financial globalization over the past decades, with countries increasing their holdings of foreign assets and liabilities. At the same time, countries have started to have a more positive foreign currency exposure by reducing their bias toward holding assets in domestic currency instead of foreign currency. One possible reason for these changes is that nations view demand shocks as more likely than supply shocks. That is, a dip in output will be accompanied by lower inflation rather than higher inflation. Monetary policy responds to demand shocks by cutting interest rates and letting the domestic currency depreciate. As a consequence, shifting the currency composition of assets and liabilities to increase net foreign currency holdings is a hedging strategy to protect the country’s income and wealth during downturns.

Continue reading "Hedging Income Fluctuations with Foreign Currency Assets" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Household Finance, International Economics | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 05, 2016

Who is Driving the Recent Decline in Consumer Inflation Expectations?



Correction: In the right panel of the chart, “Mean Probability of Deflation in the SCE,” we have corrected the labels for the group earning less than $75k, which were initially transposed. We regret the error.

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The expectations of U.S. consumers about inflation have declined to record lows over the past several months. That is the finding of two leading surveys, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) and the University of Michigan’s Survey of Consumers (SoC). In this post, we examine whether this decline is broad-based or whether it is driven by specific demographic groups.

Continue reading "Who is Driving the Recent Decline in Consumer Inflation Expectations?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Household Finance, Macroecon | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 21, 2015

The Effect of Fed Funds Rate Hikes on Consumer Borrowing Costs



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The target federal funds rate has hovered around zero for nearly a decade, and observers are questioning what effect an increase could have on both the financial markets and the real economy. In this post, we examine the historical reaction of loan rates to target rate increases. Specifically, we examine the interest rates that banks offer on residential mortgages and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).

Continue reading "The Effect of Fed Funds Rate Hikes on Consumer Borrowing Costs" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Household Finance, Monetary Policy | Permalink | Comments (0)

November 19, 2015

Just Released: New and Improved Charts and Data on Auto Loans



Update (12.11.15): We added a link to the data used in our charts. See “Chart Data” below.

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Today, the New York Fed announced that household debt increased by a robust $212 billion in the third quarter of 2015. Both mortgage and auto loan originations increased, as auto originations reached a ten-year high and new mortgage lending appears to have finally recovered from the very low levels seen in the past year. This quarter, we’re introducing an improved estimate of auto loan originations, some new charts, and some fresh data on the auto loan market. The Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit and this analysis use our Consumer Credit Panel data, which is itself based on Equifax credit data.

Continue reading "Just Released: New and Improved Charts and Data on Auto Loans " »

Posted by Blog Author at 1:00 PM in Household Finance | Permalink | Comments (0)

November 16, 2015

Should Monetary Policy Respond to Financial Conditions?



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There’s an ongoing debate about whether policymakers should respond to financial conditions when setting monetary policy. An argument is often made that financial stability concerns are more appropriately dealt with by using regulatory and macroprudential tools. This post offers a theoretical justification for policymakers to monitor and possibly respond to financial conditions not because this would lessen concerns about financial stability but because this information helps reveal the state of the economy and the appropriate stance of monetary policy.

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Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Financial Markets, Household Finance, Monetary Policy | Permalink | Comments (0)

November 09, 2015

The New Overnight Bank Funding Rate



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The Federal Reserve Bank of New York will begin publishing the overnight bank funding rate (OBFR) sometime in the first few months of 2016. The OBFR will be a broad measure of U.S. dollar funding costs for U.S.-based banks as it will be calculated using both fed funds and Eurodollar transactions, as reported in a new data collection—the FR 2420 Report of Selected Money Market Rates. In a recent post, “The Eurodollar Market in the United States,” we described the Eurodollar activity of U.S.-based banks and compared recent fed funds and Eurodollar rates. Here, we look at the historical relationship between overnight fed funds and Eurodollars and compare the new OBFR rate to the fed funds rate.


Continue reading "The New Overnight Bank Funding Rate" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Financial Markets, Household Finance, Monetary Policy | Permalink | Comments (2)

November 05, 2015

How Did Quantitative Easing Interact with Regional Inequality?



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Income, or wealth, inequality is not something that central bankers generally worry about when setting monetary policy, the goals of which are to maintain price stability and promote full employment. Nevertheless, it is important to understand whether and how monetary policy affects inequality, and this topic has recently generated quite a bit of discussion and academic research, with some arguing that the Federal Reserve’s expansionary policy of recent years has exacerbated inequality (see, for instance, here or here), while others reach the opposite conclusion (see here or here). This disagreement can be attributed in part to the different channels through which expansionary monetary policy can affect inequality: its effect on asset prices would tend to increase inequality, while its effect on labor incomes and employment would likely decrease inequality. In this post, I study one particular channel through which Fed policies may have disparate effects—namely, mortgage refinancing—and I focus on dispersion across locations in the United States.

Continue reading "How Did Quantitative Easing Interact with Regional Inequality?" »

Trends in Debt Concentration in the United States By Income



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Household debt in the United States expanded before the Great Recession, contracted afterward, and has been recovering since 2013. But how has the distribution of debt across different income groups evolved over time? Who has been driving the recovery of household debt over the past two years?  To date, there has been little work on how borrowing patterns for high- and low-income individuals have changed over time, although one notable exception is Amromin and McGranahan. Here, using the New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel (CCP), a quarterly panel data set based on Equifax credit reports, we shed further light on these questions.


Continue reading "Trends in Debt Concentration in the United States By Income" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Household Finance | Permalink | Comments (1)

October 19, 2015

Reframing the Debate about Payday Lending



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Except for the ten to twelve million people who use them every year, just about everybody hates payday loans. Their detractors include many law professors, consumer advocates, members of the clergy, journalists, policymakers, and even the President! But is all the enmity justified? We show that many elements of the payday lending critique—their “unconscionable” and “spiraling” fees and their “targeting” of minorities—don’t hold up under scrutiny and the weight of evidence. After dispensing with those wrong reasons to object to payday lenders, we focus on a possible right reason: the tendency for some borrowers to roll over loans repeatedly. The key question here is whether the borrowers prone to rollovers are systematically overoptimistic about how quickly they will repay their loan. After reviewing the limited and mixed evidence on that point, we conclude that more research on the causes and consequences of rollovers should come before any wholesale reforms of payday credit.

Continue reading "Reframing the Debate about Payday Lending" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:02 AM in Household Finance | Permalink | Comments (19)
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