Liberty Street Economics
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May 19, 2016

Just Released: Presenting U.S. Economy in a Snapshot at Our Economic Press Briefing



LSE_Just Released: Presenting U.S. Economy in a Snapshot at Our Economic Press Briefing


Monitoring the economic and financial landscape is a difficult task. Part of the challenge stems from simply having access to data. Even if this requirement is met, there is the issue of identifying the key economic data releases and financial variables to focus on among the vast number of available series. It is also critical to be able to interpret movements in the data and to know their implications for the economy. Since last June, New York Fed research economists have been helping on this front, by producing U.S. Economy in a Snapshot, a series of charts and commentary capturing important economic and financial developments. At today’s Economic Press Briefing, we took reporters covering the Federal Reserve through the story of how and why the Snapshot is produced, and how it can be helpful in understanding the U.S. economy.

Posted by Blog Author at 10:30 AM in Macroecon , Monetary Policy | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

May 18, 2016

International Evidence on the Use and Effectiveness of Macroprudential Policies



LSE_International Evidence on the Use and Effectiveness of Macroprudential Policies

In recent years, policymakers in advanced and emerging economies have employed a variety of macroprudential policy tools—targeted rules or requirements that enhance the stability of the financial system as a whole by addressing the interconnectedness of individual financial institutions and their common exposure to economic risk factors. To examine the foreign experience with these tools, we constructed a novel macroprudential policy (MAPP) index. This index allows us to quantify the effects of these policies on bank credit and house prices, two variables that are often the target of policymakers because of their links to boom-bust leverage cycles. We then used the index in the empirical analysis to measure the effectiveness of these policies in emerging market countries and advanced economies. Our estimates suggest that macroprudential tightening can significantly reduce credit growth and house price appreciation.

May 16, 2016

Did the Supervisory Guidance on Leveraged Lending Work?



LSE_Did the Supervisory Guidance on Leveraged Lending Work?

Financial regulatory agencies issued guidance intended to curtail leveraged lending—loans to firms perceived to be risky—in March of 2013. In issuing the guidance, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation highlighted several facts that were reminiscent of the mortgage market in the years preceding the financial crisis: rapid growth in the volume of leveraged lending, increased participation by unregulated investors, and deteriorating underwriting standards. Our post shows that banks, in particular the largest institutions, cut leveraged lending while nonbanks increased such lending after the guidance. During the same period of time, nonbanks increased their borrowing from banks, possibly to finance their growing leveraged lending activity.

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Financial Institutions | Permalink | Comments ( 2 )

May 13, 2016

Crisis Chronicles: Gold, Deflation, and the Panic of 1893



LSE_Crisis Chronicles: Gold, Deflation, and the Panic of 1893

In the late 1800s, a surge in silver production made a shift toward a monetary standard based on gold and silver rather than gold alone increasingly attractive to debtors seeking relief through higher prices. The U.S. government made a tentative step in this direction with the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, an 1890 law requiring the Treasury to significantly increase its purchases of silver. Concern about the United States abandoning the gold standard, however, drove up the demand for gold, which drained the Treasury’s holdings and created strains on the financial system’s liquidity. News in April 1893 that the government was running low on gold was followed by the Panic in May and a severe depression involving widespread commercial and bank failures.

May 11, 2016

Household Consumption Mobility over the Life-Cycle



Editors’ note: The y-axis labels on the charts in this post have been corrected to read “Share,” rather than “Percent.”

LSE_2016_consumption-mobility_dussault_460_art

Commonly used metrics of inequality and mobility attempt to capture how household (or individual) income compares to the rest of the population and how persistent that income is over the life cycle. It can be helpful to think of the income distribution as a ladder—each household is a rung, ranked by its level of income. If household income rankings remain constant over time, this could indicate a low level of mobility in a society. However, income only constitutes one aspect of overall well-being. Another crucial, and potentially more appropriate, dimension is consumption expenditures—how much do people spend on goods and services? In many ways, consumption can be thought of as a proxy for quality of life, since what a household buys says a lot about its access to the necessities of life. Therefore, the analysis of consumption expenditures mobility constitutes a crucial dimension of mobility.

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

May 09, 2016

The Turnaround in Private and Public Financial Outflows from China



LSE_2016_china-reserves_klitgaard_460_art

China lends to the rest of the world because it saves much more than it needs to fund its high level of physical investment spending. For years, the public sector accounted for this lending through the Chinese central bank’s purchase of foreign assets, but this changed in 2015. The country still had substantial net financial outflows, but unlike in previous years, more private money was pouring out of China than was flowing in. This shift in private sector behavior forced the central bank to sell foreign assets so that the sum of net private and public outflows would equal the saving surplus at prevailing exchange rates. Explanations for this turnaround by private investors include lower returns on domestic investment spending and a less optimistic outlook for China’s currency.


May 06, 2016

Historical Echoes: Echoes, Schmechoes, This Post Only Has a Drop of History in It



LSE_2016_he-fed-scmed_farber_460b_art

You might hear: “Economy eschmonomy.” Another possibility is: “Economy schmeconomy.” This phenomenon of repeating a word with the prefix shm- (or sometimes “schm-”), is called shm-reduplication. It challenges the relevance and sometimes the value of the repeated word, and examples can be found in articles like this Newsday clip “The High End: Economy, shmeconomy — the rich still travel.”

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

May 05, 2016

Borrowing, Lending, and Swapping Collateral in GCF Repo®



Borrowing, Lending, and Swapping Collateral in GCF Repo®

In the third post in this series, we examined GCF Repo® traders’ end-of-day strategies. In this final post, we further our understanding of dealers’ behavior by looking at their trading pattern within the day.

May 04, 2016

Why Dealers Trade in GCF Repo®



LSE_2016_GCF-repo-series-3_460_art


In this post, the third in a series on GCF Repo®, we describe dealers’ trading strategies. We show that most dealers exhibit highly regular strategies, using the GCF Repo service either to borrow or to lend, on net, on almost all the days in which they are active. Moreover, dealers’ strategies are highly persistent over time: Dealers that use GCF Repo to borrow (or to lend) in a given quarter are highly likely to continue to do so in the following quarter. Understanding how dealers trade in the GCF Repo market may provide insight about the role of the repo market more generally and about how recent regulations and market reforms can affect dealers’ trading strategies.

May 03, 2016

Understanding the Interbank GCF Repo® Market



LSE_2016_GCF-repo-series-2_460_art

In this post, we provide a different perspective on the General Collateral Finance (GCF) Repo® market. Instead of looking at the market as a whole, as we did in our previous post , or breaking it down by type of dealer, as we did in this primer, we disaggregate interbank activity by clearing bank and by collateral class. This perspective highlights the most traded collateral and the extent to which dealers at a clearing bank are net borrowers or net lenders. This view of the market is informative given the proposed changes announced recently by the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation.


Posted by Blog Author at 7:05 AM in Financial Markets | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

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