Even when banks face acute liquidity shortages, they often appear reluctant to borrow at the New York Fed’s discount window (DW) out of concern that such borrowing may be interpreted as a sign of financial weakness. This phenomenon is often called “DW stigma.” In this post, we explore possible reasons why banks may feel such stigma.
January 15, 2014
January 13, 2014
One of the main missions of central banks is to act as a lender of last resort to the banking system. In the United States, the Federal Reserve has relied on the discount window (DW) for nearly a century to fulfill this task. Historically, however, the DW has been little used even when banks may have faced acute liquidity shortages, a phenomenon commonly attributed to stigma. In this post, we show that during the last financial crisis banks were willing to pay large premia to avoid borrowing from the DW, suggesting that DW stigma is an economically important phenomenon.
January 10, 2014
James Narron and David Skeie
Convicted murderer and millionaire gambler John Law spotted an opportunity to leverage paper money and credit to finance trade. He first proposed the concept in Scotland in 1705, where it was rejected. But by 1716, Law had found a new audience for his ideas in France, where he proposed to the Duke of Orleans his plan to establish a state bank, at his own expense, that would issue paper money redeemable at face value in gold and silver. At the time, Law’s Banque Generale was one of only six such banks to have issued paper money, joining Sweden, England, Holland, Venice, and Genoa. Things didn’t turn out exactly as Law had hoped, and in this edition of Crisis Chronicles we meet the South Sea’s lesser-known cousin, the Mississippi Bubble.
January 08, 2014
Beverly Hirtle and Anna Kovner
Stress tests are important tools for assessing whether financial institutions have enough capital to operate in bad economic conditions. In addition to being useful for understanding capital weaknesses at individual firms, coordinated stress tests can also provide insight into the vulnerabilities facing the banking industry as a whole. In this post, we look at 2013 stress test projections made by eighteen large U.S. bank holding companies under the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and compare them with supervisory projections made by the Federal Reserve to see if the two sets of projections identify similar vulnerabilities and risks for the banking system.
January 06, 2014
Marco Cipriani, Paola Giuliano, and Olivier Jeanne
Economic research shows that differences in cultural traits and values—for example, trust, or the propensity to cooperate and not free-ride on others—are important determinants of economic outcomes, such as growth, economic and financial development, and international trade. It’s much less clear, however, where these differences in economic-relevant values come from. While economists generally assume that they’re transmitted from parents to children, the empirical evidence to this effect is almost nonexistent.
December 30, 2013
December 23, 2013
Marco Cipriani, Antoine Martin, and Bruno Maria Parigi
Since the financial crisis of 2007-09—and, in particular, the run on prime money market funds (MMFs) in September 2008—policymakers have been concerned that the funds’ fragility may render banks themselves more susceptible to risk. For instance, in a recent article and speech arguing in favor of MMF reform, New York Fed President Bill Dudley stated that MMF fragility may contribute to financial market systemic risk. The idea that the susceptibility of MMFs to runs may make the financial system more unstable seems intuitive, but is it correct? In this post, we show that the idea isn’t only intuitively appealing, it’s also sound from an economic theory standpoint: MMF fragility is indeed a concern for the stability of the banking system and a contributing factor to financial market systemic risk.
The Grinch (from the Dr. Seuss children’s book) and Santa are often invoked to describe what’s happening with consumer spending around the holidays. If consumers are able to spend more, then Santa’s responsible. But if they’re unable to spend more, then they’re forced to be more penny-pinching (which isn’t like the Grinch really, but more like Scrooge; either way, there’s the sense of Christmas being ruined).
December 09, 2013
Gara Afonso, Alex Entz, and Eric LeSueur
The federal funds market plays an important role in the implementation of monetary policy. In our previous post, we examine the lending side of the fed funds market and the decline in total fed funds volume since the onset of the financial crisis. In today’s post, we discuss the borrowing side of this market and the interesting role played by foreign banks.
December 06, 2013
Olivier Armantier, Giorgio Topa, Wilbert van der Klaauw, and Basit Zafar
Note: We aren’t releasing the underlying data yet, but we’ll be making them available to the public sometime in first-quarter 2014. So please stay tuned.
In this fourth and final post in our series describing the new FRBNY Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE), we present the final component of the survey, dedicated to household finance. The information collected in the SCE on household income, spending, and access to credit will provide a real-time picture of U.S. households’ situation and perceptions as well as rich and unique data for use by policymakers, researchers, and the public. While other surveys, such as the triennial Survey of Consumer Finances, provide data on the finances of U.S. families, few data sources provide timely information on such a broad set of outcomes.