Liberty Street Economics
Look for our next post on June 1, 2016, following the Memorial Day weekend.
April 12, 2016

The Economics of Bank Supervision: So Much to Do, So Little Time



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While bank regulation and supervision are the two main components of banking policy, the difference between them is often overlooked and the details of supervision can appear shrouded in secrecy. In this post, which is based on a recent staff report, we provide a framework for thinking about supervision and its relation to regulation. We then use data on supervisory efforts of Federal Reserve bank examiners to describe how supervisory efforts vary by bank size and risk, and to measure key trade-offs in allocating resources.

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Financial Institutions | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

Just Released: Introducing the FRBNY Nowcast



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What is the weather today? You don’t need to be a meteorologist to answer this question. Just take a look outside the window. Macroeconomists do not have this luxury. The first official estimate of GDP this quarter will not be published until the end of July. In fact, we don’t even know what GDP was last quarter yet! But while we wait for these crucial data, we float in a sea of information on all aspects of the economy: employment, production, sales, inventories, you name it. . . . Processing this information to figure out if it is rainy or sunny out there in the economy is the bread and butter of economists on trading desks, at central banks, and in the media. Thankfully, recent advances in computational and statistical methods have led to the development of automated real-time solutions to this challenging big data problem, with an approach commonly referred to as nowcasting. This post describes how we apply these techniques here at the New York Fed to produce the FRBNY Nowcast, and what we can learn from it. It also serves as an introduction to our Nowcasting Report, which we will update weekly on our website starting this Friday, April 15.

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

April 11, 2016

Supervising Large, Complex Financial Institutions: Defining Objectives and Measuring Effectiveness



Supervising Large, Complex Financial Institutions: Defining Objectives and Measuring Effectiveness

Last month the New York Fed held a conference on supervising large, complex financial institutions. The event featured presentations of empirical and theoretical research by economists here, commentary by academic researchers, and panel discussions with policymakers and senior supervisors. The conference was motivated by the recognition that supervision is distinct from regulation, but that the difference between them is often not well understood. The discussion focused on defining objectives for supervising the large, complex financial companies that figure so prominently in our financial system and ways of measuring how effectively supervision achieves these goals. This post summarizes the key themes from the conference and introduces the more in-depth posts that will follow in this blog series.

Posted by Blog Author at 10:07 AM in Financial Institutions | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

Just Released: U.S. Economy in a Snapshot—More Data for More Charts



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We launched the U.S. Economy in a Snapshot in June 2015 to provide interested readers with a monthly update of current economic and financial developments. Combining charts and summary points, the packet covers a range of topics that include labor and financial markets, the behavior of consumers and firms, survey responses, and the global economy.

Posted by Blog Author at 10:05 AM in Financial Markets , Macroecon | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

April 08, 2016

Reconciling Survey- and Market-Based Expectations for the Policy Rate



Reconciling Survey- and Market-Based Expectations for the Policy Rate


In our previous post, we showed that the gap between the market-implied path for the federal funds rate and the survey-implied mean expectations for the federal funds rate from the Survey of Primary Dealers (SPD) and the Survey of Market Participants (SMP) narrowed from the December survey to the January survey. In particular, we provided explanations for this narrowing as well as for the subsequent widening from January to March. This post continues the discussion by presenting a novel approach called “tilting” that yields insights by measuring how much the survey probability distributions have to be altered to match the market-implied path of the federal funds rate. We interpret any discrepancy between the original and tilted distributions as arising from either risk premia or dispersion in beliefs.

April 07, 2016

How Do Survey- and Market-Based Expectations of the Policy Rate Differ?



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Over the past year, market pricing on interest rate derivatives linked to the federal funds rate has suggested a significantly lower expected path of the policy rate than responses to the New York Fed’s Survey of Primary Dealers (SPD) and Survey of Market Participants (SMP). However, this gap narrowed considerably from December 2015 to January 2016, before widening slightly at longer horizons in March. This post argues that the narrowing between December and January was mostly the result of survey respondents placing greater weight on lower rate outcomes, while the subsequent widening between January and March likely reflects an increased demand for insurance against states of the world where the policy rate remains at very low levels.

April 06, 2016

Bank Regulation and Bank Complexity



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U.S. Bank Holding Companies (BHCs) currently control about 3,000 subsidiaries that provide community housing services—such as building low-income housing units, maintaining shelters, and providing housing services to the elderly and disabled. This aspect of U.S. BHC activity is intriguing because it departs from the traditional deposit-taking and loan-making operations typically associated with banks. But perhaps most importantly, the sheer number of these subsidiaries makes one think about the organizational complexity of U.S. BHCs. This is an issue that has generated much discussion in recent years. In this post we describe the emergence and growth of community housing subsidiaries and discuss to what extent they contribute to the complexity of their parent organizations.

April 04, 2016

Are Stress Tests Still Informative?



Are Stress Tests Still Informative?

Since the height of the financial crisis, each year the Federal Reserve has disclosed the results of its stress tests, and stress testing has become “business as usual” in the U.S. banking industry. In this post, we assess whether market participants find supervisory stress test disclosures informative. After half a decade, do the disclosures still contain information that the market finds valuable?

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Financial Institutions | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

April 01, 2016

Hey, Economist! What Did You Make of “The Big Short”?



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The Big Short has been making a big splash this year, racking up five Academy Award nominations and taking home the Oscar for best adapted screenplay. The movie provides a very entertaining way to gain an understanding about some of the underpinnings of the financial crisis, particularly through a few memorable cutaway scenes—such as when actress Margot Robbie explains mortgage-backed securities (MBS) from a bubble bath, chef Anthony Bourdain compares collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) to seafood stew, and singer Selena Gomez explains synthetic CDOs using the analogy of “side bets” made by people watching a casino blackjack game.

March 30, 2016

The Effect of Exchange Rate Shocks on Domestic Prices



The Effect of Exchange Rate Shocks on Domestic Prices


Changes in exchange rates directly affect import prices. Since the beginning of 2014, the U.S. dollar has strengthened by 17 percent against the currencies of its major trading partners while import prices have fallen by 4 percent. The pass-through from exchange rates into import prices in the United States is estimated to be quite low, at around 30 percent, and this is often attributed to the fact that imports are mostly invoiced in U.S. dollars. In addition to this direct impact of exchange rates on import prices, there can also be an effect on domestic prices. Suppose that a stronger U.S. dollar means that cars imported from Japan will be cheaper for U.S. consumers. If domestic auto producers do not then reduce their U.S. prices they could lose market share. By how much do they adjust their prices? In this post, we draw on a new study—“International Shocks and Domestic Prices: How Large Are Strategic Complementarities?”—that uses micro-level data for Belgian firms to shed light on this question.

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

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