The Federal Reserve Bank of New York works to promote sound and well-functioning financial systems and markets through its provision of industry and payment services, advancement of infrastructure reform in key markets and training and educational support to international institutions.
In the 1600s, a stream flowed near the land now occupied by
the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, running all the way to the East River. At
that time, maidens followed a footpath to the stream’s banks to wash laundry in
its fresh water, earning the path the name Maidens’ Path (or in Dutch—Maagde Paatje). When the English arrived
in 1664, the name of the street changed to Maiden Lane. As New York City
expanded beyond its downtown origins over the years, city planners covered over
the stream—but the street’s name stuck.
Today, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York begins releasing its monthly survey of regional business activity, called the Business Leaders Survey. This survey is a close cousin of our Empire State Manufacturing Survey, with some differences. The Business Leaders Survey covers the service sector rather than the manufacturing sector, and its respondents come from New York, northern New Jersey, and southwestern Connecticut, instead of just New York State. This new monthly release will provide another timely regional indicator to help gauge both local and national business cycles, and it will be available well before hard economic data on the region from other sources become available. In this post, we show that data from the survey, which have been collected monthly since 2004, provided some early signals about the most recent recession and recovery, at both the national and regional levels. The January 2014 survey points to continued modest growth in service-sector activity in the region, coupled with increasingly widespread optimism about future conditions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Asani Sarkar, all economists in the Bank’s Research Group.
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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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