“Cryptocurrency” hit the cultural mainstream in 2018. In March, Merriam-Webster added “cryptocurrency” to the dictionary, and in what was perhaps a greater litmus test of pop culture recognition, “bitcoin” was added to the official Scrabble dictionary in September. With such a surge in interest, it’s not too surprising that the most viewed post on Liberty Street Economics this past year focused on an issue surrounding how digital currencies operate that is not often put in the spotlight—trust. Similarly, as the subject of tariffs has become a more frequent topic of discussion in the news, readers have sought additional info, which fueled interest in another of our most viewed posts of the year. As 2019 approaches, we offer a chance to revisit these posts and the rest of our top five of 2018.
It’s long been known that asset prices respond not only to public information, such as macroeconomic announcements, but also to private information revealed through trading. More recently, with the growth of high-frequency trading, academics have argued that limit orders—orders to buy or sell a security at a specific price or better—also contain information. In this post, we examine the information content of trades and limit orders in the U.S. Treasury securities market, following this paper, recently published in the Journal of Financial Markets and earlier as a New York Fed staff report.
With the arrival of Bank President John Williams from the San Francisco Fed, we’re now running—and sharing the output of—models he helped develop to obtain estimates of the natural rate of interest, or r-star, for the United States and other advanced economies. In the models’ definition, r-star is the real interest rate that allows an economy to expand in line with its underlying potential while keeping inflation stable.
At today’s economic press briefing, we examined labor market conditions across our District, which includes New York State, Northern New Jersey, and Fairfield County, Connecticut, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. As the island economies continue to recover and rebuild from the destruction caused by last year’s hurricanes, employment has edged up in Puerto Rico and stabilized in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Meanwhile, as has been true throughout the expansion, New York City remains an engine of job growth, while employment gains have been more moderate in Northern New Jersey and fairly sluggish across most of upstate New York. Nonetheless, it has become more difficult for firms to find workers throughout the New York-Northern New Jersey region. It may not be terribly surprising that labor markets have tightened in and around New York City, where job growth has been strong, but labor markets have also tightened in parts of upstate New York, even in places where there has been little or no job growth. This is because labor markets are tightening as a result of changes in both labor demand and labor supply. In upstate New York, a decline in the labor force has reduced the pool of available workers.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released results today from its October 2018 SCE Credit Access Survey, which provides information on consumers’ experiences with and expectations about credit demand and credit access. The survey is fielded every four months and was previously fielded in June.