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15 posts from August 2020

August 27, 2020

Tracking the Spread of COVID-19 in the Region



Tracking the Spread of COVID-19 in the Region

The New York Fed today unveiled a set of charts that track COVID-19 cases in the Federal Reserve’s Second District, which includes New York, Northern New Jersey, Fairfield County Connecticut, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These charts, available in the Indicators section of our Regional Economy webpage, are updated daily with the latest data on confirmed COVID-19 cases from The New York Times, which compiles information from state and local health agencies. Case counts are measured as the seven-day average of new reported daily cases and are presented on a per capita basis to allow comparisons to the nation and between communities in the region. Recent data indicate that after spiking to extraordinary levels in April, new cases have remained relatively low and stable in and around New York City. Cases didn’t reach nearly as high in upstate New York, and have held fairly low in recent weeks. By contrast, cases have been trending higher in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands since mid-July.

Continue reading "Tracking the Spread of COVID-19 in the Region" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Crisis, New Jersey, New York, New York City, Pandemic, Regional Analysis | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 26, 2020

How Does the Liquidity of New Treasury Securities Evolve?



How Does the Liquidity of New Treasury Securities Evolve?

In a recent Liberty Street Economics post, we showed that the newly reintroduced 20-year bond trades less than other on-the-run Treasury securities and has similar liquidity to that of the more interest‑rate‑sensitive 30-year bond. Is it common for newly introduced securities to trade less and with higher transaction costs, and how does security trading behavior change over time? In this post, we look back at how liquidity evolved for earlier reintroductions of Treasury securities so as to gain insight into how liquidity might evolve for the new 20-year bond.

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

August 24, 2020

Explaining the Puzzling Behavior of Short-Term Money Market Rates



Since 2008, the Federal Reserve has dramatically increased the supply of bank reserves, effectively adopting a floor system for monetary policy implementation. Since then, the behavior of short-term money market rates has been at times puzzling. In particular, short-term rates have been surprisingly firm in recent months, despite the large increase in reserves by the Fed as a part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic. In this post, we provide evidence that both the supply of reserves and the supply of short-term Treasury securities are important factors for explaining short-term rates.

Continue reading "Explaining the Puzzling Behavior of Short-Term Money Market Rates" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Fed Funds, Federal Reserve, Liquidity, Treasury | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 20, 2020

Market Function Purchases by the Federal Reserve



Market Function Purchases by the Federal Reserve

In response to disorderly market conditions in mid-March 2020, the Federal Reserve began an asset purchase program designed to improve market functioning in the Treasury and agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) markets. The 2020 purchases have no parallel, but there are several instances of large SOMA purchases undertaken to support Treasury market functions in earlier decades. This post recaps three such episodes, one in 1939 at the start of World War II, one in 1958 in connection with a poorly received Treasury financing, and a third in 1970, also in connection with a Treasury financing. The three episodes, together with the more recent intervention, demonstrate the Fed’s long-standing and continuing commitment to the maintenance of orderly market functioning in markets where it conducts monetary policy operations—formerly limited to the Treasury market, but now also including the agency MBS market.

Continue reading "Market Function Purchases by the Federal Reserve" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Federal Reserve, Financial Markets, FOMC, Pandemic | Permalink | Comments (1)

August 19, 2020

Debt Relief and the CARES Act: Which Borrowers Face the Most Financial Strain?



Debt Relief and the CARES Act: Which Borrowers Face the Most Financial Strain?

In yesterday's post, we studied the expected debt relief from the CARES Act on mortgagors and student debt borrowers. We now turn our attention to the 63 percent of American borrowers who do not have a mortgage or student loan. These borrowers will not directly benefit from the loan forbearance provisions of the CARES Act, although they may be able to receive some types of leniency that many lenders have voluntarily provided. We ask who these borrowers are, by age, geography, race and income, and how does their financial health compare with other borrowers.

Continue reading "Debt Relief and the CARES Act: Which Borrowers Face the Most Financial Strain?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Credit, Demographics, Household Finance, Inequality, Pandemic | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 18, 2020

Debt Relief and the CARES Act: Which Borrowers Benefit the Most?



Debt Relief and the CARES Act: Which Borrowers Benefit the Most?

COVID-19 and associated social distancing measures have had major labor market ramifications, with massive job losses and furloughs. Millions of people have filed jobless claims since mid-March—6.9 million in the week of March 28 alone. These developments will surely lead to financial hardship for millions of Americans, especially those who hold outstanding debts while facing diminishing or disappearing wages. The CARES Act, passed by Congress on April 2, 2020, provided $2.2 trillion in disaster relief to combat the economic impacts of COVID-19. Among other measures, it included mortgage and student debt relief measures to alleviate the cash flow problems of borrowers. In this post, we examine who could benefit most (and by how much) from various debt relief provisions under the CARES Act.

Continue reading "Debt Relief and the CARES Act: Which Borrowers Benefit the Most?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Demographics, Education, Household Finance, Housing, Inequality, Mortgages, Recession, Regulation, Student Loans | Permalink | Comments (2)

August 17, 2020

Are Financially Distressed Areas More Affected by COVID-19?



Editor’s note: When this post was first published, the columns in the second table were mislabeled; the table has been corrected. (August 19, 9:30 a.m.)

Are Financially Distressed Areas More Affected by COVID-19?

Building upon our earlier Liberty Street Economics post, we continue to analyze the heterogeneity of COVID-19 incidence. We previously found that majority-minority areas, low-income areas, and areas with higher population density were more affected by COVID-19. The objective of this post is to understand any differences in COVID-19 incidence by areas of financial vulnerability. Are areas that are more financially distressed affected by COVID-19 to a greater extent than other areas? If so, this would not only further adversely affect the financial well-being of the individuals in these areas, but also the local economy. This post is the first in a three-part series looking at heterogeneity in the credit market as it pertains to COVID-19 incidence and CARES Act debt relief.

Continue reading "Are Financially Distressed Areas More Affected by COVID-19?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Crisis, Demographics, Education, Household Finance, Inequality, Mortgages, Pandemic, Student Loans | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 13, 2020

The Disproportionate Effects of COVID-19 on Households with Children



LSE_2020_covid-households-kids_van-der-klaauw_460

A growing body of evidence points to large negative economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on low-income, Black, and Hispanic Americans (see this LSE post and reports by Pew Research and Harvard). Beyond the consequences of school cancellations and lost social interactions, there exists considerable concern about the long-lasting effects of economic hardship on children. In this post, we assess the extent of the underlying economic and financial strain faced by households with children living at home, using newly collected data from the monthly Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE).

Continue reading "The Disproportionate Effects of COVID-19 on Households with Children" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Crisis, Household, Household Finance, Inequality, Pandemic | Permalink | Comments (3)

August 12, 2020

Token- or Account-Based? A Digital Currency Can Be Both



LSE_2020_bitcoin_martin_460

Digital currencies, including potential central bank digital currencies (CBDC), have generated a lot of interest over the past decade, since the emergence of Bitcoin. The interest has only grown in recent months because of a desire for contactless payment methods, stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. In this post, we discuss a common distinction made between “token-based” and “account-based” digital currencies. We show that this distinction is problematic because Bitcoin and many other digital currencies satisfy both definitions.

Continue reading "Token- or Account-Based? A Digital Currency Can Be Both" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Cryptocurrencies, Currency | Permalink | Comments (6)

August 10, 2020

Implications of the COVID-19 Disruption for Corporate Leverage



Editor’s note: When this post was first published, the table showed incorrect figures for the Professional/Business Services industry; the table has been corrected. (August 10, 10:20 a.m.)

Implications of the COVID-19 Disruption for Corporate Leverage

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant economic disruptions among U.S. corporations. In this post, we study the preliminary impact of these disruptions on the cash flow and leverage of public U.S. corporations using public filings through April 2020. We find that the pandemic had a negative impact on cash flow while also reducing corporations’ interest expenses. However, the cash flow shock far outpaced the benefits of lower interest payments, especially in industries that were disproportionately levered. Looking ahead, we find that a sizable share of U.S. corporations have interest expense greater than cash flow, raising concerns about the ability of those corporations to endure further liquidity shocks.

Continue reading "Implications of the COVID-19 Disruption for Corporate Leverage" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Bank Capital, Pandemic | Permalink | Comments (0)

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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.

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