The intensity, duration, and frequency of flooding have increased over the past few decades. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 99 percent of U.S. counties have been impacted by a flooding event since 1999. As the frequency of flood events continues to increase, the number of people, buildings, and agriculture exposed to flood risk is only likely to grow. As a previous post points out, measuring the geographical accuracy of such risk is important and may impact bank lending. In this post, we focus on the distribution of flood risk within the Federal Reserve’s Second District and examine its effect on establishment location decisions over the last two decades.
In our previous post, we identified the degree to which flood maps in the Federal Reserve’s Second District are inaccurate. In this post, we use our data on the accuracy of flood maps to examine how banks lend in “inaccurately mapped” areas, again focusing on the Second District in particular. We find that banks are seemingly aware of poor-quality flood maps and are generally less likely to lend in such regions, thereby demonstrating a degree of flood risk management or risk aversion. This propensity to avoid lending in inaccurately mapped areas can be seen in jumbo as well as non-jumbo loans, once we account for a series of confounding effects. The results for the Second District largely mirror those for the rest of the nation, with inaccuracies leading to similar reductions in lending, especially among non-jumbo loans.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood maps, which designate areas at risk of flooding, are updated periodically through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and community efforts. Even so, many maps are several years old. As the previous two posts in the Extreme Weather series show, climate-related risks vary geographically. It is therefore important to produce accurate maps of such risks, like flooding. In this post we use detailed data on the flood risk faced by individual dwellings as well as digitized FEMA flood maps to tease out the degree to which flood maps in the Second District are inaccurate. Since inaccurate maps may leave households or banks exposed to the risk of uninsured flood damage, understanding map inaccuracies is key. We show that, when aggregated to the census tract level, a large number of maps do not fully capture flood risk. However, we are also able to show that updates do in fact improve map quality.
Climate change may pose two types of risk to the economy—from policies and consumer preferences as the energy system transitions to a lower dependence on carbon (in other words, transition risks) or from damages stemming from the direct impacts of climate change (physical risks). In this post, we follow up on our previous post that studied the exposure of the Federal Reserve’s Second District to physical risks by considering how transition risks affect different parts of the District and how they differentially affect the District relative to the nation. We find that, relative to other regions of the U.S., the economy of the Second District has considerably less exposure to fossil fuels. However, the cost of reducing even this relatively low economic dependence on carbon is still likely to be considerable.
In this post, we discuss the climate-related risks faced by the Federal Reserve’s Second District and compare these with risks faced by the nation as a whole. The comparison helps contextualize the risks while framing them in the broader context of a changing climate at the national level. We show that the continental Second District—an area consisting of New York State, the twelve northern-most counties of New Jersey, and Fairfield County in Connecticut—faces fewer and less severe climate-related physical risks than the nation as a whole. However, the areas that comprise the Second District still rank somewhat high in key risks that include “heat stress.” This holds true especially for New York City.
Blog Series on the Economic and Financial Impacts of Extreme Weather Events in the Fed’s Second District
The frequency and ferocity of extreme weather events, such as flooding, storms, and deadly heat waves, have been on the rise in recent years. These climate events, along with human adaption to cope with them, may have large effects on the economy and financial markets. It is therefore paramount to provide research about the economy’s vulnerability to climate events for policymakers, households, financial institutions, and other players in the world economy to make informed decisions. In the coming days, we are going to present a series of nine posts that attempt to take a step in this direction while focusing on the Federal Reserve System’s Second District (NY, northern NJ, southwest CT, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). The twelve Federal Reserve Districts are depicted in this map.
This morning, the New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data released the 2023:Q3 Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit. After only moderate growth in the second quarter, total household debt balances grew $228 billion in the third quarter across all types, especially credit cards and student loans. Credit card balances grew $48 billion this quarter and marked the eighth quarter of consecutive year-over year increases. The $154 billion nominal year-over-year increase in credit card balances marks the largest such increase since the beginning of our time series in 1999. The increase in balances is consistent with strong nominal spending and real GDP growth over the same time frame. But credit card delinquencies continue to rise from their historical lows seen during the pandemic and have now surpassed pre-pandemic levels. In this post, we focus on which groups have fallen behind on debt payments and discuss whether rising delinquencies are narrowly concentrated or broad based.
The bank failures that occurred in March 2023 highlighted how unrealized losses on securities can make banks vulnerable to a sudden loss of funding. This risk, which materialized following the rapid rise in interest rates that began in early 2022, underscores the importance of monitoring the vulnerabilities of the banking system. In this post, as in previous years, we provide an update of four analytical models aimed at capturing different aspects of vulnerability of the U.S. banking system, with data through the second quarter of 2023. In addition, we discuss changes made to the methodology based on the lessons from March 2023 and assess how the system-level vulnerability has evolved.