584 research outputs found

    U.S. Macroeconomic Policy and Performance in the 1980s: An Overview

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    This piper provides an overview of U.S. macroeconomic policy and performance in the 1980s by first outlining the behavior of key economic variables and then discussing the policies that have affected these variables. After gaining some insight into the interaction between these policies and macroeconomic performance, it then goes on to examine where macro policy and the U.S. economy may be heading in the next several years.

    Financial stability and the Macroeconomy

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    This paper surveys the causes and macroeconomic consequences of financial instability. It emphasizes the key role of asymmetric information in causing financial instability and explores several recent instances of financial crises in industrial and emerging market countries. The paper then discusses the appropriate macroeconomic policies to reduce the risk of financial instability and to promote recovery from financial crises, if they have occurred. It argues that Central Banks should be just as concerned with financial stability as with price stability. It emphasizes that financial stability is by no means incompatible with the goal of price stability. In fact, price stability can promote financial stability since it leads to longer duration debt contracts and a sounder currency.

    Does inflation targeting matter? - commentary

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    Inflation (Finance) ; Monetary policy

    Can Futures Market Data Be Used to Understand the Behavior of Real Interest Rates?

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    Understanding the behavior of real interest rates is a central issue in monetary/macro economics. Recently researchers have begun to use futures market data to examine real interest rate behavior. Futures market data can be used to directly construct own-commodity real interest rates ? i.e., the ex-ante real return on a bond in terms of specific commodities -- and then the own-commodity real rates can be used to make inferences about the real interest rate for the aggregate economy, This paper examines whether futures market data can be used to understand the behavior of real interest rates. The conclusion is a negative one: Futures market data do not appear to be particularly informative about real interest rates. In coming to this conclusion, the paper examines the data in several ways. First. the ex-ante relative price movement embedded in the own-commodity real rates (the noise) is calculated to be on the order of over one hundred times more variable than the aggregate real interest rate (the signal), Own-commodity real rates are thus unlikely to contain much information about the aggregate real interest rate. Second. several widely accepted facts about the behavior of aggregate real interest rates in the 1960s are not at all evident in the own-commodity real rate data. Thus, analysis of own- commodity real rates provides a misleading impression of aggregate real rate movements for a period which displays the most striking movements of real interest rates in the postwar period. Finally, an econometric analysis of own-commodity real rate behavior fails to find evidence of a shift in the behavior of real interest rates when the monetary policy regime changes in October 1579, a finding that is at odds with previous strong findings in the literature.

    International Experiences With Different Monetary Policy Regimes

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    In recent years a growing consensus has emerged for price stability as the overriding, long run goal of monetary policy. However, despite this consensus, the following question still remains: how should monetary policy be conducted to achieve the price stability goal? This paper examines the experience with different monetary policy regimes currently in use in a number of countries to shed light on this question.inflation targeting; monetary policy;

    Consumer Sentiment and Spending on Consumer Durables

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    macroeconomics, consumer

    Anatomy of a Financial Crisis

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    This paper provides an asymmetric information framework for understanding the nature of financial crises. It provides the following precise definition of a financial crisis: A financial crisis is a disruption to financial markets in which adverse selection and moral hazard problems become much worse, so that financial markets are unable to efficiently channel funds to those who have the most productive investment opportunities. As a result, a financial crisis can drive the economy away from an equilibrium with high output in which financial markets perform well to one in which output declines sharply. The asymmetric information framework explains the patterns in the data and many features of these crises which are otherwise hard to explain. It indicates that financial crises have effects over and above those resulting from bank panics and therefore provides a rationale for an expanded lender-of-last resort role for the central bank in which the central bank uses the discount window to provide liquidity to sectors outside of the banking system.

    What Does the Term Structure Tell Us About Future Inflation?

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    This paper examines empirically what the term structure of interest rates tells us about future inflation. The evidence indicates that the information in the term structure about the future path of inflation is quite different at the shortest end of the term structure (maturities six months or less) than it is for maturities of nine to twelve months. For maturities of six months or less, in all the sample periods examined -- February 1964 to December 1986, 1964 to October 1979, November 1979 to October 1982, November 1982 to December 1986 -- the term structure provides almost no information about the future path of inflation. On the other hand at this end of the term structure, the results do indicate that the term structure of nominal interest rates contain a great deal of information about the term structure of real interest rates. This finding is quite important because it suggests that researchers can examine observable data on the shortest end of the nominal term structure to provide them with information about the behavior of the real term structure. For maturities of nine and twelve months, the term structure does appear to contain information about the future path of inflation in the full sample period and in the sub-periods before October 1982. At these longer maturities, however, there does not appear to be much information in the nominal term structure about the term structure of real interest rates. The evidence in this paper suggests that some caution should be exercised in using the term structure of interest rates as a guide for assessing inflationary pressures in the economy, as is currently under consideration by the Federal Reserve. Although there is apparently significant information in the term structure about the future path of inflation for maturities greater than six months, there is no information about the future path of inflation that can be obtained from the shorter end of the term structure.
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