64 research outputs found

    The FOMC: preferences, voting, and consensus

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    In this paper, the author develops and uses an original dataset collected from the internal discussion of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy committee (the Federal Open Market Committee [FOMC] transcripts) to examine questions about the Committee's behavior. The data show that Chairman Alan Greenspan's proposals, after Committee discussion, were nearly always adopted unmodified in the formal vote. Despite the external appearance of consensus with little disagreement over decisions and an official dissent rate of 7.5 percent, the data reveal that the rate of disagreement in internal Committee discussions was quite high-on the order of 30 percent for discussions of the short-term interest rate. And, under the assumption that FOMC voters assigned a higher priority to their preferences for the short-term interest rate than for the bias in the policy directive, it can be shown that this bias was important for achieving consensus, which supports and extends the results of Thornton and Wheelock (2000). Thus, the novel dataset described in this paper helps to shed some light on the internal workings of the FOMC in the Greenspan years.Federal Open Market Committee ; Monetary policy

    Publicity of Debate and the Incentive to Dissent: Evidence from the US Federal Reserve

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    When central banks are transparent about their decision making, there may be clear benefits in terms ofcredibility, policy effectiveness, and improved democratic accountability. While recent literature has focusedon all of these advantages of transparency, in this paper we consider one potential cost: the possibility thatpublishing detailed records of deliberations will make members of a monetary policy committee more reluctantto offer dissenting opinions. Drawing on the recent literature on expert advisors with ¿career concerns¿, weconstruct a model that compares incentives for members of a monetary policy committee to voice dissent whendeliberations occur in public, and when they occur in private. We then test the implications of the model usingan original dataset based on deliberations of the Federal Reserve¿s Federal Open Market Committee, askingwhether the FOMC¿s decision in 1993 to begin releasing full transcripts of its meetings has altered incentivesfor participants to voice dissenting opinions. We find this to be the case with regard to both opinions on shortterminterest rates and on the ¿bias¿ for future policy.transparency, central banking, career concerns

    Regional Influences on U.S. Monetary Policy: Some Implications for Europe

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    This paper looks at the monetary policy decisions of the U.S. Federal Reserve and asks whether those decisions have been influenced solely by national concerns, or whether regional factors have played a role. All of the Federal Reserve's policymakers have some regional identity, i.e., either their positions explicitly carry some regional affiliation or their region of origin is a factor that must be considered in the selection process. This research is relevant for the Fed, and it may also be relevant for Europe's fledgling central bank in Frankfurt. Critics have asserted that ECB policymakers have an incentive to base policy on national developments and respond to national political pressures. We find that Fed policymakers do take into account developments in regional unemployment when deciding monetary policy, and that these regional developments are more important for central bankers at the hub than in the spokes. These findings are robust to a variety of different specifications of the voting equation.monetary policy, central banking

    International Aspects of Central Banking: Diplomacy and Coordination

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    Decidual-Secreted Factors Alter Invasive Trophoblast Membrane and Secreted Proteins Implying a Role for Decidual Cell Regulation of Placentation

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    Inadequate or inappropriate implantation and placentation during the establishment of human pregnancy is thought to lead to first trimester miscarriage, placental insufficiency and other obstetric complications. To create the placental blood supply, specialized cells, the ‘extravillous trophoblast’ (EVT) invade through the differentiated uterine endometrium (the decidua) to engraft and remodel uterine spiral arteries. We hypothesized that decidual factors would regulate EVT function by altering the production of EVT membrane and secreted factors. We used a proteomics approach to identify EVT membrane and secreted proteins regulated by decidual cell factors. Human endometrial stromal cells were decidualized in vitro by treatment with estradiol (10−8 M), medroxyprogesterone acetate (10−7 M) and cAMP (0.5 mM) for 14 days. Conditioned media (CM) was collected on day 2 (non-decidualized CM) and 14 (decidualized CM) of treatment. Isolated primary EVT cultured on Matrigel™ were treated with media control, non-decidualized or decidualized CM for 16 h. EVT CM was fractionated for proteins <30 kDa using size-exclusion affinity nanoparticles (SEAN) before trypsin digestion and HPLC-MS/MS. 43 proteins produced by EVT were identified; 14 not previously known to be expressed in the placenta and 12 which had previously been associated with diseases of pregnancy including preeclampsia. Profilin 1, lysosome associated membrane glycoprotein 1 (LAMP1), dipeptidyl peptidase 1 (DPP1/cathepsin C) and annexin A2 expression by interstitial EVT in vivo was validated by immunhistochemistry. Decidual CM regulation in vitro was validated by western blotting: decidualized CM upregulated profilin 1 in EVT CM and non-decidualized CM upregulated annexin A2 in EVT CM and pro-DPP1 in EVT cell lysate. Here, non-decidualized factors induced protease expression by EVT suggesting that non-decidualized factors may induce a pro-inflammatory cascade. Preeclampsia is a pro-inflammatory condition. Overall, we have demonstrated the potential of a proteomics approach to identify novel proteins expressed by EVT and to uncover the mechanisms leading to disease states
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