Liberty Street Economics
February 10, 2016

Further Analysis of Corporate Bond Market Liquidity



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Our earlier analyses from last October and earlier in this series looked at market liquidity measures averaged across all corporate bonds or broad sub-groups of corporate bonds. Commentators have pointed out that such broad averages might mask important differences among narrower sub-groups of bonds and that relatively illiquid bonds, in particular, have suffered the largest reductions in liquidity. In this post, we consider these arguments by examining how corporate bond market liquidity has changed over time depending on the size and credit rating of the issue.

February 09, 2016

Corporate Bond Market Liquidity Redux: More Price-Based Evidence



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In a recent post, we presented some preliminary evidence suggesting that corporate bond market liquidity is ample. That evidence relied on bid-ask spread and price impact measures. The findings generated significant discussion, with some market participants wondering about the magnitudes of our estimates, their robustness, and whether such measures adequately capture recent changes in liquidity. In this post, we revisit these measures to more thoroughly document how they have varied over time and the importance of particular estimation approaches, trade size, trade frequency, and the dichotomy between investment-grade and high-yield bonds.

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Financial Markets | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

February 08, 2016

Has MBS Market Liquidity Deteriorated?



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Mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by the government-backed entities Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae, or so-called “agency MBS,” are the primary funding source for U.S. residential housing. A significant deterioration in the liquidity of the MBS market could lead investors to demand a premium for transacting in this important market, ultimately raising borrowing costs for U.S. homeowners. This post looks for evidence of changes in agency MBS market liquidity, complementing similar posts studying liquidity in U.S. Treasury and corporate bond markets.

Posted by Blog Author at 7:02 AM in Financial Markets , Housing | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

Continuing the Conversation on Liquidity



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Market participants and policymakers have raised concerns about market liquidity—the ability to buy and sell securities quickly, at any time, at minimal cost. Market liquidity supports the efficient allocation of financial capital, which is a catalyst for sustainable economic growth. Any possible decline in market liquidity, whether due to regulation or otherwise, is of interest to policymakers and market participants alike.

February 05, 2016

Crisis Chronicles: The Long Depression and the Panic of 1873



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It always seemed to come down to railroads in the 1800s. Railroads fueled much of the economic growth in the United States at that time, but they required that a great deal of upfront capital be devoted to risky projects. The panics of 1837 and 1857 can both be pinned on railroad investments that went awry, creating enough doubt about the banking system to cause pervasive bank runs. The fatal spark for the Panic of 1873 was also tied to railroad investments—a major bank financing a railroad venture announced that it would suspend withdrawals. As other banks started failing, consumers and businesses pulled back and America entered what is recorded as the country’s longest depression.

February 04, 2016

How Do Central Bank Balance Sheets Change in Times of Crisis?



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The 2007-09 financial crisis, and the monetary policy response to it, have greatly increased the size of central bank balance sheets around the world. These changes were not always well understood and some were controversial. We discuss these crisis-induced changes, following yesterday’s post on the composition of central bank balance sheets in normal times, and explain the policy intentions behind some of them.


Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Monetary Policy | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

February 03, 2016

What Is the Composition of Central Bank Balance Sheets in Normal Times?



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There has been unusually high activity on central banks’ balance sheets in recent years. This activity, which has expanded beyond the core operations and collateral of the central bank, has been called “unconventional,” “nonstandard,” “nontraditional,” and “active.” But what constitutes a normal central bank balance sheet? How does central bank asset and liability composition vary across countries and how did the crisis change this composition? In this post, we focus on the main characteristics of central bank balance sheets before the crisis. In our next piece, we describe how this composition has changed in response to the crisis.


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

February 02, 2016

Counterparties and Collateral Requirements for Implementing Monetary Policy



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What types of counterparties can borrow from or lend to a central bank, and what kind of collateral must they possess in order to receive a loan? These are two key aspects of a central bank’s monetary policy implementation framework. Since at least the nineteenth century, it has been understood that an important role of central banks is to lend to solvent but illiquid institutions, particularly during a crisis, as this provides liquidity insurance to the financial system. They also provide liquidity to markets during normal times as a means to implement monetary policy. Central banks that rely on scarcity of reserves need to adjust the supply of liquidity in the market, as described in our previous post. In this post, we focus on liquidity provision related to the conduct of monetary policy.

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Monetary Policy | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

February 01, 2016

Standard Elements of a Monetary Policy Implementation Framework



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In the minutes of the July 2015 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, the chair indicated that Federal Reserve staff would undertake an extended effort to evaluate potential long-run monetary policy implementation frameworks. But what is a central bank’s monetary policy implementation framework? In a series of four posts, we provide an overview of the key elements that typically constitute such a framework.

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Monetary Policy | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

January 29, 2016

Just Released: New Web Feature Provides Timely Data on the Job Market for Recent College Graduates



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Many newly minted college graduates entering the labor market in the wake of the Great Recession have had a tough time finding good jobs. But just how difficult has it been, and are things getting better? And for which graduates? These questions can be difficult to answer because timely information on the employment prospects of college graduates has been hard to come by. To address this gap, today we are launching a new interactive web feature to provide data on a wide range of job market metrics for recent college graduates, including trends in unemployment rates, underemployment rates, and wages. We also provide data on the demand for college-educated workers, as well as differences in labor market outcomes across college majors. These data will be updated regularly and are available for download.

Posted by Blog Author at 10:00 AM in Education , Labor Economics | Permalink | Comments ( 0 )

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