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Mr. Fei Han and Mr. Niklas J Westelius
The yen is an important barometer for the Japanese economy. Depreciations are typically associated with favorable economic developments such as increased corporate profits, rising equity prices, and upward pressure on domestic consumer prices. On the other hand, large and sharp appreciations run the risk of lowering actual and expected inflation, squeezing corporate profits, generating a negative wealth effect through depressed equity prices, and reducing confidence in the Bank of Japan’s efforts to reflate the domestic economy and achieve the inflation target. This paper takes a closer look at underlying drivers of rapid yen appreciations, highlighting the key role of carry-trade and the zero lower bound as important amplifiers.
Milan Nedeljkovic and Christian Saborowski
This paper studies the relative effectiveness of foreign exchange intervention in spot and derivatives markets. We make use of Brazilian data where spot and non-deliverable futures based intervention have been used in tandem for more than a decade. The analysis finds evidence in favor of a significant link between both modes of intervention and the first two moments of the real/dollar exchange rate. As predicted by theory for the case of negligible convertibility risk, the impact of spot market intervention in our baseline sample is strikingly similar to that achieved through futures based intervention worth an equivalent amount in notional principal.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper assesses the importance of financial market developments for the business cycle in Brazil. The results underscore the importance of macro-financial linkages and highlight risks to the recovery going forward. Although some of the rise in credit growth in Brazil can be attributed to financial deepening and rising income levels, it may have implications for economic activity going forward. Cross-country evidence suggests that periods of easy financial conditions can amplify economic fluctuations and possibly lead to adverse economic outcomes. To explore the nexus between the financial cycle and business cycle, cycles are estimated using a variety of commonly-used statistical methods and with a small, semi-structural model of the Brazilian economy. An advantage of using the model-based approach is that financial and business cycles can be jointly estimated, allowing information from all key economic relationships to be used in a consistent way. Financial sector developments are found to be an important source of macroeconomic fluctuations. Financial accelerator models highlight the role of credit and asset prices in shaping the business cycle.
Antoine Bouveret, Mr. Peter Breuer, Ms. Yingyuan Chen, David Jones, and Tsuyoshi Sasaki
Changes in the structure of the U.S. Treasury market over recent years may have increased risks to financial stability. Traditional market makers have changed their liquidity provision by increasingly switching from risk warehousing to risk distribution, and a new breed of market maker has emerged with the rise of electronic trading. The “flash rally” of October 15, 2014 provides a clear example of how those risks can materialize. Based on an in-depth analysis of the event—complementing the authorities’ work—we suggest i) providing incentives for liquidity provision, ii) improving market safeguards, and iii) enhancing the regulation of the Treasury market.
Samya Beidas-Strom and Mr. Andrea Pescatori
How much does speculation contribute to oil price volatility? We revisit this contentious question by estimating a sign-restricted structural vector autoregression (SVAR). First, using a simple storage model, we show that revisions to expectations regarding oil market fundamentals and the effect of mispricing in oil derivative markets can be observationally equivalent in a SVAR model of the world oil market à la Kilian and Murphy (2013), since both imply a positive co-movement of oil prices and inventories. Second, we impose additional restrictions on the set of admissible models embodying the assumption that the impact from noise trading shocks in oil derivative markets is temporary. Our additional restrictions effectively put a bound on the contribution of speculation to short-term oil price volatility (lying between 3 and 22 percent). This estimated short-run impact is smaller than that of flow demand shocks but possibly larger than that of flow supply shocks.
Mr. Tao Wu
This paper examines the transmission mechanism through which unconventional monetary policy affects long-term interest rates. I construct a real-time measure summarizing market projections of the magnitude and duration of the Federal Reserve's Large Scale Asset Purchases (LSAP) program, and analyze the determination of term premiums and expectations of future short-term interest rates in a sample spanning more than two decades. Empirical findings suggest that the LSAP has effectively lowered the long-term Treasury bond yields, through both "signaling" and "portfolio balance" channels. On the other hand, the Fed's "forward guidance" also leads to gradual extension of market projections for the duration of the LSAP program, thereby enhancing the LSAP's effect to keep term premiums low. Estimation results also reveal a diminished effectiveness of the LSAP during QE III. Finally, model simulations underscore the importance of policy transparency in minimizing unnecessary market turbulence and ensuring a timely and smooth exit of the unconventional monetary policy stimulus.
Mr. Shaun K. Roache and Mrs. Marina V Rousset
We examine the effects of unconventional monetary policy (UMP) events in the United States on asset price risk using risk-neutral density functions estimated from options prices. Based on an event study including a key exchange rate, an equity index, and five commodities, we find that “tail risk” diminishes in the immediate aftermath of UMP events, particularly downside left tail risk. We also find that QE1 and QE3 had stronger effects than QE2. We conclude that UMP events that serve to ease policies can help to bolster market confidence in times of high uncertainty.
International Monetary Fund
This paper provides background information to the main Board paper, “The Role and Limits of Unconventional Monetary Policy.” This paper is divided in five distinct sections, each focused on a different topic covered in the main paper, though most relate to bond purchase programs. As a result, this paper centers on the experience of the United States Federal Reserve (Fed), the Bank of England (BOE) and the Bank of Japan (BOJ), mostly leaving the European Central Bank (ECB) aside given its focus on restoring the functioning of financial markets and intermediation. Section A explores whether bond purchase programs were effective at decreasing bond yields and, if so, through which channels. Section B goes one step further in evaluating whether bond purchase programs had—or can be expected to have—significant effects on real growth and inflation. Section C studies the spillover effects of bond purchases on both advanced and emerging market economies, using very similar methods as introduced in the first section. Section D breaks from the immediate focus on bond purchases to discuss how inflation might decrease the debt burden in advanced economies, in light of possible pressures that could fall (or be perceived to fall) on central banks. Finally, Section E discusses the possible risks of exiting given the very large central bank balance sheets.