The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Real oil prices surged from 2009 through 2014, comparable to the 1970's oil shock period. Standard explanations based on monopoly markup fall short since inflation remained low after 2009. This paper contributes strong evidence of Granger (1969) predictability of nominal factors to oil prices, using one adjustment to monetary aggregates. This adjustment is the subtraction from the monetary aggregates of the 2008-2009 Federal Reserve borrowing of reserves from other Central Banks (Swaps), made after US reserves turned negative. This adjustment is key in that Granger predictability from standard monetary aggregates is found only with the Swaps subtracted.