FEDS Notes are articles in which Board economists offer their own views and present analysis on a range of topics in economics and finance. These articles are shorter and less technically oriented than FEDS Working Papers

Natural Disasters and the Measurement of Industrial Production: Hurricane Harvey, a Case Study

The Federal Reserve's G.17 release on industrial production (IP) and capacity utilization published on September 15, 2017, included one of the first estimates of the impact on a specific measure of economic activity by Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in Texas on August 25. As reported in the release, total industrial production fell 0.9 percent in August, most of which (about 3/4 percentage point) could be accounted for by storm-related outages.

Own-Account IT Equipment Investment

David M. Byrne, Carol A. Corrado, and Daniel E. Sichel

This note considers a puzzle: why has information technology (IT) equipment investment in the National income and Product Accounts (NIPAs) been so weak since 2007 at the same time that financial reports indicate massive increases in capital expenditures by IT service companies?

A Shadow Rate Model of Intermediate-Term Policy Rate Expectations

This note introduces a shadow rate term structure model based on OIS rates and surveys to quantify federal funds rate expectations and term premiums over horizons ranging from one month to five years. The model implies that term premiums vary over time and can be substantial in magnitude, even at relatively short horizons.

Are Rising Home Values Restraining Homebuying for Lower-Income Families?

Since bottoming out in 2012, house prices in the U.S. have recovered rapidly. According to Zillow, the median home value has been growing about 6 percent per year. While incomes have also been recovering, they have not quite kept pace with home prices.

The Decline in Lending to Lower-Income Borrowers by the Biggest Banks

Data collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) reveal that the largest banks have significantly reduced their share of mortgage lending to low- and moderate-income (LMI) households in recent years.

Recent Trends in Wealth-Holding by Race and Ethnicity: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances

Data from the newly released 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances show wealth has grown for families across race and ethnicity groups since 2013, but substantial disparities between groups persist.

Labor Market Outcomes in Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan Areas: Signs of Growing Disparities

The U.S. unemployment rate has fallen steadily since 2010, indicating broad-based improvement in the labor market. However, disaggregated measures reveal divergences between regions and types of workers.

Projected Evolution of the SOMA Portfolio and the 10-year Treasury Term Premium Effect

Brian Bonis, Jane Ihrig, Min Wei

An earlier Feds note used staff models to provide a projection for the evolution of the SOMA portfolio and an estimate of the associated term premium effect (TPE) on the 10-year Treasury yield. That analysis relied on economic, financial, and monetary policy assumptions as of April 2017. With the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announcing a change in its reinvestment policy in its September 2017 post-meeting statement, this note provides updated projections.

Model-Based Measures of ELB Risk

The target range for the federal funds rate has increased a few times since its liftoff from the effective lower bound (ELB) in December 2015 and currently stands at 1 to 1-1/4 percent. According to standard macroeconomic models, ELB risk--how likely it is for the policy rate to be constrained by the ELB in the near- and medium-term future--has important implications for interest rate policy.

Synthetic ETFs

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) achieve their investment objectives by either owning a portfolio of securities (physical ETFs) or entering into swap agreements that deliver the returns of pre-specified indexes (synthetic ETFs).

Matching Banks by Business Model, Geography and Size: A Dataset

In this note, we describe an algorithm, developed in Carlson, Shan, and Warusawitharana (2013), to match banks that are geographically close and are similar in size and business model. Concurrently, we also release a data set of matched banks obtained from applying this algorithm from 1998 to 2014, as well as some of the associated computer programs.

The FOMC meeting minutes: An update of counting words

Melanie Josselyn and Ellen E. Meade

An earlier Feds note provided information about the structure of the FOMC meeting minutes and the use of "quantitative" or "counting" words to characterize the number of policymakers aligned with particular views. This note extends that analysis through 2016.

Another Look at Residual Seasonality in GDP

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real GDP rose at an annual rate of 1.2 percent in the first quarter of this year, a step down from the 2.3 percent pace in the second half of last year.

Trading Activities at Systemically Important Banks, Part 3: What Drives Trading Performance?

Diana Iercosan, Ashish Kumbhat, Michael Ng, and Jason Wu

It is well known by now that before the financial crisis, systemically important banks and nonbank broker-dealers maintained large proprietary trading operations and had relied on those operations as a key source of trading revenue, in addition to revenue generated by facilitating clients' trading needs.

Trading Activities at Systemically Important Banks, Part 2: What Happened during Recent Risk Events?

Diana Iercosan, Ashish Kumbhat, Michael Ng, and Jason Wu

As documented in the FEDS Notes article "Trading Activities at Systemically Important Banks, Part 1: Recent Trends in Trading Performance," trading performance at systemically important banks, measured by trading revenue per dollar of value-at-risk (VaR) committed, has trended up over the past few years.

Trading Activities at Systemically Important Banks, Part 1: Recent Trends in Trading Performance

Diana Iercosan, Ashish Kumbhat, Michael Ng, and Jason Wu

Using a confidential data set collected daily by onsite supervisors, this note provides a comprehensive look at the performance of systemically important banks’ trading and market-making activities since the financial crisis.

Post-Crisis Lending by Large Bank Holding Companies

This note analyzes recent trends in loan growth at domestic bank holding companies (hereafter, banks) and reviews factors related to bank loan growth such as capital and loan write-downs.

The Systemic Nature of Settlement Fails

Rajkamal Iyer and Marco Macchiavelli

In this note we analyze the systemic nature of settlement fails--the failure to deliver the agreed upon securities--during the 2007-09 period. Large and protracted settlement fails are believed to undermine the liquidity and well-functioning of securities markets, and as a result market groups and policymakers have tried to limit them.

Was There a Great Moderation for Inflation Volatility?

Edward Hulseman and Alan Detmeister

Most accounts of the "Great Moderation"--a decline in macroeconomic volatility in the decades prior to the Great Recession--focus on employment growth and GDP growth.

Primary Dealers' Behavior during the 2007-08 Crisis: Part II, Intermediation and Deleveraging

Rajkamal Iyer and Marco Macchiavelli

In this second of two notes we study how dealers deleverage following the 2007-2008 funding squeeze.

Auto Financing during and after the Great Recession

More than half of auto financing is originated by non-bank finance companies that typically rely on short-term funding markets for their own financing. During the recent financial crisis, disruptions in these short-term financing markets reduced the availability of auto credit to consumers, which contributed to the decline in auto sales.

Primary Dealers' Behavior during the 2007-08 Crisis: Part I, Repo Runs

Rajkamal Iyer and Marco Macchiavelli

This is the first of two notes that empirically document the behavior of U.S. Primary Dealers during the 2007-08 financial crisis. In this note we show that dealers' exposure to risky assets drives the observed repo funding squeeze; moreover, as evident from Lehman's experience, we show that repos become subject to counterparty risk during periods of stress, even when collateralized by the safest assets.

Principal Payments on the Federal Reserve's Securities Holdings

Brian Bonis, John Kandrac, and Luke Pardue

As noted in the Policy Normalization Principles and Plans issued in September 2014, when the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) judges that it is appropriate to begin the process of normalizing the size of the balance sheet, it intends to gradually reduce the Federal Reserve's holdings of Treasury securities and agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS).

Equity Issuance and Retirement by Nonfinancial Corporations

William R. Kuchinski, Richard E. Ogden, Damian R. Thomas, and Missaka Warusawitharana

The Financial Accounts of the United States reports quarterly net equity issuance of nonfinancial corporations.

Are Central Cities Poor and Non-White?

In the U.S., geography has long been viewed as a proxy for income and race.

Measuring the Severity of Stress-Test Scenarios

Bora Durdu, Rochelle Edge, and Daniel Schwindt

Unfavorable macroeconomic and financial scenarios are a core element of bank stress tests, and the degree to which variables deteriorate in a scenario--i.e., the scenario’s severity--is a central design feature of any stress test exercise

Job Reallocation and Unemployment in Equilibrium

Job reallocation in the U.S.--the sum of job creation and job destruction across employers--has been declining over several decades.

The Effect of the Federal Reserve’s Securities Holdings on Longer-term Interest Rates

Brian Bonis, Jane Ihrig, Min Wei

In an effort to promote more accommodative financial conditions following the financial crisis of 2008 and the ensuing recession, and at a time when the conventional monetary policy tool--the federal funds rat--was at its effective lower bound, the Federal Reserve conducted large-scale asset purchases (LSAPs) and a maturity extension program (MEP).

Measuring Firm-Level Uncertainty

Ample empirical research documents the negative effect of uncertainty on economic activity. Unexpected changes in macroeconomic conditions or doubts about the direction of future policy tend to be associated with lower capital investments, reduced hiring, and slower consumer spending.

Robustness of long-maturity term premium estimates

This Note explains the differences between two of the models used to produce estimates of US Treasury term premiums which are produced by staff in the Federal Reserve System.

The Effect of Sales-Tax Holidays on Consumer Spending

Over the past decade, many U.S. states have enacted policies that temporarily exempt consumer purchases of certain goods from state sales taxes.

The Cleared Bilateral Repo Market and Proposed Repo Benchmark Rates

David Bowman, Joshua Louria, Matthew McCormick, and Mary-Frances Styczynski

As described in a recent statement and blog post, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY), in cooperation with the Office of Financial Research (OFR), is considering the publication of several new benchmark rates for overnight Treasury general collateral repurchase agreement (repo) transactions in order to enhance market transparency and efficiency by improving the quality and breadth of repo market information available to the public.

Are Basel's Capital Surcharges for Global Systemically Important Banks Too Small?

Wayne Passmore and Alexander H. von Hafften

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS, the Basel Committee, or Basel) has developed a methodology for identifying global systemically important banks (G-SIBs) and standards for requiring G-SIBs to hold more common equity.

Confidence Interval Projections of the Federal Reserve Balance Sheet and Income

In response to the financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent recession, the Federal Reserve employed large-scale asset purchases (LSAPs) and a maturity extension program (MEP) with the purpose of reducing longer-term interest rates, and thereby promoting more accommodative financial conditions at a time when the conventional monetary policy tool, the federal funds rate, was at its effective lower bound.

College or the Stock Market, or College and the Stock Market?

Kartik Athreya, Felicia Ionescu, and Urvi Neelakantan

Human capital and stocks both provide rewards to those who invest in them, the former through higher future earnings and the latter through appreciation or dividends. The decision to invest in them depends on the relative rewards each asset offers.

Demand for Voluntary Balance Requirements: the U.S. Experience with Contractual Clearing Balances from 2000 to 2007

Jeffrey M. Naber, Richard Sambasivam, and Mary-Frances Styczynski

Contractual clearing balances were a type of balance that a depository institution could voluntarily agree to hold in their account at the Federal Reserve in addition to mandatory reserve requirements, or reserve balance requirements (RBR) prior to 2012.

Disclaimer: FEDS Notes are articles in which Board economists offer their own views and present analysis on a range of topics in economics and finance. These articles are shorter and less technically oriented than FEDS Working Papers.

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Last Update: February 21, 2017