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Does the federal reserve possess an exploitable informational advantage?

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Author Info

  • Peek, Joe
  • Rosengren, Eric S.
  • Tootell, Geoffrey M. B.

Abstract

This paper provides evidence that the Federal Reserve has an informational advantage over the public that can be exploited to improve activist monetary policy. The informational advantage derives from the Fed?s role as a bank supervisor, and it is shown to be of sufficient duration to be effective in guiding activist monetary policy, even in simple rational expectations models. The informational superiority does not result from the Fed having earlier access to publicly released data about the financial condition of banks. Instead, this informational advantage is generated by confidential supervisory knowledge about troubled, non-publicly traded banks. As a result, this information can remain confidential for an extended period of time because these banks do not have an incentive to fully disclose publicly the extent of their financial troubles, and, since they are not publicly traded, are not required to do so. The improvement in forecasts using this confidential information is both statistically significant and economically important, providing a potential justification for activist monetary policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 50 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
Pages: 817-839

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:50:y:2003:i:4:p:817-839

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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References

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  1. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1987. "The optimal collection of seigniorage : Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 327-341, September.
  2. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  3. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1991. "Interest rates and the conduct of monetary policy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 7-30, January.
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  7. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
  8. Joe Peek & Eric S. Rosengren & Geoffrey M. B. Tootell, 1999. "Is bank supervision central to central banking?," Working Papers 99-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  9. Geoffrey M. B. Tootell, 1991. "Regional economic conditions and the FOMC votes of district presidents," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Mar, pages 3-16.
  10. Alex Cukierman, 1989. "Why does the Fed smooth interest rates?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, pages 111-157.
  11. Anil K Kashyap & Jeremy C. Stein, 1994. "The Impact of Monetary Policy on Bank Balance Sheets," NBER Working Papers 4821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Is The Fed Too Timid? Monetary Policy In An Uncertain World," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 203-217, May.
  13. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Staggered Wage Setting in a Macro Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 108-13, May.
  14. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  15. Geoffrey M.B. Tootell, 1997. "How farsighted is the FOMC?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jan, pages 49-65.
  16. Barro, Robert J., 1976. "Rational expectations and the role of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, January.
  17. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1975. "An Equilibrium Model of the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1113-44, December.
  18. Stephen K. McNees, 1992. "A forward-looking monetary policy reaction function: continuity and change," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Nov, pages 3-13.
  19. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
  20. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
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  22. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1990. "Liquidity and interest rates," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 237-264, April.
  23. Jeremy C. Stein & Anil K. Kashyap, 2000. "What Do a Million Observations on Banks Say about the Transmission of Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 407-428, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Elmar Mertens, 2010. "Managing beliefs about monetary policy under discretion," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Marta Areosa & Waldyr Areosa, 2012. "Asset Prices and Monetary Policy – A sticky-dispersed information model," Working Papers Series 285, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
  3. Paul Hubert, 2009. "An Empirical Review of Federal Reserve’s Informational Advantage," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2009-03, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  4. Thomas J. Cunningham, 2006. "The predictive power of the Senior Loan Officer Survey: do lending officers know anything special?," Working Paper 2006-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  5. Palvia, Ajay A., 2011. "Banks and managerial discipline: Does regulatory monitoring play a role?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 56-68, February.
  6. Allen N. Berger & Margaret K. Kyle & Joseph M. Scalise, 2000. "Did U.S. bank supervisors get tougher during the credit crunch? Did they get easier during the banking boom? Did it matter to bank lending?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-39, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Paul Hubert, 2011. "Do central banks forecast influence private agents ? Forecasting performance vs. signals," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2011-20, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  8. Jung, Alexander & El-Shagi, Makram & Giesen, Sebastian, 2013. "Does Central Bank Staff Beat Private Forecasters?," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79925, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  9. Gersbach, Hans & Hahn, Volker, 2003. "Signalling and Commitment: Monetary versus Inflation Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 4151, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Paul Hubert, 2010. "Monetary Policy, Imperfect Information and the Expectations Channel," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/f4rshpf3v1u, Sciences Po.
  11. El-Shagi, Makram & Giesen, Sebastian & Jung, Alexander, 2014. "Does the federal reserve staff still beat private forecasters?," Working Paper Series 1635, European Central Bank.
  12. Grunspan, T., 2005. "The Fed and the Question of Financial Stability: An Empirical Investigation," Working papers 134, Banque de France.
  13. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/f4rshpf3v1umfa09lat09b1bg is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Lea Zicchino & Erlend Nier, 2008. "Bank Losses, Monetary Policy and Financial Stability-Evidenceon the Interplay From Panel Data," IMF Working Papers 08/232, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Franck, Raphaël & Krausz, Miriam, 2008. "Why separate monetary policy from banking supervision?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 388-411, September.
  16. Georgios Chortareas & David Stasavage & Gabriel Sterne, 2002. "Does it pay to be transparent? international evidence form central bank forecasts," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 99-118.

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