Conducting monetary policy without government debt: the Fed's early years
AbstractThe Federal Reserve implements its monetary policy by using open market operations in U.S. government securities to target the federal funds rate. A substantial decline in the stock of U.S. Treasury debt could interfere with the conduct of monetary policy, possibly forcing the Fed to rely more heavily on discount window lending or to conduct open market transactions in other types of securities. Either would cause the implementation of monetary policy to resemble the methods used by the Fed before World War II. This paper describes two things: (i) how the Fed implemented monetary policy before the war and (ii) the conflicts that arose within the Fed over the allocation of private-sector credit when discount window loans and Fed purchases of private securities were a substantial component of Federal Reserve credit. Those conflicts help explain the Fed’s failure to respond vigorously to the Great Depression. The experience suggests that a renewed reliance on the discount window or on open market operations in securities other than those issued by the U.S. Treasury could hamper the conduct of monetary policy if it leads to increased pressure on the Fed to affect the allocation of credit.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its journal Review.
Volume (Year): (2002)
Issue (Month): May ()
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robert L. Hetzel & Ralph F. Leach, 2001. "The Treasury-Fed Accord : a new narrative account," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Win, pages 33-55.
- Kevin L. Kliesen & Daniel L. Thornton, 2001. "The expected federal budget surplus: how much confidence should the public and policymakers place in the projections?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 11-24.
- Dominique Dupont & Brian Sack, 1999. "The Treasury securities market: overview and recent development," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Dec, pages 785-806.
- Marvin Goodfriend, 2001.
"Why we need an "accord" for Federal Reserve credit policy : a note,"
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Win, pages 23-32.
- Goodfriend, Marvin, 1994. "Why We Need an "Accord" for Federal Reserve Credit Policy: A Note," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(3), pages 572-80, August.
- Marvin Goodfriend, 1994. "Why we need an "accord" for Federal Reserve credit policy: a note," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 572-584.
- Hamilton, James D., 1987. "Monetary factors in the great depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 145-169, March.
- Charles W. Calomiris & David C. Wheelock, 1997.
"Was the Great Depression a Watershed for American Monetary Policy?,"
NBER Working Papers
5963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Charles Calomiris & David Wheelock, 1998. "Was the Great Depression a Watershed for American Monetary Policy?," NBER Chapters, in: The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century, pages 23-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gerald P. Dwyer, Jr. & R. Alton Gilbert, 1989. "Bank runs and private remedies," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 43-61.
- R. Alton Gilbert, 1998. "Did the Fed's founding improve the efficiency of the U.S. payments system?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 121-142.
- Karl Brunner & Allan H. Meltzer, 1968. "What Did We Learn from the Monetary Experience of the United States in the Great Depression?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 1(2), pages 334-348, May.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anna Xiao).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.