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Settlement liquidity and monetary policy implementation—lessons from the financial crisis

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  • Morten L. Bech
  • Antoine Martin
  • James McAndrews

Abstract

The U.S. dollar clearing and settlement system received little attention during the recent financial crisis, mainly because it performed reliably, processing record volumes and values of trades made in stressed financial markets. This article shows how Federal Reserve policy measures aimed at providing liquidity and stability to the financial system during and after the crisis had a major impact on settlement liquidity and thus on the efficiency of clearing and settlement system activity. The measures led to a substantial decrease in daylight overdrafts extended by the Federal Reserve and a quickening of settlement relative to the precrisis period. The decrease in daylight overdrafts reduced credit risk for the Federal Reserve and the earlier time at which payments settled suggests important efficiency gains as well as diminished operational risks. Interestingly, both improvements were the focus of the revisions to the Federal Reserve’s Payment System Risk policy, adopted in late 2008 and implemented in March 2011. To a large extent, the desired outcome had been achieved ahead of the policy change. The authors explain that as the amount of reserves available to the banking system and the opportunity cost of holding such reserves are at the center of any framework for implementing monetary policy, the recent experience offers important lessons for policy going forward.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its journal Economic Policy Review.

Volume (Year): (2012)
Issue (Month): Mar ()
Pages: 3-20

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednep:y:2012:i:mar:p:3-20:n:v.18no.1

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Keywords: Clearing of securities ; Monetary policy ; Federal Reserve System ; Liquidity (Economics) ; Financial stability ; Payment systems ; Bank reserves ; Credit ; Risk ; Overdrafts;

References

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  1. Enghin Atalay & Antoine Martin & James McAndrews, 2010. "Quantifying the benefits of a liquidity-saving mechanism," Staff Reports 447, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  2. Michael J. Fleming, 2001. "Measuring treasury market liquidity," Staff Reports 133, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Martin, Antoine & McAndrews, James, 2008. "Liquidity-saving mechanisms," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 554-567, April.
  4. Mills Jr., David C. & Nesmith, Travis D., 2008. "Risk and concentration in payment and securities settlement systems," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 542-553, April.
  5. Morten L. Bech & Elizabeth Klee, 2009. "The mechanics of a graceful exit: interest on reserves and segmentation in the federal funds market," Staff Reports 416, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Morten L. Bech & Bart Hobijn, 2006. "Technology diffusion within central banking: the case of real-time gross settlement," Staff Reports 260, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. David Bowman & Etienne Gagnon & Mike Leahy, 2010. "Interest on excess reserves as a monetary policy instrument: the experience of foreign central banks," International Finance Discussion Papers 996, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Bech , Morten L. & Soramäki, Kimmo, 2001. "Gridlock Resolution in Interbank Payment Systems," Research Discussion Papers 9/2001, Bank of Finland.
  9. Morten L. Bech & Rod Garratt, 2006. "Illiquidity in the interbank payment system following wide-scale disruptions," Staff Reports 239, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  10. Todd Keister & Antoine Martin & James McAndrews, 2008. "Divorcing money from monetary policy," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 41-56.
  11. Martin, Antoine, 2004. "Optimal pricing of intraday liquidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 401-424, March.
  12. Morten L. Bech & Christine Preisig & Kimmo Soramäki, 2008. "Global trends in large-value payments," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 59-81.
  13. Christopher Becher & Marco Galbiati & Merxe Tudela, 2008. "The timing and funding of CHAPS sterling payments," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 113-133.
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Cited by:
  1. Andrea Pallavicini & Daniele Perini & Damiano Brigo, 2012. "Funding, Collateral and Hedging: uncovering the mechanics and the subtleties of funding valuation adjustments," Papers 1210.3811, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2012.

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