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Government Asset and Liability Management in a Era of Vanishing Public Debt

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Author Info

  • Bohn, Henning

Abstract

The paper examines alternative options for managing public debt and public assets in a government balance sheet framework that includes the Treasury, the Federal Reserve, and Social Security. Even after September 11, U.S. fiscal policy is on a trajectory to accumulate substantial "uncommitted funds." The paper examines how such funds should be invested. I conclude that high-quality fixed-income securities are the best benchmark and that Social Security is the most appropriate government asset manager. The analysis of policy alternatives reveals a trilemma between maintaining a liquid Treasury market, minimizing rent seeking, and facilitating intergenerational risk sharing.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 34 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 887-933

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:34:y:2002:i:3:p:887-933

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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2879

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References

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  1. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
  2. Michael J. Fleming, 2000. "The benchmark U.S. Treasury market: recent performance and possible alternatives," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 129-145.
  3. Martin Feldstein, 1996. "The Missing Piece in Policy Analysis: Social Security Reform," NBER Working Papers 5413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Douglas W. Elmendorf & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2000. "Social Security Reform and National Saving in an Era of Budget Surpluses," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(2), pages 1-72.
  5. Henning Bohn, . "Budget Balance Through Revenue or Spending Adjustments ? Some Historical Evidence for the United States (Reprint 013)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 03-91, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  6. Vincent Reinhart & Brian Sack, 2000. "The Economic Consequences of Disappearing Government Debt," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(2), pages 163-220.
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Cited by:
  1. Lassila , Jukka & Valkonen, Tarmo, 2008. "Population ageing and fiscal sustainability in Finland: a stochastic analysis," Research Discussion Papers 28/2008, Bank of Finland.
  2. Udaibir S. Das & Yinqiu Lu & Michael G Papaioannou & Iva Petrova, 2012. "Sovereign Risk and Asset and Liability Management," IMF Working Papers 12/241, International Monetary Fund.

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