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Does the Federal Reserve have an informational advantage? you can bank on it

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

Abstract

Even in a world with rational expectations, it has been well established theoretically that if the central bank possesses information superior to that available to the public, there is room for effective and socially beneficial countercyclical monetary policy. This paper tests whether confidential information from bank supervisors could be one source of any such informational advantage. In particular, we examine whether information gained from bank supervision activities could substantially improve the forecasts of macroeconomic variables important for guiding monetary policy. We find that confidential supervisory information on bank ratings significantly improves private forecasts of inflation and unemployment rates, thus providing an informational advantage to the Federal Reserve.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Working Papers with number 98-2.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:98-2

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Keywords: Monetary policy ; Banks and banking; Central;

References

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  1. 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.
  2. Ben S. Bernanke & Alan S. Blinder, 1989. "The federal funds rate and the channels of monetary transmission," Working Papers 89-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Allen N. Berger & Sally M. Davies, 1994. "The information content of bank examinations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 94-20, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Diana Hancock & James A. Wilcox, 1992. "The effect on bank assets of business conditions and capital shortfalls," Proceedings 373, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1989. "New Indexes of Coincident and Leading Economic Indicators," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 351-409 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Hansen, Lars Peter & Hodrick, Robert J, 1980. "Forward Exchange Rates as Optimal Predictors of Future Spot Rates: An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 829-53, October.
  10. Allen N. Berger & Sally M. Davies, 1994. "The information content of bank examinations," Proceedings 55, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  11. Kashyap, Anil K. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1995. "The impact of monetary policy on bank balance sheets," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 151-195, June.
  12. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1996. "Federal Reserve Private Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 5692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jeremy C. Stein, 1995. "An Adverse Selection Model of Bank Asset and Liability Management with Implications for the Transmission of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 5217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1975. ""Rational" Expectations, the Optimal Monetary Instrument, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 241-54, April.
  15. Stephen K. McNees, 1992. "How large are economic forecast errors?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jul, pages 25-42.
  16. Ben S. Bernanke & Cara S. Lown, 1991. "The Credit Crunch," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 205-248.
  17. Joe Peek & Eric Rosengren, 1993. "Bank regulation and the credit crunch," Working Papers 93-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  18. Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Non-Monetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in the Propagation of the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 1054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Barro, Robert J., 1976. "Rational expectations and the role of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, January.
  20. Keane, Michael P & Runkle, David E, 1990. "Testing the Rationality of Price Forecasts: New Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 714-35, September.
  21. Friedman, Benjamin M & Kuttner, Kenneth N, 1992. "Money, Income, Prices, and Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 472-92, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Restructuring Financial Regulation in the European Monetary Union," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 57-82, February.
  2. Allen Berger & Sally Davies, 1994. "The Information Content of Bank Examinations," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 94-24, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Adam Kot & Michal Brzoza-Brzezina, 2008. "The Relativity Theory Revisited: Is Publishing Interest Rate Forecasts Really so Valuable?," National Bank of Poland Working Papers 52, National Bank of Poland, Economic Institute.
  4. 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.
  5. Dalla Pellegrina, L. & Masciandaro, D. & Pansini, R.V., 2013. "The central banker as prudential supervisor: Does independence matter?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 415-427.
  6. 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).
  7. Helge Berger & Marcel Thum, 2000. "News Management in Monetary Policy: When Central Banks Should Talk to the Government," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(4), pages 465-493, November.
  8. Paul Hubert, 2009. "Informational Advantage and Influence of Communicating Central Banks," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2009-04, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  9. Edward Kutsoati & Sharun Mukand, 2004. "Expectations and the Central Banker: Making Decisions the Market Expects to See? [revised]," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0418, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  10. David T. Llewellyn, 1999. "The New Economics of Banking," SUERF Studies, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum, number 5 edited by Morten Balling.
  11. David Llewellyn, 1999. "The New Economics of Banking," Chapters in SUERF Studies, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum.

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