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Cracking the conundrum

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  • David Backus
  • Jonathan H. Wright

Abstract

From 2004 to 2006, the FOMC raised the target federal funds rate by 4.25 percentage points, yet long-maturity yields and forward rates fell. We consider several possible explanations for this "conundrum." The most likely, in our view, is a fall in the term premium, probably associated with some combination of diminished macroeconomic uncertainty and financial market volatility, more predictable monetary policy, and the state of the business cycle.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2007-46.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2007-46

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Keywords: Monetary policy ; Interest rates;

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  1. Ang, Andrew & Piazzesi, Monika, 2003. "A no-arbitrage vector autoregression of term structure dynamics with macroeconomic and latent variables," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 745-787, May.
  2. Refet S. G├╝rkaynak & Brian Sack & Jonathan H. Wright, 2006. "The U.S. Treasury yield curve: 1961 to the present," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-28, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Gregory R. Duffee, 2002. "Term Premia and Interest Rate Forecasts in Affine Models," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 405-443, 02.
  4. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Eric T. Swanson & Tao Wu, 2006. "The Bond Yield "Conundrum" from a Macro-Finance Perspective," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 24(S1), pages 83-109, December.
  5. Dai, Qiang & Singleton, Kenneth J., 2002. "Expectation puzzles, time-varying risk premia, and affine models of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 415-441, March.
  6. Randall S. Kroszner, 2006. "Why are yield curves so flat and long rates so low globally? a speech at the Bankers' Association for Finance and Trade, New York, New York, June 15, 2006," Speech 219, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Kim, Don H. & Orphanides, Athanasios, 2012. "Term Structure Estimation with Survey Data on Interest Rate Forecasts," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 241-272, February.
  8. Michael F. Gallmeyer & Burton Hollifield, 2005. "Taylor Rules, McCallum Rules and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," 2005 Meeting Papers 676, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Andrew Ang & Geert Bekaert, 2004. "The term structure of real rates and expected inflation," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
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  11. Refet S. G├╝rkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "The Sensitivity of Long-Term Interest Rates to Economic News: Evidence and Implications for Macroeconomic Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 425-436, March.
  12. Geert Bekaert & Seonghoon Cho & Antonio Moreno, 2010. "New Keynesian Macroeconomics and the Term Structure," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(1), pages 33-62, 02.
  13. Meredith Beechey, 2006. "A closer look at the sensitivity puzzle: the sensitivity of expected future short rates and term premia to macroeconomic news," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-06, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Shiller, Robert J, 1979. "The Volatility of Long-Term Interest Rates and Expectations Models of the Term Structure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1190-1219, December.
  15. Ben S. Bernanke & Vincent R. Reinhart & Brian P. Sack, 2004. "Monetary Policy Alternatives at the Zero Bound: An Empirical Assessment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(2), pages 1-100.
  16. Francis E. Warnock & Veronica Cacdac Warnock, 2006. "International Capital Flows and U.S. Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 12560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Darrell Duffie & Rui Kan, 1996. "A Yield-Factor Model Of Interest Rates," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 379-406.
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