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Volatility, money market rates, and the transmission of monetary policy

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  • Seth B. Carpenter
  • Selva Demiralp

Abstract

Central banks typically control an overnight interest rate as their policy tool, and the transmission of monetary policy happens through the relationship of this overnight rate to the rest of the yield curve. The expectations hypothesis, that longer-term rates should equal expected future short-term rates plus a term premium, provides the typical framework for understanding this relationship. We explore the effect of volatility in the federal funds market on the expectations hypothesis in money markets. We present two major results. First, the expectations hypothesis is likely to be rejected in money markets if the realized federal funds rate is studied instead of an appropriate measure of the expected federal funds rate. Second, we find that lower volatility in the bank funding markets market, all else equal, leads to a lower term premium and thus longer-term rates for a given setting of the overnight rate. The results appear to hold for the US as well as the Euro Area and the UK. The results have implications for the design of operational frameworks for the implementation of monetary policy and for the interpretation of the changes in the Libor-OIS spread during the financial crisis. We also demonstrate that the expectations hypothesis is more likely to hold the more closely linked the short- and long-term interest rates are.

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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 2011-22.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2011-22

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Keywords: Transmission mechanism (Monetary policy) ; Interest rates ; Federal funds market (United States);

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  1. 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.
  2. Seth B. Carpenter & Selva Demiralp, 2006. "Anticipation of Monetary Policy and Open Market Operations," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(2), May.
  3. Nautz, Dieter & Schmidt, Sandra, 2009. "Monetary policy implementation and the federal funds rate," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1274-1284, July.
  4. Cook, Timothy & Hahn, Thomas, 1989. "The effect of changes in the federal funds rate target on market interest rates in the 1970s," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 331-351, November.
  5. Ann-Marie Meulendyke, 1998. "U.S. monetary policy and financial markets," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, number 1998mpaf.
  6. Eisenschmidt, Jens & Tapking, Jens, 2009. "Liquidity risk premia in unsecured interbank money markets," Working Paper Series 1025, European Central Bank.
  7. Mankiw, N Gregory & Miron, Jeffrey A, 1986. "The Changing Behavior of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 211-28, May.
  8. Demiralp, Selva, 2008. "Monetary policy surprises and the expectations hypothesis at the short end of the yield curve," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 1-3, October.
  9. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  10. Demiralp, Selva & Farley, Dennis, 2005. "Declining required reserves, funds rate volatility, and open market operations," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 1131-1152, May.
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