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Standing facilities and interbank borrowing: evidence from the Federal Reserve’s new discount window

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  • Craig Furfine
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    Abstract

    Standing facilities are designed to place an upper bound on the rates at which financial institutions lend to one another overnight, reducing the volatility of the overnight interest rate, typically the rate targeted by central banks. However, improper design of the facility might decrease a bank’s incentive to participate actively in the interbank market. Thus, the mere availability of central bank provided credit may lead to its use being more than what would be expected based on the characteristics of the interbank market. ; By contrast, however, banks may perceive a stigma from using such facilities, and thus borrow less than what one might expect, thereby reducing the facilities’ effectiveness at reducing interest rate volatility. We develop a model demonstrating these two alternative implications of a standing facility. Empirical predictions of the model are then tested using data from the Federal Reserve’s new primary credit facility and the US federal funds market. A comparison of data from before and after recent changes to the discount window suggests continued reluctance to borrow from the Fed.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-04-01.

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    Date of creation: 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-04-01

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    Keywords: Discount window ; Federal funds market (United States);

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    1. VanHoose, David D. & Humphrey, David B., 2001. "Sweep accounts, reserve management, and interest rate volatility1," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 387-404.
    2. Lasser, Dennis J., 1992. "The effect of contemporaneous reserve accounting on the market for federal funds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 1047-1056, December.
    3. James A. Clouse & Douglas W. Elmendorf, 1997. "Declining required reserves and the volatility of the federal funds rate," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Peter Diamond, 1985. "Search Theory," Working papers 389, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    5. Brian F. Madigan & William R. Nelson, 2002. "Proposed revision to the Federal Reserve's discount window lending programs," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jul, pages 313-319.
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