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Open market operations and the federal funds rate

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  • Daniel L. Thornton

Abstract

The Fed's ability to control the federal funds rate stems from its ability to alter the supply of liquidity in the overnight market through open market operations. This paper uses daily data compiled by the author from the records of the Trading Desk of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York over the period March 1, 1984, through December 31, 1996, to analyze the Desk's use of its operating procedure in implementing monetary policy, and the extent to which open market operations affect the federal funds rate-the liquidity effect. I find that operating procedure was used to guide daily open market operations; however, there is little evidence of a liquidity effect at the daily frequency and even less evidence at lower frequencies. Consistent with the absence of a liquidity effect, open market operations appear to be a relatively unimportant source of liquidity to the federal funds market.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2005-063.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2005-063

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Keywords: Federal funds rate ; Open market operations;

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  1. William Poole & Robert H & Rasche & Daniel L. Thornton, 2002. "Market anticipations of monetary policy actions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 65-94.
  2. Demiralp, Selva & Preslopsky, Brian & Whitesell, William, 2006. "Overnight interbank loan markets," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 67-83.
  3. John B. Taylor, 2001. "Expectations, open market operations, and changes in the federal funds rate," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 33-58.
  4. Daniel L. Thornton, 2001. "Identifying the liquidity effect at the daily frequency," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 59-82.
  5. Selva Demiralp & Òscar Jordà, 2002. "The announcement effect: evidence from open market desk data," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 29-48.
  6. Ken B. Cyree & Mark D. Griffiths & Drew B. Winters, 2003. "On the pervasive effects of Federal Reserve settlement regulations," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 27-46.
  7. 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.
  8. Benjamin M. Friedman, 1999. "The Future of Monetary Policy: The Central Bank as an Army With Only a Signal Corps," NBER Working Papers 7420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Seth Carpenter & Selva Demiralp, 2004. "The liquidity effect in the federal funds market: evidence from daily open market operations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-61, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Adrian R. Pagan & John C. Robertson, 1995. "Resolving the liquidity effect," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 33-54.
  11. Daniel L. Thornton, 1998. "The Federal Reserve's operating procedure, nonborrowed reserves, borrowed reserves and the liquidity effect," Working Papers 1998-009, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  12. Daniel L. Thornton, 1988. "The effect of monetary policy on short-term interest rates," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 53-72.
  13. Friedman, Benjamin M, 1999. "The Future of Monetary Policy: The Central Bank as an Army with Only a Signal Corps?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 321-38, November.
  14. Hamilton, James D, 1997. "Measuring the Liquidity Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 80-97, March.
  15. Thornton, Daniel L., 2004. "The Fed and short-term rates: Is it open market operations, open mouth operations or interest rate smoothing?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 475-498, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Benjamin M. Friedman & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 2010. "Implementation of Monetary Policy: How Do Central Banks Set Interest Rates?," NBER Working Papers 16165, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kopchak, Seth J., 2011. "The liquidity effect for open market operations," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 3292-3299.
  3. Daniel L. Thornton, 2012. "Monetary policy: why money matters, and interest rates don’t," Working Papers 2012-020, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  4. Ariff, Mohamed & Chung, Tin-fah & M., Shamsher, 2012. "Money supply, interest rate, liquidity and share prices: A test of their linkage," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 202-220.
  5. Daniel L. Thornton, 2006. "The daily liquidity effect," Working Papers 2006-020, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  6. Thornton, Daniel L., 2014. "Monetary policy: Why money matters (and interest rates don’t)," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 202-213.

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