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The Federal Reserve's operating procedure, nonborrowed reserves, borrowed reserves and the liquidity effect

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  • Thornton, Daniel L.

Abstract

Recently, there has been considerable interest in identifying the exogenous policy actions of the Fed and a number of identification methods have been proposed. This paper deals with one of these, namely, using nonborrowed reserves in a recursive structural vector autoregression(VAR). A number of researchers [Christiano, Eichenbaum and Evans (1994ab, 1996, 1997), Evans and Marshall(1997), Strongin(1995), Pagan and Robertson(1995) and Brunner(1994)] find evidence of a statistically significant liquidity effect using nonborrowed reserves in a VAR. The success in finding the liquidity effect with nonborrowed reserves in the VAR is attributed to innovations to nonborrowed reserves reflecting supply shocks while innovations to total reserves primarily reflect shocks to demand. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that the opposite is true. Evidence of the liquidity effect in recursive structural VARs depends critically on the existence of a negative covariance between the federal funds rate and nonborrowed reserves. Under a variety of operating objectives, the Trading Desk of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has offset changes in bank-initiated discount window borrowing when implementing the Federal Open Market Committee's policy directive. This practice has created a negative contemporaneous covariance between nonborrowed reserves and the funds rate that has been incorrectly attributed to the liquidity effect. Once the Desk's practice is accounted for, there is no evidence of a statistically significant liquidity effect.
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  • Thornton, Daniel L., 2001. "The Federal Reserve's operating procedure, nonborrowed reserves, borrowed reserves and the liquidity effect," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1717-1739, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:25:y:2001:i:9:p:1717-1739
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    1. Acharya, Viral V. & Imbierowicz, Björn & Steffen, Sascha & Teichmann, Daniel, 2015. "Does Lack of Financial Stability Impair the Transmission of Monetary Policy?," HIT-REFINED Working Paper Series 24, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Daniel L. Thornton, 2006. "The daily liquidity effect," Working Papers 2006-020, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    3. Thornton, Daniel L., 2014. "Monetary policy: Why money matters (and interest rates don’t)," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 202-213.
    4. Daniel L. Thornton, 2007. "Open market operations and the federal funds rate," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 549-570.
    5. Benjamin M. Blau & Scott E. Hein & Ryan J. Whitby, 2016. "The Financial Impact Of Lender-Of-Last-Resort Borrowing From The Federal Reserve During The Financial Crisis," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 39(2), pages 179-206, June.
    6. Selva Demiralp & Oscar Jorda, "undated". "The Pavlovian Response of Term Rates to Fed Announcements," Department of Economics 99-06, California Davis - Department of Economics.
    7. Mohamed Benbouziane & Abdelhak Benamar & Mustapha Djennas, 2010. "The Liquidity Effect in Algeria and Morocco: A Multivariate Threshold Autoregressive Investigation," Working Papers 525, Economic Research Forum, revised 06 Jan 2010.
    8. Daniel L. Thornton, 2004. "Forecasting the Treasury's balance at the Fed," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(5), pages 357-371.
    9. Lucio Sarno & Daniel L. Thornton & Yi Wen, 2007. "What's Unique About the Federal Funds Rate? Evidence from a Spectral Perspective," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(2), pages 293-319, April.
    10. M. Berument & Selahattin Togay & Afsin Sahin, 2011. "Identifying the Liquidity Effects of Monetary Policy Shocks for a Small Open Economy: Turkey," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 649-667, September.
    11. Daniel L. Thornton, 2012. "The Federal Reserve’s response to the financial crisis: what it did and what it should have done," Working Papers 2012-050, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    12. Daniel L. Thornton, 2009. "The Fed, liquidity, and credit allocation," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 13-22.
    13. Daniel L. Thornton, 2005. "When did the FOMC begin targeting the federal funds rate? what the verbatim transcripts tell us," Working Papers 2004-015, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    14. Moschitz, Julius, 2004. "The determinants of the overnight interest rate in the euro area," Working Paper Series 393, European Central Bank.
    15. Lucio Sarno & Daniel L. Thornton, 2004. "The efficient market hypothesis and identification in structural VARs," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 49-60.
    16. Keen, Benjamin D., 2004. "In search of the liquidity effect in a modern monetary model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1467-1494, October.
    17. James D. Hamilton & Oscar Jorda, 2002. "A Model of the Federal Funds Rate Target," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1135-1167, October.
    18. Michael T. Owyang, 2002. "Modeling Volcker as a non-absorbing state: agnostic identification of a Markov-switching VAR," Working Papers 2002-018, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    19. Friedman, Benjamin M. & Kuttner, Kenneth N., 2010. "Implementation of Monetary Policy: How Do Central Banks Set Interest Rates?," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 24, pages 1345-1438 Elsevier.
    20. Ejerskov, Steen & Martin Moss, Clara & Stracca, Livio, 2003. "How does the ECB allot liquidity in its weekly main refinancing operations? A look at the empirical evidence," Working Paper Series 244, European Central Bank.
    21. Chung, Tin-fah & Ariff, M., 2016. "A test of the linkage among money supply, liquidity and share prices in Asia," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 48-61.
    22. Livio Stracca & Clara Martin Moss & Livio Stracca, 2004. "Demand and supply in the ECB's main refinancing operations," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 94, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.

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