Who was in the driving seat in Europe during the nineties, International financial markets or the BUBA?
The purpose of this paper is to reexamine empirically the relationship between long-term interest rates in well integrated financial markets. The analysis focuses on long-term interest rates in the US and Germany and has been carried out within the framework of a five dimensional VAR for the simultaneous determination of short- and long-term interest rates in the US and Germany and the rate of exchange rate depreciation. The results strongly support the existence of a long-run relationship between the long-term German and the longterm US interest rate and imply a full pass-through of changes in the long-term US rate into the corresponding German rate. The analysis also substantiates that the direction of causality goes from the longterm US to the long-term German interest rate. With regard to the possibility of controlling the long end of the market on the part of the Bundesbank, the paper apparently takes on a rather pessimistic view, as there is nothing to indicate a long-run relationship between shortand long-term German interest rates. However, the strong influence that short-term German interest rates exhibit on German long-term interest rates in the very short run according to the structural model of this paper, might be taken to indicate that the opposite is the case, as e ects originating from expectations of future short-term interest rates might totally neutralize an unequivocally positive short-run portfolio e ect in the long run. If this is the case, there is nothing strange to the fact that one is unable to identify a long-run relationship between short- and long-term German interest rates. On the contrary, it is exactly what to be expected if the monetary transmission mechanism works appropriately.
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