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Does the Federal Reserve have an informational advantage? you can bank on it

  • Joe Peek
  • Eric S. Rosengren
  • Geoffrey M. B. Tootell

Even in a world with rational expectations, it has been well established theoretically that if the central bank possesses information superior to that available to the public, there is room for effective and socially beneficial countercyclical monetary policy. This paper tests whether confidential information from bank supervisors could be one source of any such informational advantage. In particular, we examine whether information gained from bank supervision activities could substantially improve the forecasts of macroeconomic variables important for guiding monetary policy. We find that confidential supervisory information on bank ratings significantly improves private forecasts of inflation and unemployment rates, thus providing an informational advantage to the Federal Reserve.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Working Papers with number 98-2.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:98-2
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  1. Allen Berger & Sally Davies, 1998. "The Information Content of Bank Examinations," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 117-144, October.
  2. Peek, Joe & Rosengren, Eric, 1995. "Bank regulation and the credit crunch," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 679-692, June.
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  14. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
  15. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  16. Anil K Kashyap & Jeremy C. Stein, 1994. "The Impact of Monetary Policy on Bank Balance Sheets," NBER Working Papers 4821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1989. "New Indexes of Coincident and Leading Economic Indicators," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 351-409 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
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  22. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
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