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Extracting the expected path of monetary policy from futures rates

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  • Brian P. Sack

Abstract

Federal funds and eurodollar futures contracts are among the most useful instruments for deriving expectations of the future path of monetary policy. However, reading policy expectations from those instruments is complicated by the presence of risk premia. This paper demonstrates how to extract the expected policy path under the assumption that risk premia are constant over time, and under a simple model that allows risk premia to vary. In the latter case, the risk premia are identified under the assumption that policy expectations level out after a long enough horizon. The results provide evidence that the risk premia on these futures contracts vary over time. The impact of this variation is fairly limited for futures contracts with short horizons, but it increases as the horizon of the contracts lengthens.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian P. Sack, 2002. "Extracting the expected path of monetary policy from futures rates," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-56, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2002-56
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Narasimhan Jegadeesh & George Pennacchi, 1996. "The behavior of interest rates implied by the term structure of Eurodollar future," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Aug, pages 426-451.
    2. Gurkaynak, Refet S. & Sack, Brian T. & Swanson, Eric P., 2007. "Market-Based Measures of Monetary Policy Expectations," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 201-212, April.
    3. Shiller, Robert J, 1979. "The Volatility of Long-Term Interest Rates and Expectations Models of the Term Structure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1190-1219, December.
    4. Joel T. Krueger & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1996. "The Fed funds futures rate as a predictor of federal reserve policy," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(8), pages 865-879, December.
    5. John B. Carlson & Jean M. McIntire & James B. Thomson, 1995. "Federal funds futures as an indicator of future monetary policy: a primer," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q I, pages 20-30.
    6. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 2002. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1161-1187, September.
    7. John C. Robertson & Daniel L. Thornton, 1997. "Using federal funds futures rates to predict Federal Reserve actions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 45-53.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giuseppe Ferrero & Andrea Nobili, 2009. "Futures Contract Rates as Monetary Policy Forecasts," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 5(2), pages 109-145, June.
    2. Piazzesi, Monika & Swanson, Eric T., 2008. "Futures prices as risk-adjusted forecasts of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 677-691, May.
    3. Fischer, Andreas M. & Ranaldo, Angelo, 2011. "Does FOMC news increase global FX trading?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 2965-2973, November.
    4. Giorgio Valente, 2005. "US Monetary Policy Announcements and the Term Structure of Interest Rate Differentials: Evidence from Hong Kong and Singapore," Working Papers 092005, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    5. Fatum, Rasmus & Scholnick, Barry, 2008. "Monetary policy news and exchange rate responses: Do only surprises matter?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1076-1086, June.
    6. Rasmus Fatum & Barry Scholnick, 2003. "Do Exchange Rates Respond to Day-to-Day Changes in Monetary Policy Expectations? Evidence from the Federal Funds Futures Market," EPRU Working Paper Series 03-18, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics, revised Aug 2003.
    7. Grahame Johnson, 2003. "Measuring Interest Rate Expectations in Canada," Staff Working Papers 03-26, Bank of Canada.

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    Keywords

    Federal funds ; Risk;

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