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Cracking the conundrum

  • David K. Backus
  • Jonathan H. Wright

From 2004 to 2006, the FOMC raised the target federal funds rate by 4.25 percentage points, yet long-maturity yields and forward rates fell. We consider several possible explanations for this "conundrum." The most likely, in our view, is a fall in the term premium, probably associated with some combination of diminished macroeconomic uncertainty and financial market volatility, more predictable monetary policy, and the state of the business cycle.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2007-46.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2007-46
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  15. Meredith J. Beechey, 2006. "A closer look at the sensitivity puzzle: the sensitivity of expected future short rates and term premia to macroeconomic news," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-06, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. 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.
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