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The mechanics of a graceful exit: interest on reserves and segmentation in the federal funds market

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  • Morten L. Bech
  • Elizabeth C. Klee

Abstract

To combat the financial crisis that intensified in the fall of 2008, the Federal Reserve injected a substantial amount of liquidity into the banking system. The resulting increase in reserve balances exerted downward price pressure in the federal funds market, and the effective federal funds rate began to deviate from the target rate set by the Federal Open Market Committee. In response, the Federal Reserve revised its operational framework for implementing monetary policy and began to pay interest on reserve balances in an attempt to provide a floor for the federal funds rate. Nevertheless, following the policy change, the effective federal funds rate remained below not only the target but also the rate paid on reserve balances. We develop a model to explain this phenomenon and use data from the federal funds market to evaluate it empirically. In turn, we show how successful the Federal Reserve may be in raising the federal funds rate even in an environment with substantial reserve balances.

Suggested Citation

  • Morten L. Bech & Elizabeth C. Klee, 2010. "The mechanics of a graceful exit: interest on reserves and segmentation in the federal funds market," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-07, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2010-07
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Federal funds market (United States); Interest rates;

    JEL classification:

    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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