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Intermediaries and payments instruments

  • James Bullard
  • Bruce D. Smith

We study an economy in which intermediaries have incentives to issue circulating liabilities as part of an equilibrium. We show that, with arbitrarily small transactions costs, only the liabilities of intermediaries will circulate, and not those of other private sector agents. Therefore, our model connects intermediation activity with the issuance of payments media, a connection that has not been made in earlier literature. We also describe conditions under which equilibrium outcomes may be volatile when private liabilities circulate. Finally, we use our model to suggest a resolution of the "banknote underissue puzzle" of Cagan (1993).

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2002-006.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2002-006
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  1. Stephen D. Williamson, 1984. "Costly Monitoring, Financial Intermediation, and Equilibrium Credit Rationing," Working Papers 583, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Bruce Champ & Bruce D. Smith & Stephen D. Williamson, 1996. "Currency Elasticity and Banking Panics: Theory and Evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(4), pages 828-64, November.
  3. Ostroy, Joseph M & Starr, Ross M, 1974. "Money and the Decentralization of Exchange," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(6), pages 1093-1113, November.
  4. Champ, Bruce & Freeman, Scott & Weber, Warren E, 1999. "Redemption Costs and Interest Rates under the U.S. National Banking System," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 568-89, August.
  5. Bullard, James & Smith, Bruce D., 2003. "The value of inside and outside money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 389-417, March.
  6. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1983. "A model of commodity money," Staff Report 85, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Champ, Bruce & Wallace, Neil & Weber, Warren E., 1994. "Interest rates under the U.S. national banking system," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 343-358, December.
  8. Boyd, John H. & Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Financial intermediary-coalitions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 211-232, April.
  9. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1989. "On Money as a Medium of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 927-54, August.
  10. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
  11. Townsend, Robert M, 1987. "Economic Organization with Limited Communication," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 954-71, December.
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