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Open market operations and the federal funds rate

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  • Daniel L. Thornton

Abstract

The Fed's ability to control the federal funds rate stems from its ability to alter the supply of liquidity in the overnight market through open market operations. This paper uses daily data compiled by the author from the records of the Trading Desk of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York over the period March 1, 1984, through December 31, 1996, to analyze the Desk's use of its operating procedure in implementing monetary policy, and the extent to which open market operations affect the federal funds rate-the liquidity effect. I find that operating procedure was used to guide daily open market operations; however, there is little evidence of a liquidity effect at the daily frequency and even less evidence at lower frequencies. Consistent with the absence of a liquidity effect, open market operations appear to be a relatively unimportant source of liquidity to the federal funds market.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel L. Thornton, 2005. "Open market operations and the federal funds rate," Working Papers 2005-063, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2005-063
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Thornton, Daniel L., 2001. "The Federal Reserve's operating procedure, nonborrowed reserves, borrowed reserves and the liquidity effect," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1717-1739, September.
    2. Carpenter, Seth & Demiralp, Selva, 2006. "The Liquidity Effect in the Federal Funds Market: Evidence from Daily Open Market Operations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(4), pages 901-920, June.
    3. Hamilton, James D, 1997. "Measuring the Liquidity Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 80-97, March.
    4. Benjamin M. Friedman, 1999. "The Future of Monetary Policy: The Central Bank as an Army with Only a Signal Corps?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 321-338, November.
    5. John B. Taylor, 2001. "Expectations, open market operations, and changes in the federal funds rate," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 83(Jul), pages 33-58.
    6. Demiralp, Selva & Farley, Dennis, 2005. "Declining required reserves, funds rate volatility, and open market operations," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 1131-1152, May.
    7. Selva Demiralp & Òscar Jordà, 2002. "The announcement effect: evidence from open market desk data," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 8(May), pages 29-48.
    8. Demiralp, Selva & Preslopsky, Brian & Whitesell, William, 2006. "Overnight interbank loan markets," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 67-83.
    9. Adrian R. Pagan & John C. Robertson, 1995. "Resolving the liquidity effect," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 33-54.
    10. Daniel L. Thornton, 1988. "The effect of monetary policy on short-term interest rates," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 53-72.
    11. Daniel L. Thornton, 2001. "Identifying the liquidity effect at the daily frequency," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 83(Jul), pages 59-82.
    12. William Poole & Robert H. Rasche & Daniel L. Thornton, 2002. "Market anticipations of monetary policy actions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 84(Jul), pages 65-94.
    13. Ken B. Cyree & Mark D. Griffiths & Drew B. Winters, 2003. "On the pervasive effects of Federal Reserve settlement regulations," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 85(Mar), pages 27-46.
    14. Thornton, Daniel L., 2004. "The Fed and short-term rates: Is it open market operations, open mouth operations or interest rate smoothing?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 475-498, March.
    15. Benjamin M. Friedman, 1999. "The Future of Monetary Policy: The Central Bank as an Army With Only a Signal Corps," NBER Working Papers 7420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Friedman, Benjamin M, 1999. "The Future of Monetary Policy: The Central Bank as an Army with Only a Signal Corps?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 321-338, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sébastien Kraenzlin & Martin Schlegel, 2012. "Demand for Reserves and the Central Bank's Management of Interest Rates," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 148(IV), pages 531-555, December.
    2. Friedman, Benjamin M. & Kuttner, Kenneth N., 2010. "Implementation of Monetary Policy: How Do Central Banks Set Interest Rates?," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 24, pages 1345-1438, Elsevier.
    3. Daniel L. Thornton, 2006. "The daily liquidity effect," Working Papers 2006-020, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    4. Thornton, Daniel L., 2014. "Monetary policy: Why money matters (and interest rates don’t)," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 202-213.
    5. Ariff, Mohamed & Chung, Tin-fah & M., Shamsher, 2012. "Money supply, interest rate, liquidity and share prices: A test of their linkage," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 202-220.
    6. Chung, Tin-fah & Ariff, M., 2016. "A test of the linkage among money supply, liquidity and share prices in Asia," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 48-61.
    7. Kopchak, Seth J., 2011. "The liquidity effect for open market operations," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 3292-3299.

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    Keywords

    Federal funds rate; Open market operations;

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