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The execution of monetary policy: a tale of two central banks

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  • Leonardo Bartolini
  • Alessandro Prati

Abstract

The Eurosystem and the U.S. Federal Reserve System follow quite different approaches to the execution of monetary policy. The former institution adopts a "hands-off" approach that largely delegates to depository institutions the task of stabilizing their own liquidity at high frequency. The latter institution follows a much more "hands-on" approach involving daily intervention to fine-tune the liquidity of the banking system. We review the implications of these contrasting approaches, focusing on their impact on the high-frequency behavior of very short-term interest rates. We also examine interest rate behavior following the Y2K date change and the 9/11/2001 crisis - events that required the two central banks to deviate significantly from their customary style of liquidity management. We find that, despite differences in operational framework, certain elements of the institutions' styles of day-to-day intervention have caused very short-term interest rates to behave similarly in the euro area and the United States. Significantly, during periods of anticipated or actual crisis, the two institutions have acted very much alike in managing the liquidity of the interbank market in response to shocks.

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  • Leonardo Bartolini & Alessandro Prati, 2003. "The execution of monetary policy: a tale of two central banks," Staff Reports 165, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:165
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cassola, Nuno & Morana, Claudio, 2010. "Comovements in volatility in the euro money market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 525-539, April.
    2. Sánchez-Fung, José R., 2008. "The day-to-day interbank market, volatility, and central bank intervention in a developing economy," MPRA Paper 15648, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Ejerskov, Steen & Martin Moss, Clara & Stracca, Livio, 2003. "How does the ECB allot liquidity in its weekly main refinancing operations? A look at the empirical evidence," Working Paper Series 244, European Central Bank.
    4. Livio Stracca & Clara Martin Moss & Livio Stracca, 2004. "Demand and supply in the ECB's main refinancing operations," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 94, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    5. Freixas, Xavier & Rochet, Jean-Charles & Parigi, Bruno M., 2003. "The lender of last resort: a 21st century approach," Working Paper Series 298, European Central Bank.
    6. Durré, Alain & Beaupain, Renaud, 2008. "The interday and intraday patterns of the overnight market: evidence from an electronic platform," Working Paper Series 988, European Central Bank.
    7. Chiara Scotti, 2006. "A bivariate model of Fed and ECB main policy rates," International Finance Discussion Papers 875, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Ulrike Neyer & Jürgen Wiemers, 2004. "The Influence of a Heterogeneous Banking Sector on the Interbank Market Rate in the Euro Area," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 140(III), pages 395-428, September.

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    Keywords

    Monetary policy ; European Monetary System (Organization) ; Federal Reserve System ; Interest rates;

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