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The Problem of Excess Reserves, Then and Now

  • Walker F. Todd
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    This working paper looks at excess reserves in historical context and analyzes whether they constitute a monetary policy problem for the Federal Reserve System (the "Fed") or a potential-ly inflationary problem for the rest of us. Generally, this analysis shows that both absolute and relative sizes of excess reserves are a big problem for the Fed as well as the general public because of their inflationary potential. However, like all contingencies, the timing and extent of the damage that reserve-driven inflation might cause are uncertain. It is even possible today to find articles in both scholarly circles and the popular press arguing either that the inflationary blow-off might never happen or that an increasing tendency toward prolonged deflation is the more probable outcome.

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    File URL: http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp_763.pdf
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    Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_763.

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    Date of creation: May 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_763
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.levyinstitute.org

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