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Interpreting the Unconventional U.S. Monetary Policy of 2007-09


  • Ricardo Reis


This paper reviews the unconventional U.S. monetary policy responses to the financial and real crises of 2007-09, divided into three groups: interest rate policy, quantitative policy, and credit policy. To interpret interest rate policy, it compares the Federal Reserve's actions with the literature on optimal policy in a liquidity trap. The theory suggests that, to minimize the length and severity of the recession, would require a stronger commitment to low interest rates for an extended period of time. To interpret quantitative policy, the paper reviews the determination of inflation under different policy regimes. The main danger for inflation from current actions is that the Federal Reserve may lose its policy independence; a beneficial side effect of the crisis is that the Friedman rule can be implemented by paying interest on reserves. To interpret credit policy, the paper presents a new model of capital market imperfections with different financial institutions and a role for securitization, leveraging, and mark-to-market accounting. The model suggests that providing credit to traders in securities markets can restore liquidity with fewer government funds than extending credit to the originators of loans.

Suggested Citation

  • Ricardo Reis, 2010. "Interpreting the Unconventional U.S. Monetary Policy of 2007-09," NBER Working Papers 15662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15662
    Note: AP CF EFG ME

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Duca, John V., 2013. "Did the commercial paper funding facility prevent a Great Depression style money market meltdown?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 747-758.
    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. Zhixiong Zeng, 2013. "A theory of the non-neutrality of money with banking frictions and bank recapitalization," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 52(2), pages 729-754, March.
    4. Nuno Cassola & Claudio Morana, 2010. "The 2007-? financial crisis: a euro area money market perspective," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 35-2010, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    5. Ricardo Reis, 2017. "QE in the Future: The Central Bank’s Balance Sheet in a Fiscal Crisis," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 65(1), pages 71-112, April.
    6. Jaromír Baxa & Roman Horváth & Bořek Vašíček, 2011. "Time Varying Monetary Policy Rules and Financial Stress," Chapters,in: Handbook of Central Banking, Financial Regulation and Supervision, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Bagliano, Fabio C. & Morana, Claudio, 2012. "The Great Recession: US dynamics and spillovers to the world economy," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 1-13.
    8. Ricardo Reis, 2017. "Is Something Really Wrong with Macroeconomics?," CESifo Working Paper Series 6446, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Gonzalez-Astudillo, Manuel, 2011. "Policy Rule Coefficients Driven by Latent Factors: Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interactions in an Endowment Economy," MPRA Paper 29976, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Chao Gu & Joseph Haslag, 2014. "Unconventional Optimal Open Market Purchases," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(3), pages 543-558, July.
    11. Duca, John V. & Murphy, Anthony, 2013. "Would a Bagehot style corporate bond backstop have helped counter the Great Recession?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(3), pages 351-353.
    12. Claudio Morana, 2013. "Factor Vector Autoregressive Estimation of Heteroskedastic Persistent and Non Persistent Processes Subject to Structural Breaks: New Insights on the US OIS SPreads Term Structure," Working Papers 233, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2013.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination


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