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Effects of Unconventional Monetary Policy on Financial Institutions

Listed author(s):
  • Gabriel Chodorow-Reich

Monetary policy affects the real economy in part through its effects on financial institutions. High frequency event studies show the introduction of unconventional monetary policy in the winter of 2008-09 had a strong, beneficial impact on banks and especially on life insurance companies. I interpret the positive effects on life insurers as expansionary policy recapitalizing the sector by raising the value of legacy assets. Expansionary policy had small positive or neutral effects on banks and life insurers through 2013. The interaction of low nominal interest rates and administrative costs forced money market funds to waive fees, producing a possible incentive to reach for yield to reduce waivers. I show money market funds with higher costs reached for higher returns in 2009-11, but not thereafter. Some private defined benefit pension funds increased their risk taking beginning in 2009, but again such behavior largely dissipated by 2012. In sum, unconventional monetary policy helped to stabilize some sectors and provoked modest additional risk taking in others. I do not find evidence that the financial institutions studied formented a tradeoff between expansionary policy and financial stability at the end of 2013.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w20230.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 20230.

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Date of creation: Jun 2014
Publication status: published as Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, 2014. "Effects of Unconventional Monetary Policy on Financial Institutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 48(1 (Spring), pages 155-227.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20230
Note: ME
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  1. Itamar Drechsler & Alexi Savov & Philipp Schnabl, 2014. "A Model of Monetary Policy and Risk Premia," NBER Working Papers 20141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Susan E. K. Christoffersen & David K. Musto, 2002. "Demand Curves and the Pricing of Money Management," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(5), pages 1499-1524.
  3. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2011. "The Effects of Quantitative Easing on Interest Rates: Channels and Implications for Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(2 (Fall)), pages 215-287.
  4. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Charles L. Evans & Jonas D.M. Fisher & Alejandro Justiniano, 2012. "Macroeconomic Effects of Federal Reserve Forward Guidance," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 43(1 (Spring), pages 1-80.
  5. Jeremy C. Stein & Anil K. Kashyap, 2000. "What Do a Million Observations on Banks Say about the Transmission of Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 407-428, June.
  6. Merton, Robert C, 1974. "On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-470, May.
  7. Jonathan H. Wright, 2012. "What does Monetary Policy do to Long‐term Interest Rates at the Zero Lower Bound?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages 447-466, November.
  8. Masazumi Hattori & Andreas Schrimpf & Vladyslav Sushko, 2016. "The Response of Tail Risk Perceptions to Unconventional Monetary Policy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 111-136, April.
  9. Kiley, Michael T., 2016. "Monetary policy statements, treasury yields, and private yields: Before and after the zero lower bound," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 285-290.
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