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U.S. Monetary Policy and Stock Prices: Should the Fed Attempt to Control Stock Prices?


  • John, Tatom


This article rejects the linkages in proposals that the Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) target equity prices. The real federal funds rate (RFF) and stock prices (SP) are uncorrelated; causality tests show a positive effect of SP on RFF and a negative effect of SP on RFF. These results occur as part of the dynamics of a negative cointegrated relationship between SP and RFF. A theoretically expected inverse relation between SP and inflation accounts for the results. The negative effect of SP on FF is also confirmed in a Taylor Rule estimate. Higher stock prices anticipate lower, not higher, inflation.

Suggested Citation

  • John, Tatom, 2009. "U.S. Monetary Policy and Stock Prices: Should the Fed Attempt to Control Stock Prices?," MPRA Paper 19762, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19762

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jensen, Gerald R. & Mercer, Jeffrey M. & Johnson, Robert R., 1996. "Business conditions, monetary policy, and expected security returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 213-237, February.
    2. John B. Taylor, 1999. "A Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 319-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Fama, Eugene F, 1981. "Stock Returns, Real Activity, Inflation, and Money," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 545-565, September.
    4. Roberto Rigobon & Brian P. Sack, 2001. "Measuring the reaction of monetary policy to the stock market," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-14, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1999. "Monetary policy and asset price volatility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 77-128.
    6. Steven A. Sharpe, 2002. "Reexamining Stock Valuation and Inflation: The Implications Of Analysts' Earnings Forecasts," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 632-648, November.
    7. James R. Booth & Lena Chua Booth, 1997. "Economic factors, monetary policy and expected returns on stocks and bonds," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 32-42.
    8. Marcus Miller & Paul Weller & Lei Zhang, 2000. "Moral Hazard and the US Stock Market: Has Mr. Greenspan Created a Bubble?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1902, Econometric Society.
    9. James H. Stock & Mark W.Watson, 2003. "Forecasting Output and Inflation: The Role of Asset Prices," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(3), pages 788-829, September.
    10. Frank Smets, 1997. "Financial-asset Prices and Monetary Policy: Theory and Evidence," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Philip Lowe (ed.), Monetary Policy and Inflation Targeting Reserve Bank of Australia.
    11. James B. Bullard & Eric Schaling, 2002. "Why the Fed should ignore the stock market," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar., pages 35-42.
    12. John A. Tatom & James E. Turley, 1979. "Inflation and taxes: disincentives for capital formation," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, number 1979iadfc.
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    More about this item


    Monetary Policy; Bubbles; Asset Prices; Inflation.;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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