IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/qsh/wpaper/70936.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Model of the Safe Asset Mechanism (SAM): Safety Traps and Economic Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Ricardo J. Caballero
  • Emmanuel Farhi

Abstract

The global economy has a chronic shortage of safe assets which lies behind many recent macroeconomic imbalances. This paper provides a simple model of the Safe Asset Mechanism (SAM), its recessionary safety traps, and its policy antidotes. Public debt plays a central role in SAM as long as the government has spare fiscal capacity to back safe asset production. We show that Quantitative Easing type policies have positive eff ects on spreads and output. In contrast, Operation Twist type policies, where the duration of public debt held by the public is reduced, can be counterproductive. Monetary policy commitments work if they support future bad states of nature. All these policies depend on fi scal capacity. Once the latter runs out, short term cyclical policy becomes ineff ective. In contrast, credible long run fiscal consolidation relaxes the fi scal capacity constraint and enhances the e ffectiveness of short term policy. An economy that is near its scal limits is susceptible to runs on its public debt and to destabilizing feedback loops.

Suggested Citation

  • Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi, 2013. "A Model of the Safe Asset Mechanism (SAM): Safety Traps and Economic Policy," Working Paper 70936, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  • Handle: RePEc:qsh:wpaper:70936
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://scholar.harvard.edu/farhi/node/70936
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2012. "The Aggregate Demand for Treasury Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(2), pages 233-267.
    2. Jeremy C. Stein, 2012. "Monetary Policy as Financial Stability Regulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 57-95.
    3. Veronica Guerrieri & Guido Lorenzoni, 2017. "Credit Crises, Precautionary Savings, and the Liquidity Trap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(3), pages 1427-1467.
    4. 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.
    5. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1998. "Private and Public Supply of Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 1-40, February.
    6. Bansal, Ravi & Coleman, Wilbur John, II, 1996. "A Monetary Explanation of the Equity Premium, Term Premium, and Risk-Free Rate Puzzles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1135-1171, December.
    7. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "When Is the Government Spending Multiplier Large?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 78-121.
    8. Emmanuel Farhi & Ivan Werning, "undated". "Fiscal Multipliers: Liquidity Traps and Currency Unions," Working Paper 78556, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    9. Anton Korinek & Alp Simsek, 2016. "Liquidity Trap and Excessive Leverage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(3), pages 699-738, March.
    10. Gorton, Gary & Metrick, Andrew, 2012. "Securitized banking and the run on repo," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 425-451.
    11. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Paul Krugman, 2012. "Debt, Deleveraging, and the Liquidity Trap: A Fisher-Minsky-Koo Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1469-1513.
    12. Gary B. Gorton & Guillermo Ordoñez, 2013. "The Supply and Demand for Safe Assets," NBER Working Papers 18732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 2010. "Financial Innovation and Financial Fragility," NBER Chapters,in: Market Institutions and Financial Market Risk National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:qsh:wpaper:70936. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Richard Brandon). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cbrssus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.