6thEDITION Economics Principles, Applications, and Tools O’Sullivan Sheffrin Perez
The Federal Reserve andMonetary Policy P R E P A R E D B Y Little did Ben S. Bernanke know when he took over the reins as chairman of the Federal Reserve on February 1, 2006, that he would face a novel and complex crisis brought on by the fall in housing prices and its reverberations throughout the entire financial system in 2007 and 2008. Economics: Principles, Applications, and Tools O’Sullivan, Sheffrin, Perez 6/e. FERNANDO QUIJANO, YVONN QUIJANO, AND XIAO XUAN XU
A P P L Y I N G T H E C O N C E P T S • Why did the Federal Reserve introduce new mechanisms for institutions to borrow money from it? • New Ways to Borrow from the Fed • What happens to interest rates when the economy recovers from a recession? • Rising Interest Rates during an Economic Recovery • Is it better for decisions about monetary policy to be made by a single individual or by a committee? • The Effectiveness of Committees 1 2 3
THE MONEY MARKET 14.1 • money market • The market for money in which the • amount supplied and the amount • demanded meet to determine the • nominal interest rate. • The Demand for Money INTEREST RATES AFFECT MONEY DEMAND • transaction demand for money • The demand for money based on the desire to facilitate transactions.
THE MONEY MARKET 14.1 • The Demand for Money P R I N C I P L E O F O P P O RT U N I T Y C O S T The opportunity cost of something is what you sacrifice to get it. • FIGURE 14.1Demand for Money As interest rates increase from r0 to r1, the quantity of money demanded falls from M0 to M1.
THE MONEY MARKET 14.1 • The Demand for Money THE PRICE LEVEL AND GDP AFFECT MONEY DEMAND R E A L - N O M I N A L P R I N C I P L E What matters to people is the real value of money or income— its purchasing power—not the face value of money or income. • FIGURE 14.2Shifting the Demand for Money Changes in prices and real GDP shift the demand for money.
THE MONEY MARKET 14.1 • The Demand for Money OTHER COMPONENTS OF MONEY DEMAND • illiquid • Not easily transferable to money. • liquidity demand for money • The demand for money that represents the needs and desires individuals and firms have to make transactions on short notice without incurring excessive costs. • speculative demand for money • The demand for money that arises because holding money over short periods is less risky than holding • stocks or bonds.
HOW THE FEDERAL RESERVE CAN CHANGE THE MONEY SUPPLY 14.2 • Open Market Operations • open market operations • The purchase or sale of U.S. • government securities by the Fed. • open market purchases • The Fed’s purchase of government • bonds from the private sector. • open market sales • The Fed’s sale of government bonds to the private sector.
HOW THE FEDERAL RESERVE CAN CHANGE THE MONEY SUPPLY 14.2 • Other Tools of the Fed CHANGING RESERVE REQUIREMENTS If the Fed wishes to increase the supply of money, it can reduce banks’ reserve requirements so they have more money to loan out. CHANGING THE DISCOUNT RATE • discount rate • The interest rate at which banks can borrow from the Fed. • federal funds market • The market in which banks borrow and lend reserves to and from one another. • federal funds rate • The interest rate on reserves that banks lend each other.
1 A P P L I C A T I O N NEW WAYS TO BORROW FROM THE FED APPLYING THE CONCEPTS #1:Why did the Federal Reserve introduce new mechanisms for institutions to borrow money from it? Banks might need funds but be reluctant to borrowfrom the Fed, because the Fed is also their regulator and could become concerned about the banks’ solvency. These concerns limit the amount banks wanted to borrow from the Fed. To provide more liquidity directly to the banking system, the Fed developed a number of new ideas. The first was the Term Auction Facility, in which the Fed auctioned off loans in the market to banks and other eligible depository institutions. The next was a Term Securities Lending Facility that provided loans to 20 different banks and financial institutions that were major dealers in government securities. As a response to the deepening of the financial crisis in October 2008, the Fed also developed two additional means of providing funding to the economy. The Commercial Paper Funding Facility allows the Fed to indirectly purchase short term corporate debt—commercial paper—from firms. In addition, the Fed developed the Money Market Investor Funding Facility to provide a mechanism to support money market funds that came under stress during the financial crisis in 2008.
14.3 HOW INTEREST RATES ARE DETERMINED: COMBINING THE DEMAND AND SUPPLY OF MONEY • FIGURE 14.3Equilibrium in the Money Market Equilibrium in the money market occurs at an interest rate of r*, at which the quantity of money demanded equals the quantity of money supplied.
14.3 HOW INTEREST RATES ARE DETERMINED: COMBINING THE DEMAND AND SUPPLY OF MONEY • FIGURE 14.4Federal Reserve and Interest Rates Changes in the supply of money will change interest rates.
14.3 HOW INTEREST RATES ARE DETERMINED: COMBINING THE DEMAND AND SUPPLY OF MONEY • Interest Rates and Bond Prices HOW OPEN MARKET OPERATIONS DIRECTLY AFFECT BOND PRICES Bond prices rise as interest rates fall. GOOD NEWS FOR THE ECONOMY IS BAD NEWS FOR BOND PRICES Increased money demand will increase interest rates.
2 A P P L I C A T I O N RISING INTEREST RATES DURING AN ECONOMIC RECOVERY APPLYING THE CONCEPTS #2:What happens to interest rates when the economy recovers from a recession? Economists have often noticed that as an economy recovers from a recession, interest rates start to rise. Some observers think this is puzzling because they associate higher interest rates with lower output. Why should a recovery be associated with higher interest rates? The simple model of the money market helps explain why interest rates can rise during an economic recovery. One key to understanding this phenomenon is that the extra income being generated by firms and individuals during the recovery will increase the demand for money. Because the demand for money increases while the supply of money remains fixed, interest rates rise. Another factor is that the Federal Reserve itself may want to raise interest rates as the economy grows rapidly to avoid overheating the economy. In this case, the Fed cuts back on the supply of money to raise interest rates. In both cases, however, the public should expect rising interest rates during a period of economic recovery and rapid GDP growth.
INTEREST RATES AND HOW THEY CHANGE INVESTMENT AND OUTPUT (GDP) 14.4 • FIGURE 14.5The Money Market and Investment Spending The equilibrium interest rate r* is determined in the money market. At that interest rate, investment spending is given by I*.
INTEREST RATES AND HOW THEY CHANGE INVESTMENT AND OUTPUT (GDP) 14.4 • FIGURE 14.6Monetary Policy and Interest Rates As the money supply increases, interest rates fall from r0 to r1. Investment spending increases from I0 to I1.
INTEREST RATES AND HOW THEY CHANGE INVESTMENT AND OUTPUT (GDP) 14.4 • FIGURE 14.7Money Supply and Aggregate Demand When the money supply is increased, investment spending increases, shifting the AD curve to the right. Output increases and prices increase in the short run.
INTEREST RATES AND HOW THEY CHANGE INVESTMENT AND OUTPUT (GDP) 14.4 • Monetary Policy and International Trade • exchange rate • The rate at which currencies trade for one another in the market. • depreciation of a currency • A decrease in the value of a currency.
INTEREST RATES AND HOW THEY CHANGE INVESTMENT AND OUTPUT (GDP) 14.4 • Monetary Policy and International Trade • appreciation of a currency • An increase in the value of a currency.
MONETARY POLICY CHALLENGES FOR THE FED 14.5 • Lags in Monetary Policy Inside lags are the time it takes for policymakers to recognize and implement policy changes. Outside lags are the time it takes for policy to actually work. • Influencing Market Expectations: From the Federal Funds Rate to Interest Rates on Long-Term Bonds It is important to recognize that the Fed directly controls only very short-term interest rates in the economy, not long-term interest rates. For the Fed to control investment spending, it must also somehow influence long-term rates. It can do this indirectly by influencing short-term rates.
3 A P P L I C A T I O N THE EFFECTIVENESS OF COMMITTEES APPLYING THE CONCEPTS #3:Is it better for decisions about monetary policy to be made by a single individual or by a committee? When Professor Alan Blinder returned to teaching after serving as vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1994 to 1996, he was convinced that committees were not effective for making decisions about monetary policy. With another researcher, Blinder developed an experiment to determine whether in fact individuals or groups make better decisions. The results of the experiment showed that committees make decisions as quickly as, and more accurately than, individuals making decisions by themselves. Moreover, it was not the performance of the individual committee members that contributed to the superiority of committee decisions—the actual process of having meetings and discussions appears to have improved the group’s overall performance. In later research, Blinder also found that it did not really matter whether the committee had a strong leader. His findings suggest it is the wisdom of the group, not its leader, that really matters. And to the extent the leader has too much power—and the committee functions more like an individual than a group—monetary policy will actually be worse!
MONETARY POLICY CHALLENGES FOR THE FED 14.5 • Looking Ahead: From the Short Run to the Long Run Monetary policy can affect output in the short run when prices are largely fixed, but in the long run changes in the money supply affect only the price level and inflation. In the long run, the Federal Reserve can only indirectly control nominal interest rates, and it can’t control real interest rates—the rate after inflation is figured in. In the next part of the book, we will explain how output and prices change over time, and how the economy makes the transition by itself from the short to the long run regardless of what the Fed does.
K E Y T E R M S federal funds market federal funds rate illiquid liquidity demand for money money market open market operations open market purchases open market sales speculative demand for money transaction demand for money appreciation of a currency depreciation of a currency discount rate exchange rate