Mark Gertler, Peter Karadi, 10 March 2015

Evidence of the impact of monetary policy on economic activity supports conventional models with nominal rigidities. This column highlights the importance of the ‘credit channel’ of monetary policy. Unanticipated tightening produces a significant drop in real activity. However, monetary policy responses produce large movements in credit costs, which are due to the reaction of term premia and credit spreads. Therefore, to account for credit costs, it might be necessary to amend macroeconomic models to control for term premia and credit spreads.

Jagjit Chadha, 02 November 2014

The impact of the stock and maturity of government debt on longer-term bond yields matters for monetary policy. This column assesses the magnitude and relative importance of overall bond supply and maturity effects on longer-term US Treasury interest rates using data from 1976 to 2008. Both factors have a significant impact on both forwards and term premia, but maturity of public debt appears to matter more. The results have implications for exit from unconventional policies, and also for the links between monetary and fiscal policy and debt management.

Karl Walentin, 11 September 2014

Central banks have resorted to various unconventional monetary policy tools since the onset of the Global Crisis. This column focuses on the macroeconomic effects of the Federal Reserve’s large-scale purchases of mortgage-backed securities – in particular, through reducing the ‘mortgage spread’ between interest rates on mortgages and government bonds at a given maturity. Although large-scale asset purchases are found to have substantial macroeconomic effects, they may not necessarily be the best policy tool at the zero lower bound.

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