The Mechanics of a Graceful Exit: Interest on Reserves and Segmentation in the Federal Funds Market

59 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2009

See all articles by Morten L. Bech

Morten L. Bech

Bank for International Settlements (BIS) - Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures

Elizabeth Klee

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2009

Abstract

To combat the financial crisis that intensified in the fall of 2008, the Federal Reserve injected a substantial amount of liquidity into the banking system. The resulting increase in reserve balances exerted downward price pressure in the federal funds market, and the effective federal funds rate began to deviate from the target rate set by the Federal Open Market Committee. In response, the Federal Reserve revised its operational framework for implementing monetary policy and began to pay interest on reserve balances in an attempt to provide a floor for the federal funds rate. Nevertheless, following the policy change, the effective federal funds rate remained below not only the target but also the rate paid on reserve balances. We develop a model to explain this phenomenon and use data from the federal funds market to evaluate it empirically. In turn, we show how successful the Federal Reserve may be in raising the federal funds rate even in an environment with substantial reserve balances.

Keywords: federal funds, segmentation, interest on reserves, corridor system, exit strategy

JEL Classification: E4, E58, G21, G28

Suggested Citation

Bech, Morten L. and Klee, Elizabeth, The Mechanics of a Graceful Exit: Interest on Reserves and Segmentation in the Federal Funds Market (December 2009). FRB of New York Staff Report No. 416, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1527061 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1527061

Morten L. Bech (Contact Author)

Bank for International Settlements (BIS) - Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures ( email )

Centralbahnplatz 2
Basel, Basel-Stadt 4002
Switzerland
41612808923 (Phone)

Elizabeth Klee

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ( email )

20th and Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States

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