Threats to Central Bank Independence: High-Frequency Evidence with Twitter
69 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2019
Date Written: September 15, 2019
This paper presents market-based evidence that President Trump influences expectations about monetary policy. The main estimates use tick-by-tick fed funds futures data and a large collection of Trump tweets criticizing the conduct of monetary policy. These collected tweets consistently advocate that the Fed lowers interest rates. Identification in our high-frequency event study exploits a small time window around the precise time stamp for each tweet. The average effect of these tweets on the expected fed funds rate is strongly statistically significant and negative, with a cumulative effect of around negative 10 bps. Therefore, we provide evidence that market participants believe that the Fed will succumb to the political pressure, which poses a significant threat to central bank independence.
Keywords: Central bank independence, monetary policy, fed funds target, high-frequency identification, twitter
JEL Classification: E30, E40, E50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation