When the COVID-19 crisis hit the economy in 2020, the Federal Reserve responded with numerous programs designed to prevent a collapse in bank credit and firms’ available funds. I develop a dynamic general equilibrium model to study how these programs work and to evaluate their effectiveness. In the model, quantitative easing works through three channels: the expansion of bank reserves lowers a liquidity premium, the purchase of assets lowers a volatility risk premium, and the economic stimulus lowers a credit risk premium. Since bank reserves are currently larger than in the past, the liquidity premium channel is weaker, and quantitative easing is less effective. Direct lending to firms at a market rate is also less effective. Direct lending to firms at a subsidized rate can be more stimulative than quantitative easing, provided that it lowers firms’ marginal borrowing rate and user cost of capital.
This paper studies the macroeconomic effects of seven key TCJA provisions, including the tax cuts for individuals and businesses, the bonus depreciation of equipment, the amortization of R&D expenses, and the limits on interest deductibility. I use a dynamic general equilibrium model with interest deductibility and accelerated depreciation. I find that, initially, the tax reform had a small positive impact on output and investment. In the medium term, however, the effect on output will diminish, and the effect on investment will turn negative. The tax reform will depress investment in R&D. Government debt will surge.
This paper studies how a worsening of the debt overhang distortion on bank lending can explain banking solvency crises that are accompanied by a plunge of bank asset values and by a severe contraction of lending and economic activity.
The 2017 tax reform affected investment through many channels. I use a macroeconomic model to estimate the overall effect. That estimate suggests that, because the different provisions worked in different directions, the initial impact of the tax reform on investment was small. The same model predicts that the tax reform will hold investment down in the medium term.
According to the historical relationship known as the Phillips curve, strengthening of the economy is commonly associated with increasing inflation. With inflation having only modestly picked up in the past few years as the economy has become more robust, many believe the Phillips curve relationship has weakened, with the curve becoming flatter. I show that the flattening can be due to very different types of structural changes and that knowing the type of change that has occurred is crucial for choosing the appropriate monetary policy.
Countercyclical capital regulation can reduce the procyclicality of the banking system and dampen aggregate economic fluctuations. I describe two new capital buffers introduced in Basel III and discuss why their countercyclical effects may be small. If over time regulators want to increase the degree of countercyclicality of capital regulation, they might consider adopting a rule-based countercyclical buffer, that is, a buffer that is automatically lowered during recessions according to a rule. I present a conservative example of such a rule and its effects on capital requirements over the business cycle.
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland economists examine the many forces that will determine how “great” the most recent recession turns out to be. Find the articles, plus our interview with economic historian Price Fishback, in the fall 2011 issue of Forefront.