Central Banks and Macro Finance
Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
- Chair: Samuel Hanson, Harvard Business School
Central Bank Communication and the Yield Curve
AbstractWe decompose ECB monetary policy surprises into target and communication shocks and document a number of novel findings. First, consistent with the idea that concurrent implementation of monetary policy is largely anticipated, we find that target shocks only have a limited effect on yields. However, we show that communication shocks have a large and economically significant impact on swap rates and sovereign yields, displaying a hump-shaped pattern across maturity. Second, we document that around the European debt crisis communication had the effect of driving a wedge between yields on core versus peripheral countries. We study two explanations for this finding, revelation of the ECB's private information and credit risk, and argue that neither channel can explain the effect on yield spreads. Motivated by this, we consider an alternative explanation in which central bank communication can induce demand shocks for bonds due to the presence of reaching-for-yield investors. We show that a resulting risk premium channel helps to rationalize our findings.
Monetary Policy Slope and the Stock Market
AbstractWe construct a slope factor from changes in federal funds futures of different horizons. A positive slope signals faster monetary policy tightening and predicts negative excess returns at the weekly frequency. Investors can achieve increases in weekly Sharpe ratios of 20% conditioning on the slope factor. The tone of speeches by the FOMC chair correlates with the slope factor. Slope predicts changes in future interest rates and forecast revisions of professional forecasters, but macro news does not drive the predictability of slope for future excess returns. Our findings show that the path of future interest rates matters for asset prices, and monetary policy affects asset prices throughout the year and not only at FOMC meetings.
- G0 - General