Forecast Dispersion, Dissenting Votes, and Monetary Policy Preferences of FOMC Members: The Role of Individual Career Characteristics and Political Aspects
Using data from 1992 to 2001, we study the impact of members’ economic forecasts on the probability of casting dissenting votes in the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). Employing standard ordered probit techniques, we find that higher individual inflation and real GDP growth forecasts (relative to the committee’s median) significantly increase the probability of dissenting in favor of tighter monetary policy, whereas higher individual unemployment rate forecasts significantly decrease it. Using interaction models, we find that FOMC members with longer careers in government, industry, academia, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), or on the staff of the Board of Governors are more focused on output stabilization, while FOMC members with longer careers in the financial sector or on the staffs of regional Federal Reserve Banks are more focused on inflation stabilization. We also find evidence that politics matters, with Republican appointees being much more focused on inflation stabilization than Democratic appointees. Moreover, during the entire Clinton administration ‘natural’ monetary policy preferences of Bank presidents and Board members for inflation and output stabilization were more pronounced than under periods covering the administrations of both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, respectively.
Outperforming IMF Forecasts by the Use of Leading Indicators
IWH Discussion Papers,
This study analyzes the performance of the IMF World Economic Outlook forecasts for world output and the aggregates of both the advanced economies and the emerging and developing economies. With a focus on the forecast for the current and the next year, we examine whether IMF forecasts can be improved by using leading indicators with monthly updates. Using a real-time dataset for GDP and for the indicators we find that some simple single-indicator forecasts on the basis of data that are available at higher frequency can significantly outperform the IMF forecasts if the publication of the Outlook is only a few months old.
Leverage, Balance-Sheet Size and Wholesale Funding
Journal of Financial Intermediation,
Positive co-movements in bank leverage and assets are associated with leverage procyclicality. As wholesale funding allows banks to quickly adjust leverage, banks with wholesale funding are expected to exhibit higher leverage procyclicality. Using Canadian data, we analyze (i) if leverage procyclicality exists and its dependence on wholesale funding, (ii) market factors associated with this procyclicality, and (iii) if banking-sector leverage procyclicality forecasts market volatility. The findings suggest that procyclicality exists and that its degree positively depends on use of wholesale funding. Furthermore, funding-market liquidity matters for this procyclicality. Finally, banking-sector leverage procyclicality can forecast volatility in the equity market.