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The Government, the Central Bank and Money. Money is a just a tool that does three things Serve as a unit of account Serve as a medium of exchange Serve.

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Presentation on theme: "The Government, the Central Bank and Money. Money is a just a tool that does three things Serve as a unit of account Serve as a medium of exchange Serve."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Government, the Central Bank and Money

2 Money is a just a tool that does three things Serve as a unit of account Serve as a medium of exchange Serve as a store of value.

3 Lots of things could do these jobs, some better than others Cash is really good at most of these things (but is it better at some things than others) Demand deposits (checking accounts) are also obvious kinds of money Other liabilities might also work (but how well and where should the line be drawn separating money from other kinds of debt?)

4 Does Money Matter? The Quantity Theory of Money Let V stand for the velocity of money that is the total number of times the money supply is spent in a given year. In symbols MxV = PxQ Where –M is the money supply –P is the price level –Q is the quantity of goods transacted

5 Does Money Matter? The Quantity Theory of Money (Continued) Now suppose that –V is determined by things other than prices or the aggregate level of economic activity such as the sophistication of the financial system. –Q is determined by real economic factors such as the availability and productivity of labor and other resources. In such an environment, the price level would depend entirely on the money supply.

6 Since, as we will see, banks play a critical role in the process of supplying money, lets start with brief history of US banking First Bank of the United States ( ) Banking in the Jacksonian Era: The Second National Bank ( ) State Banking ( ) National Bank Act (1863) The Federal Reserve (1913)

7 Functions of the Fed Create money and control money supply Regulate and supervise financial institutions Provide banking services to the Federal Government Provide banking services to private financial institutions (for example, check clearing and wire transfers). Monitor economic conditions and provide advice to private and public sector

8 The Feds Control of the Money Supply: Basic Definitions. C= the total stock of cash in the hands of the public D=the total amount of demand deposit liabilities (money in checking accounts) M=C+D (the money supply) R=the amount of reserves the banks choose to hold in Fed Rr=required reserve ratiothe amount of reserves the banks are required to hold as proportion of demand deposits. That is, the required reserves are Rr x D

9 The Feds Control of the Money Supply: A Slightly Simplified Model C = c x D, (where c is just some number indicating what proportion of their total D people want in the form of cash. For example, demand deposit liabilities might be $) R = Rr x D (the banks dont hold excess reserves. Put it all together and it means that –M = (1+c)R/Rr –In other words, the amount of money is controlled by the reserves in the Fed

10 So, how can the Fed control reserves? Most importantly by Open Market Operations, which just means the buying and selling of financial assets, mostly Treasury Bonds, Bills and Notes.

11 Example (assume c=.05 and Rr=.10) If total bank reserves were $300, calculate the money supply –M = 1.05x300/.1 = $3,150 If the fed bought $100 M worth of bonds, what happens to M? –When the Fed buys the bonds, the money ends up as part of bank reserves. Thus the money supply goes up by 1.05x100/.1 = $1,050 million. –Similarly if the Fed were to sell $100 M worth of bonds, the money it is paid for the bonds comes out of reserves and so M would fall by $1,050 million.

12 How does the monetary policy influence interest rates? Demand and Supply Again. Clearly, the Fed supplies money but it might seem unusual to talk about the demand for money. But in fact it makes perfectly good sense. Money is different than income or wealth. Bill Gates, for example, has lots of income and wealth, but maybe doesnt have much more money than you or I. In a simple world, the rate of interest is just the opportunity cost of holding moneyas interest rates go down, people are willing to hold more money (that is, they demand more money).

13 The Picture Interest rate M Demand for Money Money Supply (Set by Fed) Equilibrium interest rate

14 The Fed reflects US political and ideological history, which can be caricatured as Distrust of centralized political institutions Distrust of large private economic institutions This means the Fed isnt exactly one thing but a collection of 13 (interelated things) –The 12 District Banks –The Board of Governors

15 Federal Reserve Districts

16 What Do The District Banks Do Regulate banking within their district Clear checks (in competition with private check clearing agencies) Issue and withdraw currency Make loans to banks within the district Approve in-district bank mergers Examine certain banks (note that who examines a bank will depend on a variety of factors)

17 Do District Banks Influence Monetary Policy? Small tool: regulating credit to member banks Big tool: participating in open market committee

18 Who Controls District Banks? (The Structure of the Board of Directors)

19 Nine Board Members 3 Category A: Bankers appointed by member banks (who actually own stock in the Fed) 3 Category B: Non-bankers appointed by member banks 3 Category C: Directors appointed by members of the Board of Governors Note: This system diffuses the power of any one constituency

20 Member Banks: Who Owns the Fed? Banks chartered by the National Government (officially the Comptroller of the Currency State banks who choose to become members Interesting question: why would a bank want to be a member?

21 Are All Districts Equal? No. The New York District actually buys and sells enormous quantities of Treasury Securities in response to Fed attempts to influence money supply. No. Different banks develop reputations and personalities that reflect their region, the interests of the officers and the research staff. For example Dallas has a long-standing interest in Mexco and Latin America. The current President, Richard Fisher, was deeply involved in trade negotiations over NAFTA.

22 The Board of Governors FAQs Who are they?: The board that runs the Federal Reserve (but remember, not the District Banks) How Many Are There?: Seven Who Appoints Them?: The President (with advice and consent of the Senate) How long do they serve?: 14-years without renewal (with staggered terms to keep any one President from appointing all of them)t runs the Federal Reserve (but remember, not the District Banks)

23 The Board of Governors: Centralization and Autonomy The structure might seem wildly complex, but it actually is designed to create an agency that has some accountability without being directly controlled by the currently elected political establishment. To see this, compare the structure of the Fed with the organization of, say, the Justice Department of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

24 The Chairman of the Board of Governors Appointed from among the Governors for a 4-year term and can be reappointed (if he or she resigns as chairman, it is expected that they will also resign from the Board). Unwritten but generally honored rule: the Chairman is a Wiseman, and while maybe not technically able to walk on water or raise the dead, is someone above the political fray. (It would be bad form for a President to appoint his recently paroled brother-in-law or his leading contributor.) The Chairman is not the first among equals, he is the spokeperson for the Fed and cultivates an almost mystical air of authority.

25 The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) FAQs What is it? The committee in charge of setting monetary and credit policy for the Federal Reserve Districts. Whos on it? The 7 members of the BOG, the President of the NY Fed and 4 district bank presidents chosen on a rotating basis (all the District Bank Presidents attend, but only 5 vote). When do they meet? At least 8 times a year.

26 Question: Is The Fed too Independent? Yes: – Monetary policy is at least as important to peoples lives as tax policy, judicial policy and foreign policy. We trust the democratic process to regulate these activities, we should trust democracy to handle monetary policy as well. No: Monetary policy is different than these other things. –First, it is technical (for example, the relationship between monetary growth and inflation) and doesnt involve the same kinds of value judgements inherent I these other issues. We dont allow politicians to vote on how much fuel to carry on the Space Shuttle. We shouldnt allow them to set monetary policy. – Second, monetary policy provides the foundation for all economic activity. Short term political tinkering could (and has) harmed the entire economy.


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