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Title: Monetary policy and financial market developments in the US
Author: Zekaite, Zivile
ISNI:       0000 0004 6353 0949
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2017
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Over the past decade, monetary policy has been in the spotlight as one of the key drivers of the real economy due to its aggressive response to the global financial crisis of 2007 - 2009. This has revived the debate of the late 1990s regarding the role of asset prices in policy decision making and has renewed interest in the impact of monetary policy on financial markets. Therefore, the focus of this thesis is the relationship between monetary policy conduct and financial market developments in the United States (US) over the period spanning the Great Moderation, the global financial crisis and its aftermath. Three empirical chapters analyse different aspects of monetary policy interaction with financial markets using alternative methodologies. The first empirical chapter provides a comprehensive study of conventional monetary policy in the US. It investigates the Federal Reserve’s response to financial market stress during the Great Moderation and the part of the global financial crisis by addressing two main questions. Firstly, does the Federal Reserve (Fed) react directly to the indicators of financial stress and, if so, is such reaction symmetric? Secondly, does the policy response to inflation and output gap change in light of financial turmoil? These questions are examined with respect to the four different dimensions of financial market stress: credit risk, stock market liquidity risk, stock market bear conditions and poor overall financial conditions. In addition, the analysis separately evaluates the impact of the latest crisis on US monetary policy. The results indicate the direct policy reaction to developments in the stock market price index, an interest rate spread, the measure of stock market liquidity and broad financial conditions that is found to be strongly dependent on the business cycle. Financial market developments have much more weight on the Fed’s decisions during economic recessions as compared to economic expansions. Furthermore, in times of elevated financial distress, the Fed’s reaction to inflation declines to some extent, while the output gap parameter becomes statistically insignificant. Nevertheless, the finding that financial stress implies a lower policy rate appears to be largely driven by monetary policy actions during the period 2007 - 2008. Thus, the financial crisis has had important implications for US monetary policy. Chapter 2 investigates what explains the variation in unexpected excess returns on the 2-, 5- and 10-year Treasury bonds and how returns respond to conventional and unconventional monetary policy in the period spanning the Great Moderation, the recent financial crisis and its aftermath. In addition, unexpected excess returns are decomposed into three components related to the revisions in rational market expectations (news) about future excess returns, inflation and real interest rates to identify the sources of the bond market response to monetary policy. The main findings imply that news about future inflation is the key factor in explaining the variability of unexpected excess Treasury bond returns across the maturities. Regarding the effect of conventional and unconventional monetary policy actions, monetary easing is generally associated with higher unexpected excess Treasury bond returns. Furthermore, the results highlight the importance of the inflation news component in explaining the reaction of the bond market to monetary policy. The positive effect of monetary easing on unexpected excess Treasury bond returns is largely explained by the corresponding negative effect on inflation expectations. Nevertheless, the bond market reaction to conventional policy shocks has grown weaker over the more recent period, perhaps reflecting changes in the implementation and communication of the Fed’s policy since the middle 1990s. Meanwhile, the results with respect to unconventional monetary policy are driven to a great extent by the peak of the financial crisis in autumn of 2008. Finally, Chapter 3 aims to revisit the role of conventional Fed’s policy in explaining the size and value stock return anomalies, while taking fully into account the bidirectional relationship between monetary policy and real stock prices. As interest rate-based policy is of main interest here, the sample period ends prior to the crisis in 2007. The results confirm a strong, negative and significant monetary policy tightening effect on real stock prices at both aggregate and disaggregate (portfolio) levels. Furthermore, there is the evidence of the “delayed size effect” of monetary policy actions. Following a contractionary monetary policy shock, an immediate decline in stock prices of large firms is more pronounced as compared to small firms. However, large stocks recover to a great extent in the second period after the shock, while small stocks drop sharply. Meanwhile, the findings overall are not very supportive of the differential impact of monetary policy on value versus growth stocks as predicted by the credit channel. Finally, the results do not indicate the strong Fed’s reaction to stock price developments.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General) ; HB Economic Theory ; HG Finance