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Economic Perspectives

Nahiomy Alvarez

Cleared derivatives contracts are now concentrated among a small and dwindling number of institutions. Many policymakers and regulators have argued that this concentration has adverse consequences, some of which may have systemic risk implications. The author explores the benefits and challenges of encouraging major end-users of derivatives to become direct clearing members of central counterparties (CCPs). If done prudently, increasing and diversifying the pool of clearing members and redistributing outstanding derivatives contracts across them may help CCPs become more resilient.

Jeffrey R. Campbell, Filippo Ferroni, Jonas D. M. Fisher, and Leonardo Melosi

The 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act raised government spending caps by $300 billion for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. While spending does not increase immediately, private sector investment and consumption may respond ahead of an anticipated fiscal stimulus. This Economic Perspectives article assesses the strength of this mechanism based on the private sector’s expectations.

Scott A. Brave, R. Andrew Butters, and David Kelley

The authors present a new “big data” index of U.S. economic activity that can be used to track business and inflation cycles in real time and estimate monthly real gross domestic product growth.

Gadi Barlevy

Senior economist Gadi Barlevy examines the gap between policymakers and researchers when it comes to asset bubbles. He describes policymakers’ key questions about asset bubbles and asks how economic models might be used to shed light on them.

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