The authors revisit Ben Bernanke’s global saving glut (GSG) hypothesis from 2005—which links low long-term real interest rates in the United States to excess saving in a number of non-Western countries, including, but not limited to, China. Using an analytical framework and empirical data, they find that the ability of the GSG hypothesis to explain the fall in long-term real rates between 2002 and 2006 is likely much greater than its ability to account for the further fall in these rates from the Great Recession onward.
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.
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.
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.