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Central Bank transparency and the U.S. interest rates level and volatility response to U.S. news

TUYSUZ, Sukriye (2007): Central Bank transparency and the U.S. interest rates level and volatility response to U.S. news.

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This paper investigates the impact of U.S. macroeconomic and monetary news on market interest rate level and volatility. These news relate to Federal Reserve System (FED) target variables and unexpected policy rate changes. It examines whether the fact that FED announces its policy rate decisions immediately after each Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting alters the market rate response. These meetings occur regularly at scheduled time since February 1994. It also checks if this transparency measure (i.e. announcing the policy rate immediately after the meetings and regularly at scheduled time) has increased the predictability of FED's rates by the market. The results reveal that after 1994, financial markets can better foresee monetary policy decisions compared to the period when the policy rate was announced with a delay of 45 days after the meetings. Moreover, U.S. interest rate volatility is less affected by the announcements on FED target variables after 1994. In the same way, unexpected monetary policy decisions influence less interest rate level. These results suggest that, in accordance with theory, a greater transparency improves market participants' understanding of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy reaction function. Interestingly, the date on which FED announces the policy rate decision has a greater impact on U.S. interest rate volatility after 1994. This observation suggests that the FED's credibility might have decreased after 1994. However, it is not related to the immediate diffusion of policy rate decisions.

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