Benn Steil and Dinah Walker explain why the Fed's massive holdings of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) are distorting its thinking about the conduct of monetary policy going forward.They propose a novel plan to rectify this, in which the Fed swaps its MBS with the Treasury in return for Treasury securities, which the Fed can sell as part of a normal "exit" from monetary stimulus.
Benn Steil offers a neat and innovative way for the Federal Reserve to reverse its monetary stimulus efforts as the economy recovers, without the worrisome economic and political consequences of having to sell off its massive stock of mortgage-backed securities.
"Europe's leaders were right about the pressure. Monetary union without banking union will not work, and a workable banking union requires at least some elements of fiscal and political union. But they were wrong about the irresistible part. There is no inevitability about what comes next."
Benn Steil's Wall Street Journal op-ed, co-authored with Dinah Walker, shows that the Fed has effectively been targeting "risk on, risk off"—prodding investors into and out of risky financial assets—for over a decade now. He derives a rule that predicts the Fed's behavior since 2000 even better than the "Taylor Rule" did from 1987 to 1999.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.