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First Quarter 2018

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Posted 2018-01-10

A Short Introduction to the World of Cryptocurrencies

by Aleksander Berentsen and Fabian Schar

This article is a short introduction to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The focus of the introduction is on Bitcoin, but many elements are shared by other blockchain implementations and alternative cryptoassets.

Posted 2018-01-10

Furnishing an “Elastic Currency”: The Founding of the Fed and the Liquidity of the U.S. Banking System

by Mark A. Carlson and David C. Wheelock

This article examines how the U.S. banking system responded to the founding of the Federal Reserve System in 1914. The Fed was established to end the frequent crises that plagued the U.S. banking system, which reform proponents attributed to the nation’s “inelastic” currency stock and dependence on interbank relationships to allocate liquidity and operate the payments system. 

Posted 2018-01-10

Credit Cycles and Business Cycles

by Costas Azariadis

Unsecured firm credit moves procyclically in the United States and tends to lead gross domestic product, while secured firm credit is acyclical. Shocks to unsecured firm credit explain a far larger fraction of output fluctuations than shocks to secured credit. 

Posted 2018-01-10

The Aggregate Implications of Size-Dependent Distortions

by Nicolas Roys

This article examines the aggregate implications of size-dependent distortions. These regulations misallocate labor across firms and hence reduce aggregate productivity. 

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