The discount window helps to relieve liquidity strains for individual depository institutions and for the banking system as a whole by providing a source of funding in time of need. Much of the statutory framework that governs lending to depository institutions is contained in section 10B of the Federal Reserve Act, as amended.
Depository institutions have, since 2003, had access to three types of discount window credit--primary credit, secondary credit, and seasonal credit. In December of 2007, the Federal Reserve introduced the Term Auction Facility (TAF), which provided credit to depository institutions through an auction mechanism. All regular discount window loans and TAF loans must be fully collateralized to the satisfaction of the lending Reserve Bank, with an appropriate haircut applied to the collateral; in other words, the value of the collateral must exceed the value of the loan.
The National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) measures risk, liquidity and leverage in money markets and debt and equity markets as well as in the traditional and “shadow” banking systems. Positive values of the NFCI indicate financial conditions that are tighter than average, while negative values indicate financial conditions that are looser than average.
In the global money market, commercial paper is an unsecured promissory note with a fixed maturity of 1 to 271 days. Commercial paper is a money-market security issued (sold) by large corporations to get money to meet short term debt obligations (for example, payroll), and is only backed by an issuing bank or corporation's promise to pay the face amount on the maturity date specified on the note. Since it is not backed by collateral, only firms with excellent credit ratings from a recognized rating agency will be able to sell their commercial paper at a reasonable price. Commercial paper is usually sold at a discount from face value, and carries higher interest repayment rates than bonds.
Addtional reading: The Commercial Paper Market, the Fed, and the 2007-2009 Financial Crisis
Financial distress is measured on a 100 point scale and a score under 70 indicates financial distress. The lower the score equals more distress, a weaker financial position, more urgency to act, takes longer and is harder to resolve, and increases the probability of needing a third party help to resolve.
- * 90 and Above Excellent / Secure
- * 80 – 89 Good / Stable
- * 70 – 79 Weakening / At-Risk
- * 60 – 69 Distressed / Unstable
- * Less than 60 Emergency / Crisis
The United States public debt is the money borrowed by the federal government of the United States through the issue of securities by the Treasury and other federal government agencies. US public debt consists of two components:
1. Debt held by the public includes Treasury securities held by investors outside the federal government, including that held by individuals, corporations, the Federal Reserve System and foreign, state and local governments.
2. Debt held by government accounts or intragovernmental debt includes non-marketable Treasury securities held in accounts administered by the federal government that are owed to program beneficiaries, such as the Social Security Trust Fund. Debt held by government accounts represents the cumulative surpluses, including interest earnings, of these accounts that have been invested in Treasury securities.
In the United States, the federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions actively trade balances held at the Federal Reserve, called federal funds, with each other, usually overnight, on an uncollateralized basis. Institutions with surplus balances in their accounts lend those balances to institutions in need of larger balances. The federal funds rate is an important benchmark in financial markets.
The leading index for each state predicts the six-month growth rate of the state's coincident index. In addition to the coincident index, the models include other variables that lead the economy: state-level housing permits (1 to 4 units), state initial unemployment insurance claims, delivery times from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing survey, and the interest rate spread between the 10-year Treasury bond and the 3-month Treasury bill.
M1 includes funds that are readily accessible for spending. M1 consists of: (1) currency outside the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve Banks, and the vaults of depository institutions; (2) traveler's checks of nonbank issuers; (3) demand deposits; and (4) other checkable deposits (OCDs), which consist primarily of negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) accounts at depository institutions and credit union share draft accounts. Seasonally adjusted M1 is calculated by summing currency, traveler's checks, demand deposits, and OCDs, each seasonally adjusted separately.
Real gross domestic product is the inflation adjusted value of the goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States.
Smoothed recession probabilities for the United States are obtained from a dynamic-factor markov-switching model applied to four monthly coincident variables: non-farm payroll employment, the index of industrial production, real personal income excluding transfer payments, and real manufacturing and trade sales. This model was originally developed in Chauvet, M., "An Economic Characterization of Business Cycle Dynamics with Factor Structure and Regime Switching," International Economic Review, 1998, 39, 969-996.
The unemployment rate represents the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labor force. Labor force data are restricted to people 16 years of age and older, who currently reside in 1 of the 50 states or the District of Columbia, who do not reside in institutions (e.g., penal and mental facilities, homes for the aged), and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.