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First Quarter 2018

In This Edition

  • A Short Introduction to the World of Cryptocurrencies

    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.


  • Credit Cycles and Business Cycles

    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. 


  • Furnishing an "Elastic Currency": The Founding of the Fed and the Liquidity of the U.S. Banking System

    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. 


  • The Aggregate Implications of Size-Dependent Distortions

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