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SHADOW OPEN MARKET COMMITTEE
Policy Statement and Position Papers

March 15-16, 1981

PPS-81-4

Shadow Open Market Committee Members - March 1981
SOMC Policy Statement, March 16, 1981
Position Papers prepared for the March 1981 meetings
ECONOMIC PROJECTIONS - Jerry L. Jordan, University of New Mexico
THE IMPACT OF THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION'S ECONOMIC PROPOSALS Robert J. Genetski, Harris Trust and Savings Bank
AT A CRITICAL JUNCTURE - H. Erich Heinemann Morgan Stanley & Co.,
Incorporated
REPORT ON FISCAL POLICY FOR THE SHADOW OPEN
COMMITTEE -Rudolph G. Penner, American Enterprise Institute

MARKET

UPDATED FORECASTS OF MONEY MULTIPLIERS - James M. Johannes and
Robert H. Rasehe, Michigan State University
POLICYMAKING, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY OF
THE FED - Karl Brunner, University of Rochester




SHADOW OPEN MARKET COMMITTEE
The Committee met from 2s00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, 1981.
Members;
PROFESSOR KARL BRUNNER, Director of the Center for Research in Government
Policy and Business, Graduate School of Management, University of Rochester,
Rochester, New York.
PROFESSOR ALLAN H. MELTZER, Graduate School of Industrial Administration,
Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
DR. ROBERT J. GENETSKI, Vice President and Chief Economist, Harris Trust and
Savings Bank, Chicago, Illinois.
MR. H. ERICH HEINEMANN, Vice President, Morgan Stanley & Co., Incorporated,
New York, New York.
DR. HOMER JONES, Retired Senior Vice President and Director of Research, Federal
Reserve Bank of St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri.
DR. JERRY L. JORDAN, Dean, Anderson Schools of Management, University of New
Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
DR. RUDOLPH G. PENNER, American Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C.
PROFESSOR ROBERT H. RASCHE, Department of Economics, Michigan State
University, East Lansing, Michigan.
PROFESSOR WILSON SCHMIDT, Department of Economics, Virginia Polytechnic
Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia.
DR. ANNA J. SCHWARTZ, National Bureau of Economic Research, New York, New
York.







POLICY STATEMENT
Shadow Open Market Committee
March 16, 1981

We welcome the Reagan Administration's proposals for fiscal, monetary, and
regulatory policies. If adopted, these will increase saving, investment, productivity,
and real growth. They will also serve to reduce inflation, unemployment, tax rates,
and the growth of the public sector. The administration's program, which is similar to
policies we have advocated for many years, has two main themes; monetary
stabilization and reduction in the size of government. We remain confident that these
policies will bring the economy closer to its historic real growth path of 2 1/2% to
3 1/2% — and bring the inflation rate down to 3% by 1985.
Success of the program depends very much on the Fedreal Reserve, and Congress
should consider means to increase the System's accountability. The administration has
indicated that it favors the policy of gradually reducing growth of the monetary base
as advocated by this Committee in past statements. The Federal Reserve has affirmed
its support for administration policies and has expressed its intention to persist in
efforts to reduce monetary growth. However, it has chosen for its current target a
measure of the money stock — M-1B adjusted for definitional changes — which cannot
be monitored regularly.
We are skeptical about Federal Reserve statements, and others share our
skepticism. Commitments to slower money growth have been made many times in the
past but have not been kept. Research within and without the Federal Reserve System
has demonstrated that comparatively few changes in operating procedures would
substantially improve the quality of monetary control, but these changes have not been
made. Indeed, the Federal Reserve has within its power the means of improving its
operations so as to achieve the targets it sets. The failure to improve control
procedures, in the face of continuing inability to achieve announced targets, increases
our doubts about the Federal Reserve's commitment to the policies we, and they, agree
are required to end inflation.
ACCOUNTABILITY
The central problem is not technical. It is political. The Federal Reserve is an
independent agency within government and has wide discretion in the conduct of




5

monetary policy. Repeated failures to achieve announced targets have not brought
reform or encouraged responsibility.
Authority and responsibility are separated, and oversight by Congress thus far
has not imposed standards of performance on the Federal Reserve. When shifts inmonetary policy increase inflation, increase unemployment, or cause recessions, voters
hold elected officials, not Federal Reserve officials, responsible. More than a decade
of destabilizing monetary policies has not spurred improvements.
We believe that the Congress should consider means of increasing the
responsibility and accountability of the Federal Reserve. Among the options to
achieve this purpose are vesting complete authority for monetary policy in the
administration or having Federal Reserve governors serve at the pleasure of the
President. On our part, we propose the following approach for discussions
(1) The Federal Reserve should choose a single target rate of growth for
an observable monetary aggregate of its own selection, and should
announce the target publicly.
(2) If the Federal Reserve misses the annual average target rate of
growth by more than one percentage point, each member of the Board
of Governors would submit his resignation to the President.
(3) Governors may accompany their letters of resignation with an
explanation of the failure to achieve the target rate of growth. The
President may choose to accept the explanations instead of the
resignations, and thereby, himself, accept responsibility for the
policy. If the President accepts the resignations, new Governors
should be chosen to fill the unexpired terms, subject to confirmation
by the Senate.
The aim of our proposal is not to force resignations, but to increase
accountability of the officials responsible for monetary policy, and to reduce
skepticism and uncertainty about future monetary policy. The Federal Reserve would
remain independent, within government, but would become more accountable to the
President, the Congress and the public. We urge Congress to debate this and other
proposals to increase the accountability of the Federal Reserve.
MONETARY POLICY
In three of the past five years, the Federal Reserve has failed to achieve the
targets it announced. The table shows the five-year record and makes clear that
despite many commitments to sustained reductions of monetary growth, there is no
evidence of any reduction.
The table, which is on page 7, greatly understates the uncertainty caused by
recent monetary policy. Money growth often varies over a wide range during the year.
For example, in 1979, the seasonally adjusted quarterly average growth of M-l —




6

currency and checking deposits — varied between 4.9% and 10.8%. Quarterly average
growth at annual rates for M-1B in 1980 covered a wider range — from -2.4% to 15.5%.
MONEY GROWTH 1975-1980*
Period
Fourth Quarter

Percent Change from Fourth
Quarter of Previous Year
Target

1976
1977
1978
1979
1980

4.596-7.5%
4.5%-6.5%
4.0%-6.5%
3.0%-6.0%
4.0%-6.5%

(M-l)
(M-l)
(M-l)
(M-l)
(M-1B)

Actual
5.8%
7.9%
7.2%
5.5%
7.1%

*The table shows the most frequently cited target for currency and checking deposits,
formerly denoted M-l and now denoted M-1B.
If the Federal Reserve achieved its annual targets more frequently, quarterly
deviations would be less important. Observers would have greater confidence that
quarterly deviations from announced targets were temporary and would act on this
belief. The failure to achieve annual targets shifts attention from the targets to the
less reliable monthly or weekly reported growth rates. The Federal Reserve is critical
of the attention given to weekly announcements of money growth. It does not,
however, take the most important step to reduce the attention given to weekly
reports; that is, increase the credibility of the pre-announced targets by achieving the
targets.
We favor six changes in procedures to improve monetary control by reducing the
variability of money and interest rates on credit and debt.
(1) Revision of the rule under which required reserves depend on deposits
held two weeks earlier. Required reserves should be determined in
relation to current deposits as was the case prior to 1968.
(2)

Simplification of the complex system of reserve requirements based
on type of deposit, location of deposit and size of deposit.

(3)

Prompt adjustment of the discount rate charged on loans to
depository institutions to maintain equality with the market rate on
short-term credit.

(4)

Introduction of staggered reserve settlements under which one-fifth
of the financial institutions settle each day instead of requiring all of
them to settle on the same day.




7

(5)

Elimination of seasonal adjustment of monetary aggregates. Nonseasonally adjusted aggregates should be reported for the most recent
period and for the corresponding period of the previous year. To
satisfy demands for data on short-term changes, reports of monthly
changes for the most recent period available and the corresponding
changes for the same period of the previous year should be made
available.

(6)

Publication of targets for reserves and the monetary base to enable
the public to monitor the Federal Reserve's performance relative to
its targets.
Neither technical changes nor increased accountability can reduce inflation. To
reduce inflations the Federal Reserve must reduce the growth of money. For 1981, we
favor a 6% rate of increase in the monetary base, as computed by the Federal Reserve
Bank of St. Louis. Current institutional changes have less effect on the growth of the
base than on most other aggregates, so we continue to specify targets for the base.
A 6% rate of growth of the base would bring the level of the monetary base to
$172-billion in the fourth quarter of 1981. This rate of growth would be a step on the
path to lower rates of monetary growth and lower inflation.
THE ADMINISTRATION'S FISCAL POLICY
Many popular accounts of the administration's fiscal policy suggest that the
policy is a risky strategy based on some new, untested principles of economics. Such
statements are incorrect. The principles on which the success of the program depends
are old, established, tested, and reliable. The SOMC has repeatedly favored
simultaneous cuts in tax rates and in government spending. An important distinction
that all economists recognize is the distinction between marginal and average tax
rates. Reductions in the growth of government spending permit the average tax rate
to fall, or rise more slowly, and, thereby, consistent with a balanced budget, raise the
anticipated average return from work and from investment. Reductions in marginal
tax rates with an unchanged average tax rate shift tax burdens from one taxpayer to
another and from current to future income. Such programs have smaller and less
lasting effects on output and employment than the programs recommended by the
administration, and favored by this Committee, to reduce permanently average and
marginal tax rates at the same time.
The success of the administration's program will not be achieved quickly. Even
in the most favorable environment, people do not instantly adjust prices and reallocate
resources in response to new conditions. After fifteen years of promises to end
inflation and ten years of promises to increase productivity, none of which were
realized, many people will now wait-and-see whether the program survives.




8

Doubts about the budget and tax rates will not be resolved until Congress
approves, or rejects, the proposed cuts in tax rates and the growth of spending. Doubts
about the size of the deficit will not be removed even if Congress approves the entire
program. The administration's forecasts of the growth of nominal income for 1982-86appear to us inconsistent with its assumptions about monetary and fiscal policies and
the historical record of performance of the American economy. The estimates of real
growth are more optimistic and the estimates of the slowing of inflation more
pessimistic than we believe the administration's policies will achieve.
We have serious reservations about the compatibility of the administration's
forecast for 1981 and current Federal Reserve policy. Currently, the Federal Reserve
continues on the slam-bang, stop and go course that is a main cause of stagflation. For
the past three months the growth of the monetary base has been 2.5% at an annual
rate — far below the rate we recommend. Continuation of this low rate of growth
would bring recession in 1981. A recession and steeply rising unemployment would
delay the investment in the new plant and equipment required to increase productivity
growth in future years.
IMPORT QUOTAS
The administration's fiscal and regulatory program is based on the belief that
free markets allocate resources efficiently. Tariffs and quotas on imports from Japan,
or other countries, reduce market efficiency, raise prices paid by consumers, provide a
safety net for inefficient producers and reduce overall productivity growth.
The administration can show its commitment to market processes and its
opposition to bureaucratic processes by reaffirming the principles of open competition
and by rejecting current pressures for quotas on imports, "voluntary" or legislated, and
other protectionist measures.




9




ECONOMIC PROJECTIONS
Jerry L. Jordan
University of New Mexico

TABLE I
(percent changes)
Projections for 1981 as of September, 1980 meeting

Q4/80Q4/81

Output

Deflator

M1B

V1B

MB

1.8

GNP
9.6

7.7

5.0

4.4

7.0

VB

TABLE II
(percent changes)
Other Projections for 1981 (Q4/80 - Q4/81)
Administrations
FOMCs
CBO;*

GNP
11.0
9 to 12
10.4 to 14.6

Output
1.4
-1.5 to 1.5
2.5 to 4.5

Deflator
9.4
9 to 10.5
7.7 to 9.7

M1B
3.5 to 6

Unempl. (Q4/81)
7.7
8 to 8.5
8.4 to 9.4

•First Budget Resolution for fiscal 1981

TABLE IH
(percent changes)
Projections for 1981 as of March, 1981 meeting
GNP
Q4/79Q4/80 (actual)
Q4/80Q4/81

Output

9.5

— .3

8 to 9

-1.0 to 1.0

Deflator
9.8

8.5 to 9.5

approximate actual




11

M1B

V1B

MB

VB

7.1

2.4

Sid

1.2

5 to 6

3.0

6 to 7

2.0

The sharp acceleration of M1B and the monetary base during the second half of
1980 (13.3% and 10.8%, respectively, versus 1.6% and 5.8%, respectively, during the
first two quarters of 1980) provided a strong positive monetary impulse affecting
nominal income growth late in 1980 and carrying over to early 1981. A significant ~
deceleration of monetary growth is now expected in 1981. After some lag, a
deceleration of nominal income growth is expected. The implications for real output
growth are a function of the rate of deceleration of inflation. During the year, a
decline of real output for one or two quarters is a high probability. A peak to trough
decline of real output in the range of two to four percent would be implied by a sharp
contraction of monetary growth in the first half of 1981.




12

THE IMPACT OF THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION'S ECONOMIC PROPOSALS
(Simulations With the Harris Monetarist-Supply Side Model)
Robert J. Genetski
Harris Trust & Savings Bank

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
The economic package proposed by the Reagan Administration holds the
potential to reverse the widespread deterioration in the economy that has
characterized the decade of the seventies. If the bulk of the program is adopted, real
growth should average 2 1/2% and inflation should be in the 7% vicinity by 1984. Real
growth could be rising by 3 1/2% by 1984 with inflation under 5% if the program is
augmented by even further reduction in tax rates and government spending, as well as
by a more restrictive monetary policy.
Should the Reagan program fail to win Congressional approval or should
significant portions of the program become diluted, real growth could be maintained
temporarily only through rapid monetary expansion leading to a rapid increase in
inflation. Although real growth can occur if monetary growth is sufficiently rapid, this
option represents a time bomb waiting to explode. Sooner or later the economic
system either will be severely damaged by the acceleration in inflation, or a major
downturn will develop as attempts are made to contain inflation by slowing monetary
growth. If any attempt were made to contain inflation without the support of lower
tax rates and government spending cuts, the result would be a major and extended
economic downturn.
All aspects of the Reagan Administration's proposals are important. However,
the pivotal factor is the reduction in tax rates rather than the much publicized
spending cuts. While failure to cut government spending and regulation could lead to
the demise of the economic recovery plan, failure to cut tax rates would lead to its
demise. This conclusion is contrary to much of the "conventional wisdom" on the
Reagan program and therefore must be supported by empirical analysis. The charts in
this report hope to shed some light on historical movements in various tax measures
and their relationship to economic performance. While the conclusions are somewhat
tentative, there are strong indications that a failure to implement quickly the tax rate




13

reductions proposed in the Reagan program will result in the program's collapse.
Moreover, tax rates and spending cuts will have to be greater than those which have
thus far been proposed by the Administration if real growth is to rise as rapidly as the
4%-5%"~annual rates forecast by the Administration.
THE HARRIS MONETARIST-SUPPLY SIDE MODEL
For purposes of evaluating the results of the Harris model, it is important to
understand its structure as well as the historical evidence which supports that
structure. The model is similar to the traditional St. Louis monetarist model in the
sense that nominal GNP is determined almost exclusively by prior changes in the
money supply. Supply-side elements enter the structure by impacting the trade-off
between the amount of nominal spending available for real growth and for inflation. In
the development of three alternative scenarios — Most Likely, Optimistic, and
Pessimistic — an attempt was made to constrain the tax and spending adjustments to
what is currently perceived as being politically plausible. Adjustments for the supplyside impact of tax and spending reductions were based on the historical relationships
between tax measures and economic performance.
Monetary growth assumptions were made with respect to political considerations.
It is assumed that as economic conditions deteriorate, the political pressure for
greater monetary growth becomes more intense. In contrast, real progress in reversing
the economy's deterioration leads to a political climate which is more conducive to
slowing monetary growth. Various combinations of trading more inflation for a
temporary boost in real growth or less inflation for a temporary drop in real growth
can be obtained with alternative assumptions regarding monetary policy.
DEMAND FOR OUTPUT—DETERMINATION OF NOMINAL SPENDING
Nominal GNP growth is determined by the two-quarter change in the money
supply lagged one quarter. For example, the growth in total spending for the first
quarter of 1981 is based on the change in money between the second and fourth
quarters of 1980. Adjustments are made to reflect average cyclical changes in
velocity associated with recessions and recoveries. Charts 1 and 2 compare actual
GNP changes to those based on the prior two-quarter change in monetary growth
without adjusting for cyclical changes in velocity.




14

SUPPLY OF OUTPUT—DETERMINATION OF REAL GROWTH
Trade-Off Between Real Output and Inflation-Supply Side Elements
Once nominal GNP is determined by monetary growth, the next objective is to
determine how much dollar spending represents real output and how much represents
inflation. Prior to the productivity deterioration of the seventies, a change in
monetary growth over the previous two years was often sufficient to forecast inflation
and thereby, determine the amount of dollar spending left for real growth. Charts 3
and 4 compare actual inflation with inflation projected solely on the basis of two year
monetary growth lagged two quarters.
Measures of Secular Economic Performance
During the seventies, as the U.S. economy began to show signs of a secular
deterioration, adjustments had to be made to incorporate the fact that in a
deteriorating economy a greater proportion of dollar spending is reflected in inflation
rather than in real output. To systematically examine this phenomenon it is necessary
to quantify secular economic performance. Chart 5 shows two alternative measures of
longer-term economic performance. The dashed line shows the change in private
nonfarm productivity over a five year period at annual rates.
The dotted line in Chart 5 shows the difference between an inflation forecast
based solely on prior monetary growth and the actual inflation rate. When the actual
inflation rate is higher than the inflation forecast based on money, as has been the
case recently, it suggests that the trade-off between inflation and real growth has
become worse and the dotted line moves lower. Incorporating supply-side elements
into a monetarist model involves an attempt to explain this trade-off between the
amount of spending which is reflected in inflation vis-a-vis real output. One approach
to this problem is to attempt to explain movements in the difference between an
inflation forecast based on money and actual inflation (the dotted line).
Measures of U.S. Tax Burdens
While there are many possible explanations for the deterioration in economic
performance during the seventies, the dominant factor is believed to be related to high
and rising tax burdens. There are several alternative ways to quantify the tax burden
on an economy. One measure consists of total government related spending as a share
of an economy's output. This measure represents the most comprehensive measure of
an economy's tax burden. A second measure calculates the proportion of an economy's
income that is paid to government in the form of tax receipts. A third measure
involves marginal tax rates or the tax on additional income for above average income
groups. Theoretically, any one of these three tax measures have the potential to




15

influence real economic activity. Taken to an extreme, any one of these tax measures
could severely damage economic performance. The extent to which any of these tax
measures may have contributed to U.S. economic deterioration during the seventies is
an empirical question. Charts 6 through 8 represent an attempt to quantify each of"
these tax measures so that they may then be related to economic performance.
Relating Tax Burdens to Economic Performance
Charts 9 through 11 combine the economic performance measures from Chart 5
with the tax burden measures in Charts 6 through 8. The tax burden measures have
been plotted inversely so that an increase in tax burdens is related to a secular decline
in economic performance.
The measure of tax burdens which is most closely related to real economic
performance is the marginal tax rate measure. Such a phenomenon should not be
surprising when we consider that the marginal rates which are plotted represent the
rates on additional income paid by a married couple with income in approximately the
70th to 95the percentile of taxable returns. The income represented by these returns
accounts for approximately 40% of the taxable income earned. Decisions by this group
to spend a greater portion of their income on vacations, Mercedes, or sailboats, as
opposed to saving, will determine whether or not the funds necessary for productivity
improvements are becoming more or less available. When additional income for this
group is taxed at the rates of recent years, funds available for productivity
improvements suffer and the economy deteriorates.
If the present tax structure were to be maintained through 1984, the range on
marginal tax rates for this group would be 34% to 51%. The Reagan proposal would
lower this range to an estimated 25% to 37% by 1984, approximately where it was in
the mid-seventies.
This does not imply that other measures of tax burdens such as the government
spending burden are not important. As government confiscates more of the nation's
output, the share left for the private economy declines. At some level this share will
impede economic progress. Whether or not this share has been reached probably
depends more on the nature of government expenditures than on a specific share of
output. In any event, since this share shows signs of leveling off in recent years, while
the deterioration in the economy has become worse, it appears that either the lags
between spending burdens and economic performance are unusually long or the
relationship between the two is not as direct as many economists assume. In the event
that the lag between the government spending burden and economic performance is
unusually long, the effect of the proposed spending reductions is not likely to have a
significant positive impact on the economy in the near future.




16

Given the relationship between the recent increases in marginal tax rates and the
recent economic deterioration, the trade-off between real growth and inflation was
adjusted in accordance with alternative tax policies for the three scenarios. This
adjustment appears in Table 1 through 3 as an "adjustment to inflation forecast." The
more marginal tax rates for the target group are lowereds the greater the shift toward
real growth and away from inflation. Hence, failure to provide substantial reductions
in marginal tax rates for this group implies a continued deterioration in the trade-off
between inflation and real growth. Table 1, the Most Likely Case, assumes marginal
tax and spending cuts in line with the Reagan proposals. Table 2, the Optimistic Case,
assumes tax and spending cuts greater than those proposed by the Reagan Administration. Table 3, the Pessimistic Case, assumes that the Reagan tax cut proposals
are not implemented. Should the Reagan tax cuts get scaled back by Congress as many
political observers expect, the outcome in the Pessimistic Case would become more
likely. Furthermore, should the monetary growth assumptions be altered in either
direction, this would provide a temporary trade-off between real growth and the
ensuing of inflation.




17

CHART 1
FORECASTING TOTAL SPENDING WITH MuNEY
**FORECAST=3.3-»-%MONEY, TWO-QTR ANNUAL RATE OF CHANGE LAGGED ONE QTR
P
E
R
C
E
N

00




liiil
60

61

62

63

64

65

66

67

68

69

70

71

72

78

79

80

i i i i i i i i PEAK TO TROUGH IN BUSINESS CYCLE
** EQUATION IN HARRIS ECONOMIC MODEL
MONEY IS DEFINED AS CURRENCY AND ALL' CHECKABLE DEPOSITS AT DEPOSITARY INSTITUTIONS (MlB).
/-•*-» r\ r» r«

fcinmT/^atn

r

nnr\ni

t\nr«

ntin

Ann nwnn

»\n'tn

r\i->

/-• n * *ir* r-i




CHART 2
FORECASTING TOTAL SPENDING WITH MONEY;

16

18

2U

22

24

26

2d

3U

32

AN HISTORICAL

34

36

38

PERSPECTIVE

40

42

44

l i ? l i l | P E A K TO TROUGH IN BUSINESS CYCLE
PORECAST=«%?40NE¥, TWO-QTR ANNUAL RATE OF CHANGE LAGGED ONE QTR
MONEY I S DEFINED AS CURRENCY PLUS DEMAND DEPOSITS AT ALL COMMERCIAL BANKS (OLD M l ) 0
^.,„, nnnnnrw
AOV nNE-VR&R RATKS OP CHANGE.

CHART 3
FORECASTING INFLATION WITti riONbX
*®FORfc.CAST*trtONE¥# TWO-YEAR ANNUAL KATE OF CHANGE LAGGbD TWO uTRS
P

14

E
R
12
C
E
N

lo'

T

IS3




&5

bij

t>7

58

PEAK TU TKOU&H IN BUSINESS CYCLE
"EuUATION IM HARRIS ECONOMIC MOUEL
MuNEY IS DEFINED AS CUKRENCY AND ALL CHECKABLE DEPOSITS AT DEPOSITARY INSTITUTIONS (M1B).
INFLATION, AS MEASURED B¥ GNP DEFLATOR, ARE ONE-QUARTER ANNUAL RATES OF CHANGE.

CHART 4
FORECASTING INFLATION WITH MONEY;
f

4U

f

' S;i
sSji

PERSPECTIVE

!£

m

1 I:•:•:•:•:•

E

.v.'.v
W::K
IvXv

A

?SS

C

e

AN HISTORICAL

:•:•:•:•:•

•yyy.\
:•:•:•:•:•

3y

.'.'.*.*.•
:•:•:•:•:•

:W#V
.V.'.

s;8

N

•••••••:•:

il

SW:

\

• •
ii

M

FORECAST

IX?




.jgjgg! FbAK Tu TKOUGH IN B u S l N b b i CXCLb
FUhbCAST=MuNbi,

ThO-XEAH ANWUAL KA'iE OF CHANGb LAGGtU 'iww U'lKt>

HuNt5f l b utFlNEU AS CUKRhtO ^LUS DL>IAwU DbFOblTb AT ALL COMMfcKOlAL BANtu> (OLU H i ) .

CHA11T 5
MEASURES OF SECULAR ECONOMIC PERFORMANCES
FIVE-YEAR ANNUAL RATE OF CHANGE IN PRODUCTIVITY (DASH)
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INFLATION FORECAST BASED ON MONEY S ACTUAL (DOT)
p

P

E

E

R

R

C

C

E

E

N

N

T

T




CHART 6
MEASURES OF U.S. TAX BURDENS:
GOVERNMENT RELATED EXPENDITURES AS A PERCENT OF GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT
40'

TOTAL GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURES
PLUS BUSINESS EXPENDITURES
TOR REGULATORY COMPLIANCES

38"

sm

36"

/

c

34'

"40

I

y

•38

BUDGETED 6 OFF-BUDGET
FEDERAL PLUS STATE 8
LOCAL EXPENDITURES

• /

r^

1

-36

J--34
-32

32'
30'

"30

BUDGETED FEDERAL
PLUS STATE 6 LOCAL
EXPENDITURES

28"

-28

26'

"26

24"

"24
-22

20"

-20

18"

-18

16"

-16

14*

"14

12"

-12
\
STATE & LOCAL
EXPENDITURES

10"
8"
_ _
t

a

i____J_____*

56

58

60

_i
_L

-10

*——,-J^—-—J____JL~^--iJL~~—-JL———J———JL—_—-IL

• I I I I I I I I I I I I I

6"
54




62

64

66

68

70

72

74

76

78

80

82

64

i

CHART 7
MEASURES OF U.S. TAX BURDENS:
GOVERNMENT RECEIPTS AS A PERCENT OF GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT
p

40'

—40

E

38*

-38

36'

-36

34'

-34

32°

-32

30"

-30

28 '

-28

R
C
E
N
T

'FEDERAL PLUS
STATE * LOCAL RECEIPTS

26"

"26

24"

-24

22°

*"22

20"

"20

18"

"18

16"

"16

14"

"14
"12

<>
f

10"

STATE $, LOCAL
RECEIPTS

"10

8"
6™>

54




"I—I—I—1"^—I—I—I—I—I—I—I—I—I—I—h
56

58

60

§2

64

66

68

70

72

74

76

78

80

82

84

CHART 8
MEASURES OF U.S. TAX BURDENS:
MARGINAL PERSONAL TAX RATES

43.5'

"43.5

41.5'

-41.5

39.5'

J9.5

17.5

35.5'

E

"4 5.5

37.5'

P

45.5'

15.5

33.5'

$3.5

31.5'

(1.5

29.5'

29.5

R
C
E
N

to
en

27.5
25.5'

S5.5

23.5'

!3.5

J*X o J

SI.5

19.5'

IT
54
56
58
60
62
64
66
68
70
72
74
76
78
80
82
84
TAX RATES ON ADDITIONAL INCOME PAID BY A MARRIED COUPLE FILING JOINTLY WITH INCOME IN
APPROXIMATELY THE 70TH PERCENTILE AND THE 95TH PERCENTILE OP TAXABLE RETURNS.




"19.5

CHART 9
SECULAR ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE 6 GOVERNMENT RELATED EXPENDITURES
AS A PERCENT OF GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT
P

-1.5(24)

3.4'

E

a
c

"1.0(26)

C

E
N

R

,5(28)
2.8"

N

T

-0(30)
$3

^

E

Bg?

"-.5(32)
& o 4k

-1.0(34)

in

1.9'
-1.5(36)
1.6'
•-2„'0(38)

JL g j)

--2.5(40)

1.0'

"-3.0(42)

T"™-3.5(44)
54
GOVERNMENT RELATED EXPENDITURES AS A PERCENT OF GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT (LINE-INVERTED SCALE)
FIVE-YEAR ANNUAL RATE OF CHANGE IN PRODUCTIVITY (DASH)
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INFLATION FORECAST BASED ON MONEY 8 ACTUAL (DOT)



T

CHART 10
SECULAR ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE & GOVERNMENT RECEIPTS
AS A PERCENT OF GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT
P

•1.5(24.0)

3.4'

° # *°3

E
R

"1.0(25.2). R

C

C

E
N

-.5(26.4)
2.8'

E

N

T

«
:

i:
B

°

/ %

A
c

•.
8

1.9'

%

..."

?'

-0(27.6)

^

#

M i
.•/ . i
H

^ o ™

is3
-3

0

f 0 0
* 0»

Q

•

*i
1

•-.5(28.8)

--1.0(30.0)

-1.5(31.2)

1.6*
--2.0(32.4)
lo J

•-2.5(33.6)
1.0"
--3.0(34.8)

54

GOVERNMENT RECEIPTS AS A PERCENT OF GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT (LINE-INVERTED SCALE)
FIVE-YEAR ANNUAL RATE OF CHANGE IN PRODUCTIVITY (DASH)
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INFLATION FORECAST BASED ON MONEY & ACTUAL (DOT)



•-3.5(36.0)-

CHART 11
SECULAR ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE & MARGINAL PERSONAL TAK RATES
3.4'

-1.5(17.5)

31
.

Tl.0(20.0) R
C
-.5(22.5)

2.8'

N

(INVERTED
SCALE)
—0(25.0)
2.5'
--.5(27.5)

--1.0(30.0)
1.9'
--1.5(32.5)
1.6'
--2.0(35.0)
(INVERTED
SCALE)

1.3'

--2.5(37.5)

1.0'

"-3.0(40.0)

--3.5(42.5)
54
MARGINAL PERSONAL TAX RATES (LINES-INVERTED SCALE)
FIVE-YEAR ANNUAL RATE OF CHANGE IN PRODUCTIVITY (DASH)
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INFLATION FORECAST BASED ON MONEY 6 ACTUAL (DOT)




B

TABLR t
ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
MOST LIKELY CASE

3/10/81
ACTUAL

FORECAST

1 9 8 0 : 4 1981:1 1981:2 1981:3 1981:4 1982:1 1982:2 1982:3 1982:4 1983:1 1983:2 1983:3 1983:4 1984:1 1984:2 1984:3 1984:4
Q t S S NATL PRODUCT
tCH

2 7 3 2 . 3 2814.8 2846.5

15.2

12.6

4.6

* 2991.1 3065.5 J I J B . ^ 3208.6 3280.7 3354.7 J I J U . D j a u / . o 3586.4 3667.0 3749.4 3833.6 3919.6
9.3
9.3
8.5
9.3
9.3
9.3
9.3
12.3
9.3
9.3
9.3
9,3
10.3
9.8

CONSTANT O M A R CMP
%CH

1486.5 1495.3 1474.9 1473.2 1486.6 1496.4 1503.7 1509.1 1514.2 1521.7 1531.5 1539.1 1546.4 1555.0 1564.2 1573.4 1582.6
1.3
2.4
-5.3 -0.5
2.0
2.6
2.0
1.9
2.3
2.4
2.4
3.7
2.7
2.0
1.4
2.4
4.0

PRICE DEFLATOR
ICH

1.8380 1.8825 1.9300 1.9722 2.0120 2.0485 2.0869 2.1261 2.1666 2.2046 2.2399 2.2789 2.3192 2.3582 2.3970 2.4365 2.4767
7.1
6.6
6.9
6.8
6.8
10.7
10.0- 10.5
9.0
8.3
7.5
7.7
7.2
7.3
6.8
7.7
7.8

Ml-B ADJUSTED 1}
«CH

413.0

ADJUSTMENT TO
INFLATION FORECAST 2)

414.5 419.6 426.8
1.5
5.0
7.0

434.1
7.0

440.5
6.0

446.9
5.9

453.5
6.0

460.2
6.0

467.0
6.0

473.8
6.0

480.8
6.0

487.8
6.0

495.0
6.0

502.2
5.9

509.6
6.0

517.1
6.0

2.000

2.000

1.500

1.500

1.500

0.500

1.000

1.000

1.000

1.000

0.750

0.750

0.750

0.750

1983

1984

3.000

3.000

to
to
YEARS
1980

GBQSS NATL PK3DOCT
tCH

1981

1982

2626.5 2889.5 3173.2 3469.8 3792.4
8.8
10.0
9.8
9.3
9.3

CONSTANT DOLLAR Q*P
1GH

1480.9 1482.5 1505.9 1534.7 1568.8
-0.1 " o . l
1.6
1.9
2.2

PRICE DEFLATOR

1.7737 1.9492 2.1071 2.2607 2.4171
9.0
9.9
8.1
7.3
6.9

%CH

Ml-B ADJUSTED 1)
tCH
ADJOS'JMBNfT TO
ISOLATION FORECAST 2)

398.3
6.4

423.8 450.3 477.3
6.4
6.3
6.0

506.0
6.0

2.500

0.750

1.250

1.000

NOTE:
1) Ml'-B ADJUSTQ) BY HARRIS BANK FOR INSTITUTIONAL CWWGE AFFECTING REPORTED Ml-B DATA
2) A0JUSMEMT TO IMFLAT3CM FORECAST BASED CM MONEY




TABLE 2
ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

3/10/81

OPTIMISTIC CASE
ACTUAL

FORECAST

1980s4 1 9 8 1 s l 1 9 8 1 : 2 1 9 8 1 : 3 1 9 8 1 : 4 1 9 8 2 : 1 1 9 8 2 : 2 1 9 8 2 : 3 1 9 8 2 : 4 1 9 8 3 : 1 1 9 8 3 : 2 1 9 8 3 : 3 1 9 8 3 : 4 1 9 8 4 : 1 1 9 8 4 : 2 1 9 8 4 : 3 1 9 8 4 : 4

a c e s wa% PHDOOCT
%CH
aWSTAOT DOLLAR GNP

ICH
PRICE DEFLftTOH
tCH

Ml-B ADJUSTED 1)
%0H

2 7 3 2 . 3 2 8 1 4 ; 8 2 8 4 6 . 5 2 9 0 2 . 1 2 9 7 0 . 6 3 0 4 0 . 6 3 1 0 1 . 7 3 1 5 6 . 7 3 2 1 2 . 9 3 2 7 0 . 0 3 3 2 4 . 3 3 3 7 5 . 6 3 4 2 7 . 6 3 4 8 0 . 1 3 5 3 3 . 6 3 5 8 8 . 2 3643^4

15.2

12.6

4.6

8.0

9.8

9.8

8.3

7.3

7.3

413.0
11.3

Ml-B ADJUSTED 1)
tCH
ADJUSMENT TO
INFLATION FORECAST 2)

6.3

6.3

6.3

419.6
5.0

424.7
5.0

429.9
5.0

434.1
4.0

438.4
.4.0

442.7
4.0

447.1
4.0

450.4
3.0

453.8
3.1

457.1
2.9

460.5
3.0

463.9
3.0

467.4
3.1

470.8
2.9

474.3
3.0

3.000

2.000

2.000

1.000

1.000

1.000

0.000

0.500

0.500

0.500

0.500

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

1981

1982

.1983

1984

2626.5 2883.5 3128.d"3349.4 3561.3
8.8
9.8
8.5
7.1
6.3
1480.9 1479.5 1493.4 1516.0 1550.9
-0.1
-0„1
0.9
1.5
2.3
1.7737 1.9492 2.0945 2.2093 2.2961
9.0
9.9
7.5
5.5
3.9
398.3
6.4

422.2
6.0

440.6
4.4

455.4
3.4

469.1
3.0

2.500

0.750

0.500

0.000

NOTE:
1) Ml-B ADJUSTED BY HAHRIS BANK FOR INSTITUTIONAL CHflNffi AFFECTING REPORTED Ml-B DATA
2) MUtBTMBW TO INFLKTION FORECAST BASED OM MONEY



6.3

3.000

1980

PRICE DEFLATOR

6.3

414.5
1.5

YEARS

ICH

6.3

1.8380 1.8825 1.9300 1.9722 2.0120 2.0449 2.0783 2.1110 2.1436 2.1721 2.1964 2.2220 2.2466 2.2673 2.2869 2.3059 2.3245
10.7
10.0
10.5
9.0
8.3
6.7
6.7
6.5
6.3
5.4
4.6
4.7
4.5
3.7
3.5
3.4
3.3

CO
O

CONSTANT O M A R GNP

6.8

1486.5 1495.3 1474.9 1471.5 1476.4 1486.9 1492.4 1495.3 1498.8 1505.4 1513.5 1519.2 1525.7 1534.9 1545.2 1556.1 1567.4
4.0
2.4
-5:3
-0.9
1.3
2.9
1.5
0.8
0.9
1.8
2.2
1.5
1.7
2.4
2.7
2.8
2.9

ADJUSTMENT TO
INFLATKW F0HBCAST 2)

( 3 » S S NATL PRODUCT
1CH

7.3

TABLE 3

3/10/81

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

PESSIMISTIC CASE
ACTUAL

FORECAST

1980s4 1981il 1981s2 1981:3 1981:4 1982:1 1982:2 1982:3 1982:4 1983:1 1983:2 1983:3 1983:4 1984:1 1984:2 1984:3 1984:4
GPOSS NKTL PHODOCT

*CH

2732.3 2814.8 2880.0 2929.3 2998.7 3076.3 3161.2 3254.2 3357.3 3471.5 3597.2 3735.5 3887.8 4054.6 4237.4 4437.9 4652.'6
15.2
12.6
9.6
7.0
9.8
10.8
11.5
12.3
13.3
14.3
15.3
16.3
17.3
18.3
19.3
20.3
20.8

CONSTANT OMAR (MP
%H
C

1486.5 1495.3 1492.-2 1485.3 1490.0 1497.4 1506.1 1516.4 1528.2 1538.7 1552.4 1564.8 1577.5 1586.8 1596.3 1605.9 1613.7
4.0
2.4
-0.8
-1.8
1.3
2.0
2.4
2.8
3.2
2.8
3.6
3.2
3.3
2.4
2.4
2.4
2.0

PRICE £EFLATOR
tCH

1.8380 1.8825 1.9300 1.9722 2.0126 2.0545 2.0989 2.1460 2.1969 2.2561 2.3172 2.3872 2.4645 2.5551 2.6544 2.7635 2.8832
10.7
10.0
10.5
9.0
8.5
8.6
8.9
9.3
9.8
11.2
11.3
12.7
13.6
15.5
16.5
17.5
18.5

Ml-B ADJUSTED 1)
tOi

413.0
11.3

420.6
6.0

427.8
7.0

436.0
7.9

445.0
8.5

455.2
9.5

466.7
10.5

479.6
11.5

493.9
12.5

509.8
13.5

527.4
14.5

546.7
15.5

568.0
16.5

591.4
17.5

615.7
17.5

641.0
17.5

3.000

ADJUSIWNT TO
INFLATION FORECAST 2)

414.5
1.5

3.000

2.000

2.000

2.500

2.500

2.500

1.500

3.500

3.500

3.500

3.500

4.500

4.500

4.500

4.500

1983

1984

CO

YEARS
1980
<3©SS NATL PRODUCT
%CH

1981

1982

2626.5 2905.7 3212.2 3673.0 4345.6
8.8
10.6
10.5
14.3
18.3

CONSTANT DOLLAR (MP
%H
C

1480.9 1490.7 1512.0 1558.3 1600.7
-0.1
<?.7
1.4
3.1
2.7

PRICE DEFLATOR
KM

1.7737 1.9493 2.1241 2.3563 2.7141
9.0
9.9
9.0
10.9
15.2

Ml-B ADJUSTED 1)
%H
C
ADJUSTMENT TO
INFIATICN FORECAST 2)

398.3
6.4

424.7
6.6

461.6
8.7

519.5
12.5

604.0
16.3

2.500

2.250

3.500

4.500

NOTE:
A) Ml-B AQJUSTQ) BY HftRRIS BANK FOR INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE AFFECTING REPORTED Ml-B DATA
•n for FRASER
Digitized untticwEWP «m fMPIATTfW FORRPAST BASH) CM U t t E f






JF3BS HARRIS

^"

irrgr

February 20, 1981
ADDENDUM
ECONOMIC PROSPECTS THROUGH 1982
(Detail to Forecast of 1/27/81)
The economy is poised for a relatively sharp decline in the spring as a
result of continued slow growth in money. By late spring or early summer,
monetary growth is expected to be rising more rapidly, leading to a recovery
in the economy later in the year.
While the economy has continued to exhibit more strength in the first
quarter than previously anticipated, monetary growth has also been slower
than expected. This should lead to somewhat faster economic growth in the
first quarter of 1981, followed by a somewhat sharper decline in the second
quarter than is suggested in the accompanying tables. However, these developments
essentially offset each other by mid-year. Neither President Reagan's recently
announced economic program nor recent developments in the economy significantly
alter the forecast and interest rate projections dated January 27. This report
presents a more detailed view of that forecast.
Consumer Expenditures and Housing
Expenditures on autos, furniture and appliances, and other discretionary
items are expected to drop sharply in the spring as the impact of slower
monetary expansion sends the economy down. Unit housing starts and auto
sales are both expected to fall 10%-15% in the spring quarter. Given our
assumption of faster monetary growth beginning in late spring or early summer,
both housing and auto sales will begin to recover by the third quarter. Housing
starts are expected to turn up by mid-year in response to declining mortgage
rates this spring.
The relatively subdued recovery in auto sales and other consumer expenditures
by late 1982 results primarily from the relatively slow increase (6% at an
annual rate) in monetary growth which is assumed for next year.
Plant and Equipment Expenditures
Business capital expenditures are traditionally a lagging indicator of
business activity. The relatively high rates of unutilized capacity over the
past year, combined with the extraordinarily high cost of capital, are expected
to provide downward pressure on real capital expenditures through the remainder
of this year. By 1982, real spending on new capital goods is forecast to
begin a prolonged expansion resulting from the combination of tax reductions,
lower Interest rates and improved profit performance.




33

Government Expenditures
President Reagan has proposed spending cuts of approximately $8 billion
In fiscal '81 and $44 billion in fiscal '82 from the spending plans submitted
by President Carter. Reagan has also proposed cuts in off-budget outlays ©f
$.7 billion and $5.7 billion in fiscal '81 and '82 respectively. The latest
proposals for reducing federally related expenditures represent a reversal ©f
the upward trend in the federal government's share of output. This sham
rose from 22% of GNP in the early 1970s to 30% in fiscal 1981. If all of
President Reagan's proposals are accepted, federally related expenditures
(including government sponsored, off-budget8 and regulatory compliance
expenditures) will drop to 28.5% of GNP in fiscal 1982.
Corporate Profits
The corporate profit figures are being influenced by many diverse factors.
For one, the U.S. Department of Commerce has revised the corporate profits
measures to include profits earned by foreign affiliates of U.S. companies.
Before the revision GNP figures included such profits only when they were
repatriated to the U.S. in the form ©f dividends. The new method of reporting
profits makes the figures more comparable to the concept of profits presented
in the Standard and Poor's earnings reports. The effect ©f this revision has
been to raise the profit figures as reported in the GNP accounts. Since the
historical series for the latest revision in profits were not immediately available,
we have not been able to incorporate this new concept into our forecasting
procedures. As a result, the basic forec?»st for profits assumes behavior
consistent with the old series and, therefore, the profit forecast should be
viewed with caution.
Second, profits for 1981 and 1982 are affected by the expected tax
cuts. Specific assumptions concerning these cuts have changed continually
during the course of recent months. Future changes with respect to the
type and timing of these cuts could have a major impact ©n the profit forecasts.
The present forecast assumes depreciation allowances are liberalized in line
with the so-called 2-4-7-10 proposal advanced in 1980 by the Senate Finance
Committee. These changes are assumed to be effective January 1, 1981 and
have the effect of lowering reported profits in the GNP accounts (since
depreciation allowances increase). However, the actual impact on profits is
seen in the series "after-tax profits adjusted." This series is expected to
show a substantial 15% increase in profits for 1981 and a further 23%
increase the following year.
Personal Tax Cuts
Personal tax cuts are assumed to be phased In at a different rate than
President Reagan has recommended. A cut in personal tax rates of 5% is
assumed to occur effective July 1, 1981. This is followed by successive 10%
cuts in January, 1982, and January, 1983, and a final 5% cut In January,
1984. Since dollar taxes are actually soaring in 1981 ©wing to tax increases
already enacted, delaying the "tax cuts" in the Kemp-Roth proposal leaves
both the average and marginal tax burdens substantially higher in 1S81 than
in 1980.




34

D
/
W
f WLAOI L ES

rORECAST FOR BCOWHIC OUTLOOK DATED 1 / 2 7 / i J
OF DOLLARS--SEASOHALl? ADJUSTED ANNUAL HATES)
I'OPECAST

ACTUAL
jgooic

1981ll

S901|2 J901(3 1981)4 ! 9 l 2 i l

TEARS
1 9 8 2 i 2 190213 1 9 8 2 : 4

2741.4 2015.G 2058.2 2912.4 299S.3 3872.9 3143.7 3 2 H . 3
3.2
12.1
It.7
11.3
' i.9
10.3
9.0
9.3

1979

1980

1981

1982

ten

1 4 9 0 . 1 1 4 9 4 . f 147®.4 1473.7 8 0 0 9 . 0 1090.7 1 3 0 3 , 1 1311.2 131S.2
-0.2
3.0
1.2
3.7
2.C
1.3
l.t
1.4

1413.0 1001.0 1413.9 1300.0
3.2
-0.1
0.1
l.G
1.C278 1 . 7 7 4 2 1.990C 2 . 1 0 9 2
9.0
9.9
8.1
1.3

1 7 4 4 . 4 1 7 9 4 . 3 1 1 2 0 . 4 1 0 6 3 . 0 1 9 8 0 . 9 1)969.0 2 0 1 7 . 3 2 0 C 1 . 8 2 1 1 2 . 9
9.0
9.7
10.2
11.9
12.C
10.9
9.3
1S.S

COMSTAlf? B O W M
«CM

2 4 1 3 . 9 2G20.0 2 8 9 4 . 4 3180.0
0.9
12.0
10.1
9.9

1 . 0 3 9 0 8 . 0 0 3 9 1 . 9 3 1 2 1.973C 2 . 6 1 3 1 2 . 0 3 0 4 2 . 0 0 9 0 2 . 1 2 S 3 2.1G09
7.9
7.7
7.7
10.4
9.1
1.4
7.3
11.2
§ .9

ten

32SS.3
9.3

1310.9 1871.1 1149.2 2040.7
12.0
10.S
10.7
10.4

222.1
29.1

241.3
14.9

233.1
11.1

26S.8
9.7

2GG.2
0.0

212.3
«.5

ill. C
-9.4

229.7
S.C

237.7
12.2

719.2
11.0

728.4
7.0

742. €
8.0

788.3
10.0

771. •
10.0

79i.7
S.S

111.3
S.7

• 31.2
9.0

C02.2
13.7

•74.3
12.0

73®.9
9.3

S03.1
9.2

841.1
11.9

170.1
10.S

§93.7
11.3

fit.4
11. S

941.7
10.3

9(3.3
10.3

§§9.2 1019.1
10.2
10.9

G9G.3
12.4

719.3
12.1

002. G
12.4

977.9
10.t

429.S
20.1

432.3
2.3

431.3
-0.3

434.1
2.4

449.3
13.0

474.7
24.4

494.1
17.4

SOS.9
9.«

413.8

lo.e

390.0
-4.t

431.0
0.8

401.0
11.4

297.3

302.9
7.0

30S.7
3.7

308.4
3.C

314.70.0

323.0
11.0

331.•
11.4

339.3
9.G

34S.9
9.0

279.7
IS. 8

294.7
3.4

307.9
4.3

333.3
i.9

aoo.o
»CB

I f 1.4
7.4

192.t
3.0

194.1
4.2

200.0
11.1

203.3
11.3

211.2
11.6

21S.1
9.G

220.8
9.0

113.4
12.3

JOG.3
1.7

194.0
4.4

213.4
9.6

800.3
7.i

111.9
. 1.3

112.9
S.l

113.i
2.3

114.7
3.9

117.3
10.1

129.8
11.0

123.4
9.G

12i.l
9.0

9S.3
22.4

aoo.3
12.3

113.2
4.3

121.9
7.7

112.2
• 3.7

810.0
16.G

101.9
-23.9

l@t.9
0.0

117.4
33.1

129.3
41.0

100.9
40.1

149. i
27.1

198.§
20.1

llt.S
6.6

103.0
-11.4

813.9
7.3

144.2
27.1

-S.7

cn

2.7

«CII

CO




240.0
23.€

493.7
31.3

m

226.7
i.9

020.3
13.3

»CH

221.9
-13.4

097.0
14.7

acti

230.0
J3.0

19.f

17.4

14.2

2.a

-3.8

2.0

2.0

17.9

-2.9

10.9

1.3

n PIS
acn

S.t

34. S

Morsi

a E/SCftt

19.1

28.1

20.3

3.0

-4.9

-12.i

13.4

2S.1

28.4

2.0

383.7
9.7

390.0
10.t

GS9.2
14.3

S34.1
10.0

GOO. 7
9.3

CC3.3
9.3

itj.l
12.9

473. S
f.S

334.S
12.9

393.0
10.9

•37.3
10. i

tlf'.S
G.J
147.3

222.2
11.0
132.3

220.9
12.G
130.2

200.0
22.3
168.3

24?.$
11.S
174.9

234.1
11.1
1M.7

til.9
11.3
100.0

273.3
20.6
200.1

7i.6
SftTf

IS.t

970.3
8.S

213.3
43.3
142.7

ocn

21.3

3S0.0
20.4

S9.8

S9.7

70.7

72.3

72.S

72.4

72.2

73.4

!§7.9
9.3
111.2
11.3
S«.7

Iff.2
li.7
132.0
18.7
87.3

227.1
14.0
J5G.6
IS.7
70.3

299.0
14.1
106.<1
19.0
72.7

343.S
S.4

333. i
10.0

361.3
5.0

3§9.f

37i.4
9.5

30G.G
9.0

394. f
8.5

402.3
S.O

409.$
7.5

303.9
9.G

333.9
9.7

3S3.9
9.0

390.3
8.1

peftcetmae c-nm;seo AT ANNUAL BATESI

MELIHINAR? DATA FOR ooiO

NOTE:

A detailed analysis of government tax and spending burdens and
their likely impact on the economy will be presented in a forthcoming
report on the federal budget. Specifically, this report will analyze
the Reagan proposals and their likely impact on inflation and productivity
trends in the period ahead.

Robert J. Genetski
Vice President and Economist




36

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
(BILLIONS OP DOLLARS—SEASONALLY AOJUSTEO ANNUAL RATES)

ACTUAL

FORECAST

TEARS

1 9 0 0 i 4 1 9 8 1 : 1 1 9 8 1 : 2 1 9 8 1 : 3 1 9 8 1 : 4 1 9 8 2 : 1 1 9 8 2 : 2 1 9 8 2 : 3 1982:4
PRBTAI PROMTS 1)
«CH
TAX LIABILITY
acii
AFTER TAI PROFITS
«CH
ftpf ffc% p t o P ADJ 2)
«CH




1980

1981

1982

221.5
-19.6

211.7
-16.6

209.9
-3.4

207.9
-3.8

206.9
-1.9

206.2
-1.3

207.7
2.9

253.3
14.4

244.7
-4.2

219.3
-10.4

207.2
-5.5

83.4
79.3
27.® . - 1 8 . 4

75.1
-19.6

71.8
-16.6

71.2
-3.4

70.5
-3.8

70.1
-1.9

69.9
-1.3

70.4
2.9

87.«
5.6

81.9
-6.5

74.3
-9.3

70.2
-5.5

162.7
9.3

154.6
-18.4

146.4
-19.6

139.9
-16.6

138.7
-3.4

137.4
-3.8

136.8
-1.9

136.3
-1.3

137.3
2.9

167.8
19.5

162.8
-3.0

144.9
-11.0

136.9
-S.5

I0S.7
27.2

116.9
45.7

111.4
-15.2

116.5
19.7

128.1
46.2

137.0
30.7

143.S
21.2

149.1
15.7

133.4
12.0

109.2
6.5

102.2
-6.4

118.0
15.5

145.8
23.5

2239.1 2310.0 2357.0 2407.1 2473.1 2527.6 2587.4 2646.8 2707.5
14.9
9.3
8.4
8.9 . 11.3
9.1
9.8
9.5
9.5

»CH
OS

1979

233.9
-18.4

246.1
15.1

TAI 6 HOWTM PAMENT 31
tCR
DISraSMLB INCOME
%CH

360.®
23.5

371.1
12.9

381.7
11.9

377.3
-4.3

391.7
15.9

371.3
-19.3

383.2
13.4

395.2
13.1

407.2
12.7

1943.8 2161.0 2387.0 2617.3
12.9
11.2
10.5
9.7
302.0
16.7

338.7
12.2

380.3
12.3

389.2
2.3

1641.7 1822.2 2006.3 2228.1
12.2
11.0
10.1
11.0

1792.3 1842.8 1868.9 1912.0 1968.9 2020.0 2069.3 2117.1 2167.0
13.5
11.7
5.8
9.5
12.4
10.8
10.2
9.5
9.8

SCH

1899.1 1938.9 1973.3 2030.3 2081.4 2156.3 2204.2 2251.6 2300.3
13.3
8.7
7.7
11.6
10.5
15.2
9.2
8.9
8.9

1555.5 1718.6 1898.2 2093.4
12.2
10.5
10.4
10.3

106.6
-16.2

96.1
-34.0

106.4
50.3

118.3
52.8

112.3
-18.2

136.3
115.5

134.7
-4.6

134.3
-0.6

3.6

5.0

S.4

5.8

5.4

6.3

6.1

6.0

97.3
0.9

97.8
2.0

97.5
-1.1

97.7
0.9

98.1
1.6

98.6
2.1

99.1
2.0

103.2
0.7

105.6
1.8

106.1
1.8

106.4
1.1

106.7
1.1

107.0
1.3

RATE($)

7.3

7.5

8.1

8.2

8.9

PftOBUCTT VITY-HONFARM
»CH

0.985
-1.2

0.985
-0.2

0.976
-1.5

0.973
-1.0

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTIOM
tCH

1.491
21.1

1.520
8.1

1.487
-8.4

1.476
-2.9

PERSONAL SAV1W3S
»CH
SAVING RAYS(%)

tCH

133.3
-3.5

86.2
12.9

103.6
20.2

108.3
4.6

134.7
24.3

5.8

5.3

5.7

5.4

6.1

99.6
2.0

100.1
2.0

96.9
2.7

97.3
0.3

97.8
0.5

99. 3
1.6

107.3
1.7

108.0
1.8

108.3
1.9

102.9
2.5

104.8
1.8

106.2
1.4

107.7
1.4

7.9

7.8

7.8

7.7

5.8

8.0

7.8

0.976
1.2

0.979
0.9

0.980
0.4

0.988
0.2

0.981
0.2

0.990
-0.8

0.983
-0.5

0.978
-0.7

8.980
0.2

1.505
8.1

1.527
6.0

1.536
2.4

1.544
2.1

.352
2.1

1.525
4.4

1.471
-3.6

1.497
1.8

1.540
2.9

1} PROFITS FOR 8 0 : 4 ABB ESTIMATES. PROFITS FOR 1981 ASSUME CORPORATE TAH CUTS EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1 , 1 9 8 1 .
2J AFTER TAX PROFITS ARE ADJUSTED TO EXCLUDE INVENTORY PROPITS AND ALLOW FOR DEPRECIATION AT REPLACEMENT COST.
3) FORECAST ASSUMES A 5S PERSONAL TAX RATE CUT EFFECTIVE JULY 1,1981 AMD A FURTHER 10% RATE CUT EFFECTIVE THE FOLLOttlKG JANUARY.

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
fOilCMT

ACTUAL

teAiS

B
J90010 S901 i 19Slt2 1961 • J 19S1|4 1902ill 19S2i2 19§2i3 19§2i4

1979

1900

1981

1982

new ii

13.3

13.3

11.9

11.3

II. 8

le.s

10.4

10.3

t.I

9.1

12.3

11.9

10.3

DUO ISSUR M WML

14.4

14.4

12.f

12. 2

11. •

ii. s

11.3

11.2

19.7

10.3

13.3

12.9

•11.2

I«.7

18.7

IS.3

12.6

11.4''

le.s

io.a

9.7

9.9

12.7

IS.3

14.S

10.0

18.9

IS. J

II. 1

10. <

t.I

1.7

1.4

1.0

1.9

ii. e

12.«

11.9

1.2

PtlHB M i l
CWWBBCIAL PAPBD 4

11

] MMYM T-StLLi

13.i

14.a

11.S

ie.1

0.9

• .3

1.0

7.8

7.4

10.1

11.4

11.3

7.t

PMHAif 90 M ! CM

is.e

If .0

12.7

jo.o

f.(

0.0

l.S

• .1

7.9

n.i

12.9

12.3

0.3

S6G.0
S.O

1I9.S
7.9

173.1
S.0

17i.i
7.1

179.1
7.0

182.1
S.9

183.2
7.0

14S.0
0.3

1S6.6
S.O

HOMEY AND VELOCITY
MONETAE! OftSC-JO}
(CN
0
VELOCITY Of M
OCtJ

oo




I6<i.2
4.9

17.7(0 1 7 . M 1 17.S7S 17.737 17.997 IS.097 I t . 1 7 1 I t . 2 6 4 1 8 . 3 f l
1.7
2.1
-S.O
3.7
S.O
2.2
2.0
10.4
0.3

800.0
7.S

100.G
7.2

17.322 17.4S7 17.771 11.224
2.9
0.1
1.0
2.S

413.t
11.1

421. S
O.S

4M.7
S.O

434.0
7.0

441.4
7.8

447.9
8.0

4S4.4
S.9

4S1.K 4 i 7 . f
S.O

4.0

374.5
7.1

391.3
G.O

436.9
1.2

437.t
8.2

VELOCITY OP Ml HE*
ICN

7.8i7
19.7

7.003
-3.4

0.900
-3.S

0.980
0.3

7.027
7.0

7.000
3.1

7.127
2.6

7.101
3.1

7.237
3.2

G.G99
3.7

C.813
1.7

6.968
2.2

7. ISC
2.0

Ml-* MtJIISTCO 2 |

013.0
11.3

414.S
l.S

41t.fi
S.O

42S.8
7.8

434.1
7.0

440. % 446.9
S.t
S.O

4S3.S
G.O

4®0.2
S.O

374. S
7.0

390.3
6.4

423.0
C.4

4S0.1
S.3

7.i«
19.7

7.003
-3.9

0.90 a

7. SIC
7.1

7.14S
7.0

7.200
3.1

7.248

-s.s

7.301
3.1

7.330
3.2

G.G99
3.7

0.013
1.7

7.020
3.0

7.277
3.7

CM-ALL BDM]
6C»

2.SC4
12.2

2.64C
13. S

2.724
12.3

2.703
0.9

2.(40
• .4

2.19S
0.0

2.9S1
0.0

3.004
7.7

3.063
7.0

2.17i
11.1

2.400
13.4

2.748
11.1

2.979
0.0

ntrro SALIS 3}

9.130

$.400

1.300

0.300

9.500

9.000 10.100 10.300 10.SOS

10.SS9

9.060

8.925 10.175

G.GOO

8.900

C.100

6.300

7.100

7.400

7.700

7.900

0.100

0.230

6.600

6.600

7.77S

2.4S4

2.S00

2.200

2.200

2.400

2.400

2.400

2.400

2.400

2.316

2.410

2.32S

2.400

l.SSC

1.300

1.14

1.100

1.400

1.600

1.700

1.000

1.900

1.722

1.321

1.27S

1.7S0

HONEY S U I W - i M - B )
CO

302.2
10.7

ten

ten
VELOCITY OP 111 HI AM*

potwsffc

1 M STARTS 1)

WILOCITY IS HBASURBD AS GIJP OlVIDgD BY KO:iEV BMIB8 LAGGED TWO (WAITERS
11 PRIOR TO H0VBH8M 1979, COMMERCIAL PAPER 0-5 M S
2( t i l - a ADJUSTED BY HARRIS SANK FOR INSTITUTIONAL CMAXGii AFFECTING DGPOnTEB Hl-B DATA
3| IN t i l l I ' "IS OF UNITS-SBASOMALLY ADJUSTED ANNUAL RATES

AT A CRITICAL JUNCTURE
H. Erich Heinemann
Morgan Stanley & Co., Incorporated

The Federal Reserve System has reached a critical juncture in its current effort
to stabilize monetary expansion, reduce inflationary expectations, and thereby lower
interest rates. If the central bank is successful, this should pave the way for.
implementation of the Reagan Administration's program for economic renewali failure
could well expose the American economy to the threat of a serious financial crisis.
Here are the considerations that lead me to this conclusions
Since last fall, the monetary authorities have reduced expansion in the money
stock to a crawl by placing a tight clamp on the growth of the monetary base, which
they control directly. (The principal source of the base is the Federal Reserve's own
portfolio of securities.) However, over the last week or so it has become evident that
the Federal Reserve has made a significant tactical change in its stance and is now
supplying high-powered money to the marketplace much more readily than was the
case only a short while ago. As a case in point, despite a $900-million drop in the week
of March 11, the monetary base — as calculated and adjusted by the Federal Reserve
Bank of St. Louis — averaged $163.8-billion per day during the four weeks ended on
that date, up at a 12.3% seasonally adjusted compound annual rate from the average of
$162.4-billion in the four weeks ended on February 11. By contrast, the base was
essentially unchanged between early December and mid-February.
It has been clear all along that the extreme restraint imposed by the Federal
Reserve during December, January, and February (including a 7% annual rate of
decline in total adjusted bank reserves) would prove to be unsustainable. Indeed, I
warned in Money and the Economy on January 16 that the danger in the Federal
Reserve's course was that it could lead to a "severe overtightening of monetary policy,
which, in turn, would set the stage for the next round of excessive growth in the money
supply." This sentiment was echoed a month later in the White House Report that
spelled out President Reagan's economic program! "At times in the past, abruptly
restrictive policies have prompted excessive reactions toward short-term monetary
ease." At this point, 1 do not think that the Federal Reserve can be properly accused
of a "severe overtightening" of policy — in large part because the slowdown in money




39

growth has been of such short duration. Nonetheless, the abruptness of the restraint
makes it hardly surprising that the authorities are beginning to be somewhat more
accommodative. What will be crucial is the manner in which they do so.
For some time now, financial markets have been exhibiting some of the initial beneficial effects of the Federal Reserve's current resolve that inflation, after all,
does seem to be a problem. As the monetary growth rate has dropped, and the
eloquence of Mr. Volcker's antiinflationary rhetoric has improved, short-term interest
rates have fallen. The Federal funds rate, for instance, has averaged about 15 1/2%
over the last four weeks, down almost 500 basis points from the peak that was posted
in the first week of January. It is important to recognize that this trend has developed
in the following contexts
As already noted, growth in the money stock has been brought
virtually to a halt.
Over the period from November through
February, M-1B increased at an annual rate of 2.1%, in contrast to
the 12.8% rate of expansion from August through October. Moreover,
the Federal Reserve said today that, when proper account is taken of
the transfer of funds into interest-bearing NOW accounts, the M-1B
growth rate was overstated in relation to its underlying trend in
January by approximately $3.6-billion and in February by about $1.7billion.
—

The demand for funds by the United States Treasury has been
exceptionally strong. 1 estimate that the seasonally adjusted annual
rate of Treasury financing in the current quarter is running between
$85-billion and $95-billion, which is close to the postwar record
established in 1975.

—

The level of aggregate business activity in the private sector has been
stronger than anticipated (real GNP in the first three months of 1981
may increase at an annual rate close to 4%). The level of corporate
borrowing in the capital markets has been surprisingly high — see the
Statistical Supplement to this issue of Money and the Economy for
details.
This is precisely the context that many analysts have assuumed would produce
record increases in interest rates. The fact is the opposite has occurred, and shortterm rates have declined, while long-term rates have changed very little from last
December. There is a lesson here, so far as I can see, about the way the world works.
Tight monetary policy has lowered short-run inflationary expectations, and at the same
time has contributed to the 25% annual rate of decline in sensitive spot commodity
prices over the last three months. In this environment, business demand for short-term
credit has been tempered. The Morgan Stanley proxy for total short-term business
credit outstanding averaged $299.4-billion in the four weeks ended on March 4, up at
an annual rate of about 8% over the last three months. In mid-December, the threemonth growth rate in our credit proxy was 18.7%. Furthermore, business and consumer




40

expectations about the future course of the economy have clearly become more
cautious, despite superficial signs of strength. The reduction in aggregate borrowing
demand and inflationary expectations, it seems to me, has more than offset the upward
pressures on rates from a reduced growth rate in the money supply and an exceptional Treasury borrowing calendar.
It seems obvious that the Federal Reserve will in due course seek some
reacceleration of monetary growth — whether or not I am correct in my judgment that
such a reacceleration is already under way today. In so doing, Mr. Volcker and his
colleagues will find themselves under enormous pressure to lift the rate of growth in
the money stock to a level consistent with continued disinflation in the economy, but
not so much as to reignite inflationary fears. In other words, provide just enough, but
not too much money. In practice, this will mean that the authorities will have to stay
close to the tracking path for monetary expansion that they have laid out for 1981. A
repetition of last year's pattern — with the first part of the year far below the desired
growth path, and the second part far above — would most likely produce short- and
long-term interest rates far above the levels that were reached at the peaks in 1980.
This, in turn, could well seriously undermine large numbers of already weakened
financial institutions. In truth, the Federal Reserve has no alternative to actions that
will lower inflationary expectations and interest rates.
Unfortunately for Mr. Volcker, the margin for error is very small. As the
Federal Reserve chairman told the Senate Banking Committee last month, "swings in
the money and credit aggregates over a month, a quarter, or even longer should not be
disturbing (and indeed in some situations may be desirable), provided there is
understanding and confidence in our intentions over more significant periods of time."
(Emphasis in the original.) This is correct, and it is the core of the Federal Reserve's
dilemma. The central bank has destroyed any vestige of the confidence it once
enjoyed by its own actions. That confidence will be rewon, if ever, only through
arduous and sustained actions.
To the extent that market participants seek to position themselves to benefit
from a coming disinflation, in my judgment they should take action on the basis of
their confidence in the political commitment of the Reagan Administration — not the
rhetoric of the Federal Reserve.




41

MONETARY DATA
(Hecklv Averages of Dailv Figu res in Millions of Dollars)

Change From
Previous Week

Idlest Week

Rates of Change Over
I Year
3 Months
6 Months

-21.5%

-

7.1%

-

2.0%

+3,200

+

2.4

+

7.5

+

6.8

504,400

+•6,600

+

9.4

+

9.7

+11.1

Adjusted Monetar\ Base*('J)

163,400

-

900

+

2.5

+

5.7

+

7.3

Adjusted Fetleral Reserve
Credit *(2)

142,200

-

900

+

5.1

+

8.1

+

8.4

Total Adjusted Rescrvcs*(l)

46,600

+

400

-

5.0

+

3.1

+

4.3

Member Bank BonovMiig(2)

768

-

531

Monev Supplv (M-lA)*(ll

$365,700

$+1,100

Monc\ SuppK (\MBI*(I |

419,700

r.s.pandcd Monev *(1 )

NA

NA

NA

Hedncsdav, Figt res

Shorl-'lcrm Business Credit * ( ' )

300,467

+1,392

+

8.1

+13.0

+

Total Commercial Paper
Outstanding^ 1)

132,165

+1,181

+19.0

+ 12.6

+ 10.9

Business Loans
All I-irRe Ituiiks'(l)

169,815

-

177

+

0.8

+ 11.1

+

6.4

New York ( itv Banks* **(l I

48,549

+

82

-

5.5

+11.1

+

6.0

Chicago Banks*( 1)

18,525

+

94

+

2.1

+11.0

+

7.5

"Seasonally \djusieil

NA = Not Applicable

**l.\clude» bankers'acceptances and commercial paper

Rates of change are compound annual rates. I.xpamlrd monev, consists of M-III plus overnight RPs and Kurodollars. and 50% of
monev markei mutual fund shares. Short-term business credit includes commercial and industrial loans at large banks plus
loans sold to a affiliates less banker's' acceptances and commercial paper held in portfolio plus loans at large banks lo finance
Companies and nonbank financial institutions plus nonbank commcrual paper.

O

March 4




6.9

(2) March 11

42

MONTHLY SlTPLl.MLNI

MONKIARY DAI A
(Mnnllilv Wragrs nf !>ail\ Figures in Hiifions if Dollars)

I-ili-st Month

Changr §-toiii
l'n-\mus Month

Rales of Change ()\t'|
3 Months
6 Months
1 Year

Miini'\ Slock Measures and
Liquid \sscts:
M-l A* (1)
M-IB* ( 1 |
§-.S.pail(U'd MlMH'V * ( 1 )
M-2* (1)
M-3* (1)
I.

(-)

S

366.0
417.2
495.2
1,692.2
1,993.2
2,373.5

$- 6.8
+ 1.1
+ 6.1
+ 10.9
+ 14.5
+ 27.0

-21.2%
+ 2.1
+ 7.7
+ 5.2
+ 10.0
+ 12.1

- 7.0%
+ 7.3
+ 8.8
+ 7.5
+ 11.3
+12.0

- 2.0%
+ 6.6
+ 10.5
+ 9.3
+ 10.4
+ 10.3

* .Seasonal I \ Adjusted
Rates of t hange art- i om|)ntinil annual i lies
M l \ lonsisis ni tiinriu \ plus demand iliposiis M l |i IOIISISIS of M-l \ plus other i heckable deposits at banks
and thrift institutions. I vpandtd iimnrs i onsisis uf \ | . | II phis oveini)>ht R | \ and I uioilollais. and '>0"o of iiinnr\
inaikri iniitiial fund shairs M-l! consists ol M-l H plus ost-inn;lil Rl's and l.urndollars. shares of mi>nt'\ inaikt-t muiiial funds and savings and small limr deposits at tomiiiiiiial hanks and thrift institutions. Mil iiinsists of M-2
plus |.ii|>< miii' ih posits ami n u n Rl's at imuuirii i.il banks and thrift institutions I inalh . I. consists of M-3 plus
otlu i litpiid assets.

•'' February




<-' December

43

-

ECONOMIC DATA
Rates of Chang? Over
3 Months 6 Months 1 Year

Latest Week

Change From
Previous Week

117,804

-7,519

-

35.7% -

+

943

-

53.8

174.500

+7.510

-

581

7

-

Date

OUTPUT
Goods Production:
Auto* (Units)
Trucks® (Units)
Lumber* ** (Millions of Board Feet)
Paper® (Thousands of Tons)

29,620

-19.3%

3/

7

+ 36.7

-17.2

3/

7

1.4

+

25.2

-

5.3

2/21

15.1

+

5.9

-

1.9

2/28

8.9%

8.3

+14.8

+11.9

+

1.6

2/28

2,495

68

+

6.2

+123.0

+

1.2

3/

Bituminous Coal* (Thousands of Short Tons)

21,276

+1,230

+202.3

+ 62.2

+14.9

2/21

Crude Oil Refinery Runs*
(Daily Average; Thousands of BBLs)

12,976

95

-

3.4

+

6.5

-10.4

3/

-

5.6

-

9.4

-

1.1

2/28

Paperboard* (Thousands of Tons)

617.6

Raw Steel 6 (Thousands of Short Tons)

+

7

Energ> Production.

Electric Output Index® (1967=100)

7

190

+

13

19.8

+

0.7

+54.1

+22.1

+

1.6

2/28

Spot Price Index, All Commodities (1967=100)

273.8

+

1.7

-

25.1

-

11.0

-

7.2

3/10

Spot Price Index, Foodstuffs (1967=100)

253.1

-

31.3

-

17.7

-

0.1

3/10

Spot Price Index, Raw Industrials (1967=100)

288.9

+

2.9

-

20.8

-

6.1

Initial Unemployment Claims*' (Thousands)

416.2

-

12.5

-

2.8

-

Claimant Level® (Thousands)

2,849

10

-

50.3

-

TRANSPORTATION
Revenue Ton-Miles, Class 1 Railroads* (Billions)

PRICES

—

-11.7

3/10

32.3

+

2.7

3/

43.5

+

4.1

2/28

EMPLOYMENT

••Seasonally Adjusted

" D a t a nibject to final revision

All data are reported for the week ending Saturday except price data which are for the week ending on Tueiday.
Sources: Chase Econometric Associates DataBase; Morgan Stanley Reiearch




7

44




W^^^^*^^***^^

!

in
n

E
C

e

u

IS

G.

2

CI

s. 2

t_

E

s c

J

e

y.

45

Fipirr 2
l l r r a t i r Monetary Policy O i n f r i l m t r s to F.conomic fnttafiitity

_
.—>

Monetary Haw (I,cft Scale)
CIrois National IVniltirf (Right S r a l r )

r 4.8%

2.8%

05




1970

1071

1972

1973

1974

I7r
9 .>

1976

1977

1978

1979

19S0

Data arc in current i l o l l a r i .
Shailril area*, except for t l i r mini-rccc-sion o f 1966-S967, represent periods o f recession
a* tlcsi-Mi-tlrcl l>y tin- National Bureau o f Kconomic Research.
Sources: Krotialy-.! Data Bavr; Morgan Stanley Research

I-JRIIIC '\

T h r t ' n d i - r K i w ; K a l r o f f :lianq<" in lli(»lt-P€>wrrr«l M < m r \ Mas S l o w r c l

A d j m l r d M o n e t a r y Rasr
Adjusted I o t a ! R r w r v n

10%

JS

0&,
~3

U
S
>

s




Data arr 12-month moving averages.
Shatlrtl areas, rxrcpt for llir mini-recession of I0f»fj-I9f>7 t represent periods of recession
as designated !>y llir National Bureau of Knmoinii Research.
Sources: f'.rnnalvsl Data Rasp; Morgan Stanley Research




REPORT ON FISCAL POLICY FOR THE SHADOW OPEN MARKET COMMITTEE
Rudolph G. Penner
American Enterprise Institute

REAGAN PLAN
President Reagan has proposed a dramatic plan to cut the growth of Federal
spending and to lower the overall tax burden on the American people. The following
table illustrates the details through fiscal 1984. Projections for 1985 and 1986 can be
obtained from the budget documents released on February 18, 1981.
Table 1
Outlay and Receipts Impact of the Reagan Budget Plan
(dollar amounts in billions)
Fiscal Years
1981

1982

1983

1984

$657.8
1.3
659.1

$729.7
7.2

$792.1
20.7

$849.0
27.0

736.9

812.8

876.0

4.4

41.4

D6 a 5

73.7

Outlays
Current policy base
Added defense
Sub-total
Less:

Identified outlay cuts
Cuts to be proposed
subsequently
Proposed budget outlays
Outlays as a % of GNP
Addendum;
Off-budget cuts

—

—

654.7
23.0

695.5
21.8

. 21.2
733.1
20.4

30.7
771.6
19.3

.7

5.7

7.4

a? e &d

1981

Tax policy
Current law receipts
Less; Depreciation reform
Individual tax cuts
Added? User charges
Proposed receipts
Receipts as a % of GNP
Budget deficit (-) or surplus




1982

1983

1984

1609.0

$702.4

2.5
6.4

9.7

$807.6
18.6
81.4
2.6

$917.2
30.0
118.1

710.2
19.7

772.1

""&t«»y

-5-0.5

44.2
2.0

600.2
21.1
-54.5

650.5
20.4
-45.0

49

3.0
XI? © O

The outlay and receipts estimates in Table 1 are based on the economic assumptions in
Table 2.
Table 2
Economic Assumptions Underlying Reagan Budget Estimates
Calendar Years
1981

GNP (96 change 4th quarter
over 4th quarter)
Current dollars
Constant (1972) dollars
GNP deflator (96 change 4th
quarter over 4th quarter)
Unemployment rate (percent,
4th quarter)

1982

1983

1984

11.0
1.4

13.3
0 8 ll

11.8
4.9

10.1
4.2

9.5

7.7

6.6

5.7

7.7

7.0

6.5

6.3

The budget cuts outlined in Table 1 are broad based, but for the most part
Reagan has tried to minimize benefit cuts affecting the poverty population. The tax
cuts involve a depreciation reform similar to the Conable-Jones 10-5-3 proposal and
the enactment of the Kemp-Roth, three-year, 30 percent cut in marginal tax rates
starting July 1, 1981.
In general, the Shadow Open Market Committee should be pleased with the
Reagan budget strategy since it has been advocating a similar strategy for years.
The budget documents also specify a monetary strategy. The rate of growth of
money and credit aggregates is to be smoothly reduced to one-half of its 1980 level by
1986.
Unfortunately, the monetary plan and fiscal plan are not consistent in that
double-digit rates of growth for nominal GNP between 1980 and 1984 are to be
financed with an implied average growth of M-1B of less than 5 1/2 percent per annum.
The implied growth of velocity is between 5 1/2 and 6 percent or far higher than any
number which can be based on recent historical experience.
In this respect, the Reagan plan is not unusual. Nominal GNP growth projected
in the Carter budget, by CBO, and the House and Senate budget committees have over
the last year been inconsistent with what Chairman Volcker has been saying about
monetary policy.
The issue is important because high assumed growth rates for nominal GNP imply
that deficits fall rapidly. Lowering nominal GNP growth by one percentage point per
year between 1980 and 1984 would lower 1984 receipts by $30 to $40 billion. If the




50

reduction were due solely to a lower inflation rate, the matter would not be too serious
because outlays would fall by only a slightly lower amount. But to the extent that real
growth is lower, outlays will be on a higher path because of higher income maintenance
outlays. If the monetary targets are to be taken seriously, we may be basing budget
plans on far too rosy an economic outlook.
SHORT-RUN DEFICIT OUTLOOK
It has become fashionable to list all of the things that could go wrong with the
Reagan plan and to conclude that he has embarked on a very risky budget path. Such
fears should be tempered by the fact that, with a rapidly growing defense burden,
current policy toward non-defense programs and current tax law also place us on a
very risky path. Along the current path, deficits can only be reduced by letting
inflation rapidly raise marginal tax rates on labor and capital income. That is not a
path that makes one sanguine about future economic efficiency.
Of course, many things could go wrong with the Reagan plan. A significant
recession this year would substantially raise the 1981 and 1982 deficits. They would be
raised further if Congress adopts the Reagan tax cuts while forgetting the Reagan
outlay cuts. However, the latter is very unlikely. The voters, and therefore Congressmen, are very concerned about deficits and Congress will not pass more than a oneyear personal income tax cut. In my view, that tax cut probably will not be effective
before October 1, 1981 and may be postponed to January 1, 1982.
I was asked to specify a "best" case and a "worst" case for the 1981 and 1982
budget deficit. Clearly, "best" and "worst" are not words to be taken literally for they
allow one's imagination to roam more freely than is useful. I shall instead describe
"good" and "bad" outcomes which are plausible, but not intended to bracket the entire
range of possibilities. A "good" outcome is one that follows the Reagan plan. The
unified budget deficit would be $54.5 billion in 1981 and $45.0 billion in 1982. Offbudget outlays would be $22.5 billion in 1981 and $12.6 billion in 1982. Implied
financing requirements are then $77 billion in 1981 and $57.6 billion in 1982.
Some might protest that the "good" outcome could be made better by delaying
the Reagan tax cuts, thus lowering the deficit numbers slightly. On the other side, it
is hard for me to believe that the outlay cuts can be made as rapidly as in the Reagan
plan, so it is reasonable to believe that the two delays would approximately offset each
other in this "good" outcome.
For the "bad" scenario, I shall assume the following*
1. An economic growth rate of 0.7 percent between the fourth quarters of 1980
and 1981 with 2.5 percent economic growth during 1982. This implies a significant




51

recession during the second and third quarters of 1981 with a sluggish recovery the
next year. Needless to say, the assumption regarding 1982 growth is strongly biased in
a pessimistic direction.
2. The GNP deflator rises 10.4 percent during 1981 and 8.8 percent during 1982.
(This was Carter's assumption.)
3. The Carter spending path with Reagan's defense addition. (This assumes $9.5
billion in legislated non-defense cuts in fiscal 1982 which may be too optimistic for a
"bad" scenario, but I cannot believe that there will not be some budget cutting.)
4. A net tax cut costing $45 billion on a static basis in fiscal 1982. The
individual tax cuts would be effective October 1, 1981. Fiscal 1981 would only be
affected by a depreciation reform costing $2.5 billion.
Under this dire scenario, the unified budget deficit would be about $65 billion in
1981 and between $100 and $110 billion in 1982. With Carter's off-budget additions,
total financing requirements soar to roughly $90 billion in 1981 and to between $120
and $130 billion in 1982.
For 1982, the tax cut assumed in the "bad" scenario is about $5 billion less than is
assumed by Reagan, but the main differences involve the economic assumptions and
the assumed failure to cut from President Carter's budget recommendations. Very
roughly speaking, one-third of the 1982 deficit increase above Reagan's $45 billion is
the result of lower assumed real growth' and two-thirds is due to the failure to accept
the excess of Reagan's budget cuts above Carter's.
It should be emphasized that I think it extremely unlikely that the "bad" outcome
will emerge. If we appear to be on the "bad" path, it is probable that the Congress will
become less enthusiastic about tax cutting and more enthusiastic about outlay cutting.




52

UPDATED FORECASTS OF MONEY MULTIPLIERS
James M. Johannes and Robert H. Rasche
Michigan State University

I.

Changes Since our Last Report

The one thing that appears to be certain in trying to work with monetary
aggregates is that nothing stays constant long enough to avoid the problems of.
reworking all of our models for each of these semiannual meetings. Last time we
reported to you the changes that were required to adjust to the new definitions of the
monetary aggregates. In a working paper that is forthcoming in the Journal of Money,
Credit and Banking, we discuss the forecasting performance of our models, using both
the St. Louis and Board of Governors monetary base and adjusted reserves concepts,
during two different regimes; November, 1978 - September, 1978 and October, 1979
through October, 1980. Unfortunately, the results presented in the paper cannot be
extended beyond that period without adjusting our models. The reason is that the
Financial Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980 necessitated a
reconstruction of the St. Louis reserve adjustments starting in November, 1980 (for
details see St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank Review, December, 1980). As usual the
changes in reserve requirements result in a reconstruction of recent history as pictured
by the Board of Governors concepts. In addition, recent revisions of the monetary
aggregates data have been released that incorporate benchmarks to the December
1979 and March, 1980 call reports. Since we had to reestimate some of our component
models anyway (i.e. the models involving RAM), we chose to reestimate all of the
models using the revised data and updating the sample period through the end of 1979.
These reestimated models are presented in Table II. Table I is a reproduction of the
same table that appeared in our last report so that you can make comparison if you
choose.
There do not appear to be any major surprises in the two tables. The structure of
all the models appears to remain valid for the updated sample; indeed in most cases
the changes in the point estimates of the various coefficients are very small. This
should be expected given that the forecasting experience for the various multipliers
over the past two years appears to be very stable, with the possible exception of April.




53

1980. The redefinition of the reserve adjustment for the St. Louis monetary base and
adjusted reserves has also had little impact on the two component models in which
these series are involved.
At the present time, there is another potential problem arising from the
Financial Institutions Deregulation Act; namely, the legalization of NOW accounts
nationwide effective January 1, 1981. You may recall that at the beginning of 1979,
we adopted the working assumption that ATS balances came exclusively out of what
were formerly demand balances.
Given the old M, concept, that assumption
necessitated the introduction of a dummy variable into our various models to measure
the magnitude of the shift, since ATS balances were not included in the M, definition.
We found that a shift of approximately 1.5 percent (which we measured from
independent sources) occurred over a period of about three months and after that no
further adjustments were necessary. Our tentative assumption at this point is that a
similar portfolio adjustment has occurred with nationwide NOW accounts. Our
presumption is that, as a first approximation, all of the new NOW balances came out of
former demand balances, and at this point, we feel that the transition has been largely
accomplished. Note that the latest data available (February 18, 1981) indicate on a
seasonally adjusted basis that the precipitous decline in M , A , which began at the first
of the year, has now halted. This assumption suggests a faster adjustment than
occurred with the ATS accounts, but given the extensvie advertising of the new NOW
accounts in the last quarter of 1980, such a result seems quite plausible.
If this working assumption is reasonable, then the conclusion is that no
adjustments need be made to our component models to account for the nationwide
NOW's. In the new aggregates, both demand balances and NOW accounts are included
in the M, „ construction. Consequently, a shift between the two just alters the
composition of the D component, but would leave the total unchanged. Other than
secondary impacts as a result of deposits moving among institutions with different
marginal reserve requirements, nothing should be affected.
To attempt to verify the usefulness of this assumption, we have constructed
forecasts of January, 1981 based on the current data available through December,
1980. The results are presented in Table III, which includes a decomposition of the
sources of the multiplier forecast error. The forecast error for the M._ B net monetary
base multiplier for January at 1.17 percent is a relatively large one, given our past
experience, but not highly unlikely. The consistency of the signs of the individual
component error suggests that our operating assumption that all of the new NOW
accounts came out of demand balances is probably something of an overstatement, but




54

it does not appear that this institutional change should cause a major source of
problems in either the interpretation or control of monetary aggregates over the
coming year.
II.

Current Forecasts

Our current forecasts for the M ^ g net monetary base multiplier over the coming
year (not seasonally adjusted) are presented in Table IV. We have chosen a somewhat
different format for the presentation than we have used in the past, to try to avoid the
problem of having to deal with forecasts of seasonal factors, which are really not a
part of our models at this point. Table IV contains our predictions of the M, R net
monetary base multiplier for the next 11 months, as well as the actual values of the
multiplier over 1980 and the seasonal difference in percentage terms. With the
exception of the first quarter of 1981 relative to the first quarter of 1980, there does
not appear to be any consistent or persistent trend implicit in the forecasts. In
particular, the forecast of the average change for the fourth quarter 1981 over the
fourth quarter 1980, which is important for the Federal Reserve's current monetary
growth targets is for a decline in the multiplier of less than one percent. Our conclusion is that at this point in time, the path of the net monetary base over the next
year will be the dominant influence on the growth of M, B .
As usual, we have predictions of multipliers for M„ and M3» as well as predictions
for multipliers based on total reserves, unborrowed reserves and the monetary base.
To avoid overburdening you with details .we will not present those here, with the
exception of the M, g unborrowed reserves multiplier (Table V), which is the one that
appears to be implicit in the present Federal Reserve control procedure. You should
note our conclusion in the discussion paper that we distributed, which suggests this
approach to multiplier forecasting is considerably less accurate in dealing with reserve
multipliers than in dealing with monetary base multipliers.




55

Table I Component Models
k
'

( 1 - B J ) (1-B

(1-B)

X - 3 7 . 8 df - 28

g

) Ink - (1-.70581B ) (1-.66907B
.556 X l ( f 2

S.E.E.

(1-B) ( 1 - B 1 2 ) Ing - (1-.38067B)

(1-.21252B2)

(.0675)
X - 3 1 . 6 df - 27

2

S.E.E.

(1-.36188B) (1-B) ( 1 - B 1 2 ) l n z -

(l-.69992B12)a

S.E.E.

.273 X 1 0

SAMPLE

(1-B) (1-B 3 ) ( 1 - B 1 2 ) l n t * - ( 1 - . 6 4 7 0 1 B 3 )
X - 29.9 df - 28
(1-B12)

2

S.E.E.

.549 X 1Q~"

1

(l-.53840B)~ (l-.65984B
(.0617)

X - 31.0 df - 28
r+1

(l-.61528B12)a
SAMPLE

• (.0133)
12

59.1-78.12

X - 31.0

df - 27

(.0168)

(.0565)
S.E.E.

.298 X 1 0 " 1

SAMPLE

S.E.E.

(.0885)
2

.887 X 10™

(1-B) ( 1 - B 1 2 ) In ( r + l - v ) - (1-.23795B (.0841)
2

X - 21.4 df - 28

]

)a

(.0887)

b

(.0587)

(1-B) ( 1 - B 1 2 ) In (r+1) - (1-.61654B + .21149B 2 2

r+l-v

59.1-78.12

["(1-B) l n t * + .00224D® + .4750D. - .08269D
(.0186)

-

59.1-78.12

(.0501)
_1

(.0531)

2

(.0632)

SAMPLE

2

Z

(l-.50131B12)a

.181

X - 3 6 . 5 df - 28

l

59.1-78.12

(.0734)

(.0640)

C

SAMPLE

)a

S.E.E.

.704 X 10~

S.E.E.

*460

2

SAMPLE

61.1-78.12
.41122B12)a
(.0757)
68.10-78.12

.51541B 1 2 )a
(.0891)
SAMPLE 6 8 . 1 0 - 7 8 . 1 2

(1-B) lnb - a
X2 - 35.6 df • 30

SAMPLE

68.10-78.12

D, i s a dummy f o r t h e p e r i o d 1966.7 t© 1 9 6 6 . 1 2 , D« i s a dumay'for
t:he p e r i o d 1 9 6 8 . 1 2 t o !
he
1970.6 and D- i s a dunsay for t h e p e r i o d s
1967.1-2 and 1 9 7 0 . 7 - 8 .



56

TABLE II REVISED COMPONENT MODELS

k

(1-B)(1-B3)(1-B12)Ink - (l-.7390B3)(l-.6243B12)a
(.0461)
X

g

- 36.4 df = 28 S.E.E. = .568 X 10" 2 SAMPLE

X

= 34.2 df = 27

2

59.1-79.12

(.0997)

= 35.3 df • 28 S.E.E. - .269 X 10" 1 SAMPLE

59.1-79.12

(1-B)(l-B3)(l-B12)lnt* = (l-.6741B3)(l-.5819B12)a?.
(.0496)
X

2

(.0545)

(1-.3587B)(1-B)(l-B12)lnz - (l-.6899B12)a

X

"1

(.0742)

S.E.E. - .200 SAMPLE

(.0626)

rA

59.1-79.12

(1-B)(l-B12)lng = (l-.4131B)(l-.1349B2)(l-.6308B12)a
(.0658)

z

(.1198)

2

(.0603)

- 32.6 df = 28 S.E.E. = .559 X 10~ 2 SAMPLE

59.1-79.12

(1-B12)[(l-B)lnt* + .0023D* + .0474D. - .0828D,]
/
1
2
3
(.0183)
(.0130)
(.0165)
- (l-.5367B)"1(l-.6595B12)a
t

(.0600)
X

r+1

2

(.0546)

= 30.7 df - 28 S.E.E. = .293 X 10 _ 1 SAMPLE

(1-B)(1-B

12

)In(r+1) - (1-.6773B + .2459B
(.0823)

X
+1-V




2

= 35.3 df - 27

(1-B)(1-B

12

11

- .3695B )a

(.0833)

S.E.E. - .948 X 1 0

-2

)ln(r+l-v) = (1-.3140B - .5186B
(.0735)

X 2 - 28„y

?

(.0699)
SAMPLE
1?
)a

68.10-79.12

t

(.0746)

df - 28 S.E.E. - *709 X 1 0 - 2 SAMPLE

57

61.1-79.12

68.10-79.12

TABLE III
Decomposition of Jan.s 1981 Forecast Error
For M. _ Net Monetary Base Multiplier (NSA)
J—
.B
Cont ributon to
Multiplier Error

Percent
Contribution

Component

Multiplier
Elasticity

Log
Error

k

-.4345

-.0155

.0067

57.5

r+1

-.2972

-.0114

.0034

29.0

.0100

-.1530

-.0015

-13.1

-.1913

-.0120

.0023

19.7

-.0446

-.0003

.0000

.1

g

-.0174

-.3868

.0007

5.7

z

-.0040

-.0272

.0001

.9

—

.2

b
1
2

Interaction

*»«.

——

.0117

Multiplier Error (Log)




58

100.0

TABLE IV
M. _ Net Monetary Base Multipliers (NSA)
S. — D

(Forecasts Based on Information Through Jan., 1981)

Actual
1980

Predicted
1981

% Chang

Jan.

2.60525

2.59104*

-.55

Feb.

2.58122

2.54276

-1.50

March

2.59039

2.53558

-2.14

April

2.59282

2.57954

-.51

May

2.49851

2.51635

.71

June

2.52663

2.54513

.73

July

2.53204

2.54872

.66

Aug.

2.54161

2.54344

.07

Sept.

2.58006

2.55898

-.82

Oct.

2.59590

2.57206

-.92

Nov.

2.58203

2.55321

-1.12

Dec.

2.57252

2.56839

-.16

* Actual




59

TABLE V
M.

Adjusted Unborrowed Reserve Multipliers (NSA)

(Forecasts Based on Information Through Jan. , 1981)
Actual
1980

Predicted
1981

Jan.

9.73326

9 93159*

Feb.

10.04061

9 78341

-2.59

March

10.41966

9 86236

-5.50

April

10.31752

9 98570

-3.26

May

9.80923

9 81456

.05

June

9.88950

10 02668

1.38

July

9.88535

9 .99408

1.09

Aug.

10.01651

10 .02201

.05

Sept.

10.15917

10 .05300

-1.05

Oct.

10.21154

10 .04524

-1.64

Nov.

10.19004

9 .99366

-1.94

Dec.

9.98201

10 .04015

.58

* Actual




60

% Change

2.02

?> - 1 . 0 0

ADDENDUM

Since we wrote our report for this meeting, we have found some independent
information on the extent of deposit shifts in response to nationwide NOW accounts.
On pages 39-40 of the Monetary Policy Report to Congress by Chairman Volcker on
February 25, 1981, it is stated that survey evidence indicates that 75-80 percent of the
shift to NOW accounts during January, 1981 has been from demand deposit accounts,
and that it is estimated that 22 billion dollars of deposit shifts occurred during
January. We have used this information to adjust our forecasts of the various
multiplier components for January, 1981, based on the time series available through
December, 1980, and found that the 1.1 percent error without adjustments is reduced
to a -.09 percent error after the adjustments, ana the tendency for all of the affected
components to contribute to the net monetary base error in the same direction has
been eliminated. The adjustments involve multiplying the forecasts for k, t*, g, and z
by .985 and multiplying the forecast for tf, by .982. the technique is exactly that used
for the ATS adjustment to the old M1 models in early 1979.
The revised forecasts that are attached continue these adjustments throughout
the entire year. Implicitly, we are accepting the Board's estimates of the January
shifts, but assuming that no further shifts of any consequence will occur. This latter
assumption is contrary to the current estimate of the Board staff, which believes that
only about fifty percent of the ultimate shift has occurred by the end of January
(Monetary Policy Report, p. 40). In our judgment, it is difficult to reconcile the very
small increase in the differential between M, . and M, B over the last three weeks of
February, with the view that substantial shifts are still occurring.




61

M, _ - Net Monetary Base Multiplier
(Adjusted for NOW Acct Shift)

1980
Actual

1981
Predicted

Chanpe

Jan.

2.60525

.2.59104*

-.55

Feb.

2.58122

2.57029

-.42

March

2.59039

2.56300

-1.06

April

2.59282

2.60759

.57

May

2.49851

2.54345

1.78

June

2.52663

2.57264

1.80

July

2.53204

2.57630

1.73

Aug.

2.54161

2.57092

1.15

Sept.

2.58006

2.58671

.26

Oct.

2.59590

2.59998

.16

Nov.

2.58203

2.58086

-.05

Dec.

2.57252

2.59619

.92

* Actual




62

%

34

M

1—is

- Unborrowed Reserves Multiplier
(Adjusted for NOV Acct Shift)

1980
Actual

1981
Predicted

t
Chnnpe

Jan.

9.73326

9.93159*

Feb.

10.04061

9.88715

-1.54

March

10.41966

9.96697

-4.44

April

10.31752

10.09172

-2.21

May

9.80923

9.91840

1.11

June

9.88950

10.13292

2.43

July

9.88535

10.09999

2.15

Aug.

10.01651

10.12814

1.11

Sc-pt.

10.15917

10.15968

.01

Oct.

10.21154

10.15184

-.59

Nov.

10.19004

10.09947

-.89

Dec.

9.98201

10.14616

1.63

* Actual




63

2.02

M» - Unborrowed Reserves Multiplier
(Adjusted for NOV Acct Shifts)

1980
Actual

1981
Predicted

%
Change

Jan.

38.09347

38.74750*

1.70

Feb.

40.34063

40.29931

-.10

March

42.23680

40.85994

-3.31

April

42.15965

40.67608

-3.58

May

40.23717

40.82347

1.45

June

40.28285

41.44900

2.85

July

40.23775

41.12300

2.18

Aug.

40.75380

41.35373

1.46

Sept.

40.97350

41.36024

.94

Oct.

40.89798

41.09347

.48

Nov.

40.63575

40.62513

-.03

Dec.

39.63461

40.51699

2.20

* Actual




64

.88

M

- Unborrowed Reserves Multiplier
(Adjusted for NOW Acct Shifts)

1980
Actual

1981
Predicted

Change

Jan.

44.37923

45.60774*

2.73

Feb.

47.09813

47.60599

1.07

March

49.29623

48.29710

-2.05

April

49.17904

48.05028

-2.32

May

46.96313

48.34496

2.90

June

46.77616

48.92388

4.49

July

46.52458

48.51382

4.19

Aug.

47.18387

48.95890

3.69

Sept.

47.46021

49.02134

3.24

Oct.

47.46871

48.80870

2.78

Nov.

47.37869

48.42584

2.19

*> 3.04

Dec.

46.45021

48.41305

4.14

J

* Actual




65




Policymaking, Accountability, and the
Social Responsibility of the Fed
Karl Brunner
University of Rochester

March 15-16, 1981

PPS-81-5

Statement prepared for the March 15-16, 1981 meeting of the Shadow Open Market
Committee.






I.

The Mismangement of Our Monetary Affairs

The Federal Reserve Act of 1914 provided the legal basis for the existence and
operation of our Central Bank. A variety of political interests and economic hopes
contributed to the ultimate establishment of a Federal Authority manipulating the
supply of base money. The seasonal variations in interest rates associated with
seasonal shifts in credit demand and currency transactions strongly motivated among
other reasons the political thrust toward a Central Bank. There were also expectations
that the financial crises intermittently experienced in the 19'th century and again in
1907 could be more effectively alleviated or even avoided once an "elastic currencysupply" was assured by the Central Bank.
The operation of the new Central Bank certainly benefitted important groups in
the economy. The U.S. Government was not the least in these groups. The Federal
Reserve System conveniently attended to the Treasury's borrowing requirements
imposed by the first world war. These allocative concerns and aspects bearing on
wealth redistribution with the aid of arrangements imposing implicit taxes or offering
hidden subsidies dominated the political market's attitude toward the Central Bank.
These same aspects also competed over the decades to this day for the attention of our
monetary authorities. This pattern is- clearly revealed by the seriously mislabelled
"Depository Institution De-Regulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980". It would
hardly be justified however to argue that our Central Bank exhibited no concern or
interest in the broad performance of the U.S. economy. The attention to the range of
issues confronting the Central Bank remains nevertheless conditioned by the relative
importance of these issues for the potential clientele or constituency of a Central
Bank. We note in this context that stabilization policies rank comparatively low
among the interests of the clientele compared to the potential gains to be expected
from allocative arrangements frequently pursued under the guise of a monetary policy.
But the behavior of Central Banks unavoidably produces consequences for the
aggregate performance of the economy. Whatever they do and for whatever reason it
is done, their behavior affects the course of our affairs. The Federal Reserve System
may not have initiated the economic decline in the summer of 1929, but it certainly is
responsible for the massive depression lasting over four years. This experience
motivated the passage by Congress of the Employment Act of 1946. It was designed to
direct the policymakers' attention more explicitly to the broad performance of the
economy. There ensued a phase of comparative stability in the 1950's and early 1960's.
But the rising emphasis on economic stabilization and the activist use of financial




69

policies in order to guide the path of the economy did not prevents and probably even
encouraged, the drift into permanent inflation prevailing over the past fifteen years.
Our experiences reveal that Central Banks are potent institutions with a
remarRable power to influence our affairs. Their behavior casts a broad shadow on oursocial fate, as the political consequences of the Great Depression sadly indicate. Our
experience also informs us that prevailing political arrangements thoroughly failed to
"tame the Central Banks". There exists no accountability procedure forcefully
directing the monetary policymakers' attention to the global consequences of their
decision. This state does not preclude occurrences of comparatively stable episodes.
But we have little grounds to rely on such observations. The conceptions and
policymaking procedures shattering the social and political world with the Great
Depression also destroyed the international monetary system planned in Bretton Woods
for the postwar period. They also created the uncertain drift of an erratic and
permanent inflation. This history should convince us that it is time for a change. We
need some basic changes in the policymaking institutions controlling our monetary
affairs. The subsequent sections discuss the nature of this problem confronting us.
II.

Monetary Policymaking; The Issue

1. Discretion, Judgment and Activism
Two major and connected strands of thought shaped the Central Banks'
traditional approach to policymaking. They also influenced academia's discussions abut
monetary policymaking. One strand emphasized monetary policymaking as an exercise
in "judgment". This judgment encompasses all the relevant information characterizing
the state of economic affairs. Careful judgment brought to bear on all this
information will guide the Central Bank's behavior in the best interests of the public.
This vision of policymaking determines some of the inherited arrangements, in
particular the emphasis on policymaking bodies with a substantial number of members
with diverse interests and backgrounds. It is also argued that the judgment emerging
from a well-informed policy body will produce over time the best performance we can
reasonably achieve in human affairs. Intelligent and honorable men appointed to
responsible positions can certainly be relied upon, so we are told, to produce the best
policies under whatever circumstances may prevail. Their continuous assessment and
judicious evaluation of ongoing developments provides the necessary flexibility to
modify and adjust policies to new circumstances. Such adjustments resulting from the
policymakers judgment about a state of affairs assures us that policy tends to absorb
and smooth the shocks continuously imposed on our economy.




70

The effective use of judgment requires moreover that the Central Bank
authorities be granted a wWe range of discretion. This use of discretionary judgment
seems; according to the view of many policymakers and their advisers, an essential
strand "of successful stabilization policies. A policy of discretionary judgment is"
moreover committed to an activist approach in policymaking. It is systematically
associated with a conviction that an activist intervention and manipulation of policy
instruments forms a necessary condition in order to produce an acceptable
performance of the economy. The discretionary use of judicious and balanced
judgment would provide the basis for activist policymaking.
The case for discretionary judgment and activist policymaking may sound quite
appealing. Its pervasive plausibility is however only supported by general impressions
and vague allusions. It creates an impression of judicious knowledge about the
economy which simply does not exist. Two kinds of information need be distinguished
among the inputs in judgmental policymaking. One type of information refers to the
array of facts characterizing a given state of the economy. Such information bears on
production, employment, orders, inventories, prices, wages, trade balance, interest
rates, loans, etc. There are good grounds to believe and we can hardly doubt that our
monetary authorities perform this particular information task exceedingly well. The
problem with a policy procedure expressed by discretionary judgment lies not on this
information level. An evaluation of .policies and specific decisions requires however
beyond the information about some major facts also knowledge about an economy's
mode of working expressed by its detailed response structure. Such knowledge could
indeed guide policymakers' judgment with the rational expectation that discretionary
judgment will effectively stabilize the economy. Such detailed knowledge of the
economy's mode of functioning forms a necessary and sufficient condition for the
successful execution of activist policy procedures anchored with a policy body's
discretionary judgment.
The facts bearing on the state of our reliable knowledge are however quite clear
in this respect and can hardly be disputed. We do not reliably possess the detailed
knowledge of the economy's response structure needed to rationally justify an activist
approach to policymaking. Whatever judgment will be exercised in the context of the
diffuse uncertainty about our economy's detailed responses cannot be rationally based
on highly corroborated and generally acknowledged knowledge. But an activist
procedure supported by such discretionary judgment cannot offer any assurances of
effective stabilization. Activist policies pursued on the basis of a misconceived
response structure convert the intention of stabilization into a destabilized reality.
Discretionary judgment exercised in the context of our prevailing and diffuse




71

uncertainty bearing on the economy's detailed mode of operation may occasionally
produce episodes with a satisfying performance. We have no grounds however to
expect such performance with any sense of reliability. Activist policymaking against a
background of uncertain and possibly illusory knowledge is liable to destabilize theeconomy. Discretionary judgment forms thus a policy making pattern involving serious
risks of deflation, inflation and erratic movements over a longer horizon.
The case for an activist judgment in policymaking is frequently supported with
comments elaborating how such policymaking could usefully adjust the Central Bank's
behavior to the prevailing circumstances. All these arguments rest however* without
any exception, on the more or less implicit assumption of full and reliable knowledge
of the economy's dynamic structure. With such knowledge actually available, activist
policymaking could have a serious chance of success. But we do not possess such
knowledge whatever the advocates of activism seem to argue. This is actually
confirmed, beyond the observable state of our research efforts, by arguments typically
adduced on behalf of a discretionary activism. We read occasionally that a variety of
crucial relations or magnitudes (some velocity measure for instance) are highly
unpredictable and move quite erratically. The occurrence of such "loose ends" in the
economic process apparently precludes a non-activist strategy. The latter seems to
require, so the argument suggests, that no essential loose ends roam around the
economic scene. Their occurrence requires the flexible procedures of an activist
judgment. This whole argument is unfortunately thoroughly impressionistic and
confused. The "loose ends" noted to some extent essentially reflect the core of the
information problem emphasized above. A detailed analysis of this information
problem demonstrates that the "loose ends" adduced by advocates of activist
policymaking lower the likelihood of success for their strategies and raise the social
significance of a non-activist strategy. Some further probing into the argument
typically advanced by advocates of discretionary activism typically yields the
following results we are basically told that there can be visualized, conceived or
formulated dynamic structures which produce in the average a better performance
under some specific activist regime than under a non-activist regime. This proposition
is correct and most acceptable. But it is naive and inadmissible to derive from it any
positive proposal about activist policymaking in our world. It states an intellectual
exercise with no significance for relevant policymaking. And most particularly it
offers no rational justification for activist procedures in the context of our knowledge
situation. Lastly, we do have the accumulated experience of the past decades.
Discretion and judgment produced the social failure of the Great Depression and
unleashed the social and political problems fostered by a permanent and erratic




72

inflation. We conclude thus that there is no analytic case for activist discretionary
judgment as the anchor of our policymaking. This conclusion is strengthened by the
sad experience accumulated under this policy pattern. There is no reason indeed to
continue this history.
2. Alternative Strategies
The exercise of judicious judgment drawing on all available information offers
per se no strategic conception. Two alternative strategies dominate the discussion
about monetary policymaking. One is geared to the manipulation of some interest
rates and the other is addressed to the control of monetary growth. Either procedure
can be applied in the context of discretionary activism or be used as instruments of a
non-activist strategy. This section traces some issues associated with the two.
alternative modes of executing monetary policy.
a) Interest Targeting Policy
Central Banks showed traditionally great concern about the behavior of interest
rates and exhibit a pronounced preference to use interest rates as an instrument or
guideline of policy. This preference was hardly justified on rational grounds and little,
if any, economic analysis was invoked. The fading of the Fed's old free reserve
conception in the second half of the 1960's and the Fed's move to a Keynesian
framework yielded an explicit argument supporting an interest targeting approach
frequently used in recent years. An analysis proceeding within a standard Keynesian
framework determines that the rational choice of an interest targeting approach
depends on the relative magnitude of the disturbances operating on the "money
market" expressing the interaction between money demand and money stock. Interest
targeting policies dominate monetary targeting policies provided the variability of
disturbances affecting the money market is sufficiently large relative to the
variability of the disturbances operating on the output market. The Fed seems to
suggest on many occasions that money market variability actually exceeds the
corresponding output market variability. This justification of interest targeting is
however not supported by any evidence. Several pieces of work pursued within and
beyond the Federal Reserve System established the greater importance of output
market variability. We also note that the standard observations about the business
eycle? in particular the co-movement of interest rates, are difficult to reconcile with
the assertion of dominant money market disturbances. Most econometric models,
whatever their worth, require the driving force of exogeneous variables directly
operating on the output market in order to trace movements similar to a business
cycle.




73

The structure of prevalent shocks operating on an economy is moreover not
invariant with respect to interest targeting policies. Agents operating all over the
economy will know under the circumstances that all shocks, whatever their origin may
be and-'wherever their immediate impact could occur, will be fully accommodated by
the monetary authorities. They will know in particular that all price increasing events
will be ^validated" by a matching monetary expansion. This knowledge tends to
produce incentives encouraging price increasing shocks operating most particularly on
the supply side of output or labor markets. The expectation of validating monetary
expansion offers opportunities to extract real wealth by anticipatory price or wage
increases engineered by major supply monopolists at the cost of all others. Persistent
accommodation eventually accelerates all agents learning about its implication. The
monetary authorities thus encourage with this procedure a gradually accelerating
inflation. They may delay and slow down the resulting acceleration by lowering the
likelihood of accommodation. But this uncertainty bearing on degree and timing of
accommodation unavoidably contributes to raise the output market disturbances and
lowers the economy's performance under the circumstances.
b) Monetary Control Policy
i. Interest Targeting as a Tactical Means of Monetary Control
Monetary control rarely appeared as the favored choice of monetary
'authorities. Interest targeting fitted more conveniently the interests of their
constituency and corresponded more closely to a traditional conception shaped by
banking experiences. Monetary control can be executed by two radically different
modes. One procedure uses interest targeting as a tactical means in the context of a
monetary control strategy. The Federal Reserve's procedure developed over the past
six years (or possibly more) exemplifies this case. The procedure was based on an
estimated money demand function linking the money stock M. with the federal funds
rate ffr and the value of nominal GNP. We can thus write
Mt = A (ffrt, GNPt, u)
With GNP predetermined by prior evolution and accordingly predicted, M, + Mt ,
+ AM. with M. , determined by history, one obtains a relation between the federal
funds rate and monetary growth A M. modified by an ongoing disturbance u. Having
chosen a target growth for money the relation is used to specify the target level of the
federal funds rate which will produce, in the average, the desired monetary growth.
The accumulated record of this tactical procedure yields indeed little recommendation
for it. Some recent investigations of its performance record establish that the low
quality of monetary control cannot be attributed to forecast error of GNP anchoring
the relation between the federal funds rate and monetary growth. The problem lies




74

essentially with the whole procedure centering on a shifting and unreliable relation.
The frequent disregard by the Federal Open Market Committee of the staff's
preparatory groundwork based on the framework summarized above reveals the
policymakers' doubts about the relevance of the postulated relation. This persistent_
exercise in discretionary judgment reenforees the dubious connection between the
instrument ffr and monetary growth. The procedure provides moreover temptations to
baekslide into an interest targeting with little substantial attention to monetary
evolution. Mark Rush demonstrated recently that over most of the monetary targeting
period initiated in early 1975 the Federal Reserve successfully realized the federal
funds target over the "planning period" but thoroughly failed in terms of monetary
targeting.
ii. Reserve Targeting as a Tactical Means of Monetary Control
An alternative tactical approach discards the approach centered on money
demand. It addresses the control over monetary growth with the manipulation of a
reserve magnitude. The Shadow Open Market Committee proposed for many years
that the Federal Reserve Authorities use the monetary base to hold monetary growth
along a target path. We note that the monetary base is immediately and effectively
controllable by the Fed. This controllability is assured by the manipulation of the
Fed's asset or non-monetary liability position. The work undertaken over the past
years by James Johannes and Robert Rasche shows moreover that the link between the
monetary base and the money stock constituted by the monetary multiplier is
sufficiently reliable and predictable for purposes of monetary control exercised over
one or two quarters.
Some research undertaken by the staff of the Board of Governors bearing
on monetary control via targeting some reserve magnitude confirms the basic result
obtained by Johannes-Rasche. The Board's staff explored the implications for
monetary control of targeting non-borrowed reserves, total reserves and the monetary
base. The resulting patterns were examined in the context of some specific
econometric models developed and used in the Federal Reserve System. These results
confirmed that reserve targeting offers an effective opportunity to control the money
stock over one or two quarters within a useful tolerance level. This tolerance level is
actually quite small relative to the magnitude of the problem inherited at the moment.
The work emanating from members of the Shadow thus supports the Board staffs
finding that monetary control exercised within one year and within useful limits is
technically feasible and within our pragmatic reach. These results are particularly
interesting as the Fed's models were geared to a world reflecting the response patterns
produced by an interest targeting policy.




75

In spite of all the evidence to the contrary pervasive objections to the
possibility or desirability of monetary control still persist. The possibility is
challenged by a variety of arguments totally unaware of the accumulated research or
unfamiliar with elementary economic analysis. Corresponding impressions suitable for
the media market would assert that nobody can live on the other side of the earth, that
the earth is flat or that the sun keeps turning around the earth. One argument
insistently propagated among financial analysts maintains that credit and money are
the same. This removes, so we are told, all possibility of monetary control. It is
remarkable however that any peasant around the world would have little difficulty to
distinguish between money (i.e. an item generally used to settle transactions and debts)
and credit. We also note that even financial analysts expressing difficulties to
recognize any differences behave very differently with respect to the two items on
their balance sheet. We do know with sufficient precision what items constitute
money and our measurements can be developed with sufficient accuracy for purposes
of a non-inflationary monetary control.
The professed uncertainty about money and its shifting substitution
relations is frequently couched in terms of an irregular and erratic velocity behavior
drifting loosely around the monetary scenery. The recent emphasis on financial
innovations and unpredictably shifting money demand was supposed to erode the
opportunities for monetary control. An-examination of the behavior observed over the
postwar period of the base velocity (i.e. V ) should be instructive in this respect.
o
Table I describes the mean and standard deviation of the quarterly percentage changes
of V over half cycles. We note the comparatively large means and standard deviation
in the 1950's. Both mean and standard deviation dropped in the subsequent decades
below the vlaues exhibited in the 50's. The mean settled along 2.4% during the 60's,
fell to 2% in the early 70's and rose back to 2.5% in the latter 70!s. The standard
deviation on the other hand reached a minimum of 2.7% in the 60's and rose
subsequently to 3.9% in the late 70's. An inspection of the figures also shows that the
coefficient of variation (i.e. the ratio of standard deviation to mean) is much larger for
recession periods than for upswing periods. The behavior of the coefficient of
variation over upswing phases is noteworthy for our purposes. It averaged slightly
below 1 over the 50's and 60's and moved in a range from .66 to 1.15. The 70's in
contrast exhibit a 50% increase in this coefficient to about 1.5%. The variability of
changes in velocity relative to the mean thus increased substantially in the last decade
compared to prior portions of the postwar period. This behavior of mean and standard
deviation seems to be consistent with the occurrence of major real shocks in the 70's
absent in the 50's or 60's, but is not consistent with the emphasis on the relative role of



76

financial innovation. The real shocks are dominantly caught by the variability measure
whereas the impact of financial innovations would be reflected by the mean. Such
innovations have raised the mean from 2% to 2,5% in the later 70's. But this
magnitude remains well within the range of past experience, including episodes withsubstantial stability of financial markets.
One more objection to monetary control frequently voiced, most
particularly within the Federal Reserve System, refers to an alleged volatility of
interest rates produced by a policy of monetary control. An interest targeting policy
implies that monetary growth becomes a function of all the shocks operating over the
economy. The behavior of these shocks determines the pattern of monetary growth
with its consequences on the economy. The variability of short rates may under the
circumstances be effectively lowered over a very short horizon by such a policy. The
monetary accommodation with its inflationary bias and uncertain drift triggers
however a feedback acknowledged in principle by the Fed in recent speeches by the
Chairman but usually disregarded in this context. It raises over time the whole
structure of nominal interest rates in the manner experienced over the past sixteen
years. The uncertain drift built into policy by this strategy, notably indexed in terms
of the rising demand for "Federal Reserve watchers" by the financial industry,
conditions moreover the volatility observed in recent years. The very procedure
designed to lower shortest horizon volatility of interest rates produces the massive
volatility increasingly experienced by our financial markets.




TABLE I
Mean and Standard Deviation of Quarterly %
Changes in Base Velocity V .
o
Period
n/50-n/53
n/53-n/54
n/54-ni/57
ni/57-n/58

Mean

Standard Deviation

6.7922

7.8101
3.0135
3.5249

-2.0464
0 o Ofl5S?&t

-2.0393

5.3204
5.7163

H/58-I/60

5.5563

1/60-1/61
I/61-1V/69

1.0473
2.4425

5,oo51

2.0063
-1.9424
2.471S

aa So %Q

2.6659

IV/69-1V/70
1V/70-H1/74
m/7 4-1/75
I/75-1V/80

77

5.8849
3.9088

Under a policy of monetary control ongoing shocks are unavoidably absorbed and
reflected by interest rates. This will indeed produce some volatility. But the nature
of this volatility need be more carefully examined. Transitory shocks will be reflected
by a volatile pattern of shortest and short rates with little, if any, spillover to
intermediate or long term rates. Permanent shocks also affect interest rates and
contribute to generate movements over the whole term structure. The crucial
condition requiring our attention at this point is the fact that these movements in
interest rates generated by permanent shocks operating beyond the money market
cannot be removed by an interest target policy. The latter converts these shocks into
permanent accelerations of money (or decelerations) via monetary accommodation into
corresponding accelerations (or decelerations) in the price-level and matching
adjustments in the level of nominal interest rates. The uncertainty about the timing
and magnitide of monetary accommodation, augmented by the uncertainty of a change
in policy, tends however to produce a larger volatility of interest rates in response to
permanent shocks under an interest targeting regime than under a regime of monetary
control. The social cost of volatile short rates reflecting ongoing transitory shocks
seems in my judgment small compared to the social cost imposed on the economy by
the alternative policy.
The Shadow Open Market Committee stressed over many years that an
invocation of monetary control is not a sufficient condition of success. The detail of
institutional arrangements influence the degree of controllability exercised by the
monetary authorities. Controllability can frequently be improved by suitable changes
in prevailing institutions. Our work and the research developed by the Board's staff
demonstrates that the dependence of required reserves on lagged deposits and the
operation of the discount window unnecessarily lower somewhat the controllability of
monetary growth. The Federal Reserve Authorities should certainly be aware of this
fact. The necessary change is within their power and jurisdiction. Banks operated
quite successfully over many decades without lagged reserve requirements! they could
also adjust quite easily to a different operation of the discount mechanism. The
refusal by the Federal Reserve Authorities, at least to this point in time, to initiate
the required adjustments contributes to the doubt and reservations about their
intentions and professed commitments.
We may also note in this context the emergence of the "Depository Institution
De-Regulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980". This act hardly simplifies the
regulatory structure still imposed for a number of years on the financial industry. It
appears dominantly to shift the nature of the regulation around and involves, thus,
once more, new patterns of wealth redistribution. More immediately important for our




78

purposes here is the second portion. The act substantially modifies the reserve
arrangements in the financial industry. The Fed successfully managed with this act to
stop the erosion of its political clientele produced by inflationary increases in nominal
interest rates and comparatively high reserve requirements. This political problem ~
was solved by extending reserve requirements controlled by the Fed to all institutions
supplying transaction accounts. This extension of a complicated arrangement hardly
improves the controllability of monetary growth. There is moreover no evidence that
the decline of the Fed's clientele (membership) actually lowered the degree of
monetary control. This problem was discussed in some detail in previous position
papers. This act offers a useful illustration of how the political market manages to
disregard the intent of the legislation addressed with so much moral fervor toward
others. "Truth in packaging" suggests that we speak about a "Depository Institution
Re-Regulation and (non-Monetary) Control Act". But truth in packaging apparently
offers few sales advantages on the political market.
HI.

The Social Responsibility of the Monetary Authorities

The long shadow cast by the Fed over our social fate poses a serious problem and
raises a searching question. We seem to be helplessly exposed to the consequences
imposed on us by the Fed. Congress and elected officials submit in regular intervals to
the citizens' verdict. The Fed is still,.at this stage, beyond any effective feedback
providing a measure of accountability for its actions and procedures. The social
responsibility of this potent agency still remains an unsettled and serious problem.
Three aspects associated with this problem will be considered in the last three sections
of my paper.
1. What Is the Fed Now Doing?
On October 6, 1979 Chairman Volcker announced a shift in policy procedures.
The announcement stated that the Fed will shift its relative attention somewhat in
favor of monetary aggregates. The meaning was not clear and subsequent elaborations
by various officials hardly contributed to clarify the intent of the announcement. The
observations bearing on volatile interest rates and monetary growth made in 1980
reenforce the inherited uncertainty about the Fed's policies and policymaking. We
were told on the one side that not only did the monetary authorities address their
efforts to the control of monetary growth, but also shifted their tactical procedure t©
the manipulation of non-borrowed reserves. But we were also informed that the rapid
decline in interest rates over the earlier portions of last year was an error current
policy should (or will) not repeat. Other statements still assign some role to interest
rates in the Federal Reserve Authorities' tactical scheme. It is difficult indeed to




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infer from observable clues what they really do, but I submit the following conjecture
as an interpretation reconciling their statements and actions. Their tactical procedure
may be summarized by the following schema;
non-borrowed reserves-* federal funds rate-* money demand-»• money demand
This means that the traditional technique anchored with a money demand relation
discussed above continues to form the centerpiece of their tactical approach. The
addition of a first step offers an opportunity to maintain that "things have changed".
But the manipulation of non-borrowed reserves is addressed to influence the federal
funds rate. When monetary growth exceeds its target path non-borrowed reserves are
comparatively lowered to raise the federal funds rate, lower money demand in the
future and lower correspondingly the money stock (and monetary growth). This
manipulation induces unavoidably partly offsetting changes in bank borrowing lowering
the responses of total reserves to given changes in non-borrowed reserves. But the
lagged reaction of money demand to the movements in the federal funds rate implies
that the induced borrowing only affects the speed of approaching the monetary goal.
This procedure can hardly satisfy our demand for an effective monetary control.
It suffers under two major flaws. The survival of the accustomed practice ensures the
persistence of the control problem produced by it and so amply observed over the past.
This problem is augmented by the relation between non-borrowed reserves, the federal
funds rate and induced bank borrowing. The "new tactic" seems hardly designed to
improve the Fed's performance substantially beyond the sad experiences of the last
fifteen years.
A number of statements made moreover by members of the FOMC add to the
confusion about the Fed's tactical procedure and conception. Chairman Volcker
resurrected the Strong-Riefler-Burgess vision of the money supply process. The
Chairman voiced in the tradition of the 1920's and 1930's that bank borrowing exerts a
restrictive effect on banks' asset acquisition and interest setting due to their "inherent
reluctance" to borrow from the Fed. It is remarkable to note this resurgence of an
ancient fallacy, obviously still surviving in the corridors and closets of the Federal
Reserve Palace. The fact still remains, today as always and everywhere, that an
increase in the monetary base is expansionary whatever the source of its increase.
This "reluctance theory of bank borrowing" is however not a necessary component of
the interpretation guiding the "new" tactical procedure. It can be attached in order to
add an additional connection from rising (falling) bank borrowing to lowered (raised)
monetary growth. The old free reserve doctrine could thus be allied to the "new
technique". The manipulation of non-borrowed reserves is expected to produce a
positive relation over time (with some lag due to money demand responses) between



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free reserves and monetary growth. This weird combination of ideas hardly
contributes to raise our confidence about the future behavior of the monetary
authorities.
2. The Credibility of the Federal Reserve Authorities
The very question raised in the previous paragraph expressing our uncertainty
reflects a central problem confronting the Federal Reserve Authorities. Its credibility
reached a very low level indeed. Repeated promises to follow anti-inflationary
policies were broken with remarkable regularity. The performance observed last year
eroded credibility even further and deepened the prevailing uncertainty. The market
for longer term instruments mirrors this state in the most explicit manner. It is
difficult to assign much credibility to the Fed at this stage when we note that actions
within the power of the authorities addressed to raise an effective monetary control
procedure are neglected or disregarded. There is no determined move to change the
reserve arrangements or the discount operation. There is no clear commitment to a
long-run monetary control program anchored with a control over the monetary base or?
as a second best* with control over some reserve magnitude not involving money
demand or interest rates at any step of the procedure. Once such a commitment has
been explicitly formulated and announced secrecy in policymaking is moreover
redundant. The tradition of this secrecy follows unavoidably from a policy centered on
discretionary judgment and addressed to the manipualtion ©f interest rates.
Information about discretionary decisions pursued in such contexts offers indeed
profitable opportunities for transactions on ereditmarkets. But a strategy of monetary
control, effectively and believably executed, removes this problem.
Doubts about the Federal Reserve's intentions and behavior are also fostered by
the recent Hearings held by the Senate Banking Committee. In response to probing
questions by Senator Hines and Senator Proxmire Chairman Volcker's answers were
essentially evasive and vague. A listener received little assurance that a new game
has or will really be initiated. This sense was reenforced by a peculiarity in the
announcement of the new monetary target. One set was formulated for M-1B and
another one for M-1B adjusted (for switching into new NOW accounts). The upper
boundary of the target imposed on the first magnitude was actually raised relative to
the prior state. The crucial point bears however on the fact that we possess no
information about the nature of the computation made to reach M-1B adjusted. One
wonders whether it is assumed that the deposits switching to M-1B lower its velocity
and raise the velocity of M-1B adjusted. An unknown mixture of the two magnitudes
would offer under the circumstances the best guide. But the unexplained adjustment in
data proceeding in the context of an uncertain tactical arrangement addressed to a




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shaky strategy does not raise the confidence the Fed requires in order to support
effectively the Reagan Administration's program.
The Federal Reserve's position has been defended on occasion by simply denying
either occurrence or relevance of the credibility problem. Its occurrence is however
clearly revealed by the behavior of financial markets and the lucrative business of
Federal Reserve watching. Federal Reserve officials are prone to emphasize that the
quarterly variability of monetary growth is less in the USA than, say, in Switzerland.
But this variability occurs in Switzerland against a background of firm expectations
that the Swiss Monetary Authorities are committed to a non-inflationary course. The
market thus essentially disregards quarterly deviations. The market even disregarded
the substantial lapse from monetary control initiated in the fall of 1978 in response to
the dollar's decline on the currency markets. But the market's expectation was
confirmed. After less than six months monetary control was restored. There are no
such expectations in the USA. Under the prevailing uncertainty agents will anxiously
search out and interpret every wiggle and jiggle in the Fed's behavior and monetary
events. The role of any given or observed short-run variability in monetary growth
thus depends on the nature and credibility of a Central Bank's regime.
But let us consider the relevance of credibility. The lag in responses of price and
wage setters to changes in the monetary regime is not fixed once and for all by the
gods. It depends very much on price-wage setters assessment of the new information.
A change in policy deemed to be essentially a short and transitory deviation from an
ongoing inflationary trend hardly induces any modification of prevalent price-wage
setting trends. A change in regime believably accepted by agents operating on the
markets will induce on the other hand rapid adjustments in price-wage setting
according to the agent's own longer-run interests. It follows that initiation of an antiinflationary policy in a context of low credibility lengthens the lag of price-wage
responses and raises the social cost of an anti-inflationary policy. The credibility level
assigned by the market to the Federal Reserve Authorities thus substantially
influences the social cost of President Reagan's anti-inflation program. Our monetary
authorities will probably adjust to the general economic plan, and particularly to the
anti-inflationary program, presented by the Administration. We cannot be certain
however. But the Fed can still obstruct the Administration by an uncertain and
hesitant delivery produced by a slightly modified traditional game. This uncertain
delivery will not improve the credibility level. It implies under the circumstances a
more protracted inflation and a larger social cost associated with the Administration's
program. Thus can the Fed's behavior and established institutional interest obstruct
the President's intention to lead the nation out of an inflationary past at a minimal
social cost.



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3. An Accountability for Our Monetary Authorities
Much weight is occasionally attached to the presumed independence of the
Federal Reserve System. We also hear voices raised in defense of the Fed's
"institutional integrity". But the fact of this "integrity" means that we must suffer"
any consequences produced by the Federal Reserve Authorities. We must suffer Great
Depressions and permanent inflations without recourse or accountability. But it is
time for a change^ and a change NOW. the following proposal is advaneeds based on
discussions with Allan H. Meltzer, in order to focus the issue for some further
examination;
a)
The Federal Reserve Authorities are obliged to select a benchmark level of
desired monetary growth.
This benchmark level is determined in
accordance with the Fed's preferred pattern of price-level movement.
b)
The Fed develops rules for determining necessary changes in the longer-run
benchmark level. These rules must be publicly known and assessable.
c)
The Fed is obliged to institute an effective monetary control procedure
with an acceptable tolerance level. The Fed will attend to initiate the
institutional changes and measurement procedures assuring a small
tolerance level.
d)
Members of the FOMC will submit to the President their resignation at the
end of any year showing deviation in monetary growth (or the money stock)
beyond the accepted tolerance level.
e)
The President may refuse the resignation upon receipt of an explanation
about events. The acceptance of the resignation involves appointment of a
new team.
I hope that this proposal may draw attention to the inadequate accountability of
a powerful agency affecting our welfare in many detailed ways. The problem may be
resolved, possibly by other arrangements or devices. But we certainly should not
accept the old policy game with its high cost for the citizens of this country.




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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102