Staff Working Paper No. 952
By Marco Pinchetti and Andrzej Szczepaniak
This paper sheds lights on the open economy dimension of the Fed information effect, by evaluating its international spillovers on exchange rates, capital flows, and global economic activity. We provide empirical evidence that in response to unexpected increases in the Federal Funds rate associated with Fed information shocks, the dollar depreciates instead of appreciating. We show that this phenomenon occurs because Fed announcements affect investors’ risk appetite. Expansionary Fed information shocks increase investors’ risk appetite and drive capital towards foreign markets in pursuit of higher yields. Conversely, contractionary Fed information shocks decrease investors’ risk appetite and drive capital towards safe-haven currencies, causing an appreciation of the dollar and safe-haven currencies vis-à-vis foreign currencies. We provide evidence that the Fed information effect is associated with large spillovers onto global safe-haven currencies, risk premia, cross-border credit, and ultimately, on global economic activity. These findings highlight the presence of global spillovers of the Fed information effect.