The federal funds rate became uninformative about the stance of monetary policy from December 2008 to November 2015. During the same period, unconventional monetary policy actions, like large-scale asset purchases, show the Federal Reserve’s intention to depress longer-term interest rates. This paper considers a long-term real interest rate as an alternative monetary policy indicator in a structural VAR framework. Based on an event study of FOMC announcements, I advance a novel measure of long-term interest rate volatility with important implication for monetary policy identification. I find that monetary policy shocks identified with this volatility measure drive significant swings in credit market sentiments and real output. In contrast, monetary policy shocks identified by otherwise standard unexpected policy rate changes lead to muted responses of financial frictions and production. Our results support the validity of the risk-taking channel and suggest an indispensable role of financial markets in monetary policy transmission.
Monetary policy transmission Structural VAR Risk-taking channel High-frequency identification