Staff Report, Federal Reserve Bank of New York 360
In a market-based financial system, banking and capital market developments are inseparable, and funding conditions are closely tied to fluctuations in the leverage of market-based financial intermediaries. Offering a window on liquidity, the balance sheet growth of broker-dealers provides a sense of the availability of credit. Contractions of broker-dealer balance sheets have tended to precede declines in real economic growth, even before the current turmoil. For this reason, balance sheet quantities of market-based financial intermediaries are important macroeconomic state variables for the conduct of monetary policy.