05 April 2018

Fun With Data Mining

Some people looked at taxi dispatches around meetings of the FOMC comittee meetings at the Federal Reserves, and found strong evidence that Fed officials are leaking information to large banks during, and immediately after, the blackout period:
Everyone in the financial markets would like to know what U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers are thinking. Will they raise interest rates? Where do they believe that the economy is going? What is their next move, and how will it affect my pocketbook?

In a perfect world, everyone would get an answer to those questions at the same time. But new research from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business finds evidence that suggests Federal Reserve insiders systematically engaged in informal or discreet communication with the financial sector around the time of important policymaking meetings, increasing the probability of at least accidental leaks.

In the working paper, “What Insights Do Taxi Rides Offer into Federal Reserve Leakage?” Chicago Booth PhD candidate David Andrew Finer analyzed more than 500 million New York City taxi rides and finds “highly statistically significant evidence of increases in opportunities for information flow” between the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and major commercial banks around Federal Open Market Committee meetings.

“These inferred meetings might pertain to monetary policy or could be social in nature,” said Finer. “The data don’t tell us. What we do know is that every interaction entails the risk that an outside party might gain valuable insights into the Fed.”


Since this study captures only New York City yellow taxi rides, Finer said he believes that the results of this study represent the lower end of possibilities for changes in interactions around FOMC meetings and that the actual number of additional occurrences might be significantly greater.
I am shocked I tell you, shocked, that gambling is going on in this establishment.

H/t Naked Capitalism.


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