The NYC taxi figures point to a cosy relation between big banking and the Fed.
Everybody in the finance market wants to know what the Fed's policy makers think. However, recent research by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business has found that Federal Reserve inside minds are routinely involved in informational or discrete communications with the finance industry at key political meeting times, which increases the likelihood of at least random outages.
The working document "What insights do taxi trips offer into the Federal Reserve leakage? "Chicago Booth postgraduate David Andrew Finer analysed more than 500 million New York taxi trips and finds "highly statistical significant proof of the increase in the possibilities of information flow" between the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and large corporate banking institutions at Federal Open Market Committee sittings.
Finer began his work nodding to the might of Big Data after the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission published a record of more than a billion personal, anonymized taxi trips in Manhattan dating back to 2009. Finer reduced the data set to amber taxi trips between 2009 and 2014, omitted weekend and public holiday data and used other filtering for the purpose of the survey, resulting in a data set of more than 500 million taxi trips.
Figures provide ample proof that the number of trips from corporate banking institutions directly to the New York Fed and off-site encounters with New York Fed and corporate bank inside members have grown during the course of our periodic meeting. Figures show a marked rise in the number of trips from business banking to the New York Fed almost immediately after the communication loss was lifted at around 12pm.
Strict limitations on the communication of Federal Reserve employees apply until 12:00 p.m. on the following morning after a notification by the Federal Reserve, and trips to the New York Fed will be increased between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. thereafter. Time and place indicate that information relevant to the implementation of monetar y policy is exchanged.
For example, the Fed could obtain information on terms and prices in the fixed-income markets or clarify the details of the notification. Analyzing almost random drop-offs indicates that the number of off-site midday talks between New York Fed inside ministers and corporate banks is increasing around New York Fed news releases from the Fed. Part of the rise may be due to the backlog of meeting needs resulting from the outage.
In particular, both the immediate post-blackout trips and the random lunch-time drop-offs were increased at the 2012 meeting of economic policies, the year of the third round of QE3. Expiring information became an item on the Federal Reserve's agenda in 2012 as political decision-makers worked to mitigate the impact of the Great Depression.
Following the copies of the Fed's 2012 policies published early this year, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, had alerted his counterparts at a October 2012 session that the publication of Fed policies that were fragile, albeit unintended, could undermine the Fed's creditworthiness and reputations. The Fed's rules forbid officers from sharing classified information.
It also restricts the capacity of Fed policy makers and employees to hold public speeches or interview during the Fed's period of budget blackouts in the context of Fed discussions. Given that this survey covers only amber taxi trips in New York City, Finer said he believed that the results of this survey represented the lower end of the range of changes in interaction around the FIMC meeting and that the real number of extra events could be significantly greater.