Abstract

Predicting the federal funds rate and beating the federal funds futures market: mission impossible? Not so. We employ a Markov transition process and show that this model outperforms the federal funds futures market in predicting the target federal funds rate. Thus, by using purely historical data we are able to better explain future monetary policy than a forward looking measure like the federal funds futures rate. The fact that the federal funds futures market can be beaten by a statistical model, suggests that the federal funds futures market lacks eciency. The mar- ket allocates too much weight to current Federal Reserve communication and other real-time macro events, and allocates too little weight to past monetary policy behavior.

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