Why Are Banks Holding So Many Excess Reserves?

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Why Are Banks Holding So Many Excess Reserves?" According to Keister and McAndrews (2009), there is a very simple explanation for the huge amounts of money being held as excess reserves by banks. In their article, "Why Are Banks Holding So Many Excess Reserves?" Keister and McAndrews explore the nature of reserves in a normal economic situation comparing it with the crisis situation "following the collapse of Lehman Brothers" in 2008 (Keister and McAndrews, 2009). Though some would argue that the amount of excess reserves currently being held would indicate a failure on the part of the policies implemented by the Federal Reserve, Keister and McAndrews argue that it is merely a reflection of the scale of the policies implemented as well as a result of the Federal Reserve now paying interest on reserves (Keister and McAndrews, 2009). Further, Keister and McAndrews (2009), assert that by now paying interest on the reserves, the Central Bank can now control the target interest rate without manipulating reserves. Additionally, Keister and McAndrews (2009,) conclude that the, 'size of the reserves only reflects the size of the Federal Reserve's policy initiatives and indicate almost nothing about the effectiveness of these initiatives.' Under normal circumstances, the Federal Reserve would manipulate the economic situation by manipulating the reserves and by changing the target interest rate (Keister and McAndrews (2009). However, the Federal Reserve has bypassed
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