DP14021 Threats to Central Bank Independence: High-Frequency Identification with Twitter

Author(s): Francesco Bianchi, Thilo Kind, Howard Kung
Publication Date: September 2019
Date Revised: August 2021
Keyword(s): central bank independence, fed funds target, High-Frequency Identification, monetary policy, Twitter
JEL(s): D72, E40, E50
Programme Areas: Financial Economics, Monetary Economics and Fluctuations
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14021

We use a high-frequency approach to analyze the effects of President Trump's tweets that criticize the Federal Reserve on financial markets. Identification exploits a short time window around the precise timestamp for each tweet. The average effect on the expected fed funds rate is negative and statistically significant, with the magnitude growing by horizon. The tweets also lead to an increase in the stock market, breakeven inflation, and spreads linked to the risk of financial instability. VAR evidence shows that the tweets had an important impact on actual monetary policy, the stock market, bond premia, and the macroeconomy.