(1) The prime rate, and other interest rates, offered by banks often change in the same direction as a change in the F
(1) The prime rate, and other interest rates, offered by banks often change in the same direction as a change in the Fed's target for the federal funds rate. As an employee of a Federal Reserve District Bank you have been told that your District Bank will be increasing its discount rate early next week. Expectations are that an increase in the discount rate will lead to an increase in the federal funds rate, which will lead to an increase in the prime rate and other bank lending rates. You have been thinking about buying a new automobile for the past couple of months. Given this information of a planned discount rate increase, you are considering buying your new automobile before the end of the week. What are the ethical issues, if any, involved in this scenario? What would you do?
(2) As one of several advisors to the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, you have been asked to submit a memo in connection with the average maturity of the obligations of the federal government. The basic premise is that the average maturity is far too short. As a result, issues of debt are coming due with great frequency and needing constant reissue. On the other hand, the economy is presently showing signs of weakness. It is considered unwise to issue long-term obligations and absorb investment funds that might otherwise be invested in employment-producing construction and other private sector support. Based on these conditions, what do you recommend as a course of action to the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury?