Vol. 86, No. 1
First Quarter 2001

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Forces That Shape the Yield Curve
Mark Fisher
The yield curve shows how the yield on a government bond depends on the bond’s maturity. Monetary policymakers and observers pay special attention to the shape of the yield curve as an indicator of the economic impact of current and future monetary policy.

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Is Why We Use Money Important?
Victor E. Li
This article summarizes some of the recent literature on search models of money and their successful application to issues such as currency substitution and the impact of money's quantity and growth rate on inflation and economic activity.

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The Risks and Rewards of Selling Volatility
Saikat Nandi and Daniel Waggoner
This article outlines the risks and rewards associated with selling volatility by first examining the statistical properties of the returns generated by selling straddles on the Standard and Poor's 500 index.

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Social Security in Latin America: Recent Reforms and Challenges
Stephen J. Kay and Barbara E. Kritzer
This article summarizes the broad range of pension reforms in Latin America and highlights some of the most noteworthy and unique features of each country's reforms.