Vol. 91, No. 1
First Quarter 2006
International Business Cycles: G7 and OECD Countries
Marcelle Chauvet and Chengxuan Yu
Using a Markov-switching dynamic factor model with a self-adjusting variable-bandwidth filter, the authors construct business cycle indicators for G7 countries and for an aggregate measure of output by twenty-nine member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Merchant Acquirers and Payment Card Processors: A Look inside the Black Box
Ramon P. DeGennaro
This article demystifies the "Black Box" of the transactions process for payment cards. After describing a simple transaction with a private-label card, the author then considers the complications introduced by general-purpose cards, such as Visa and MasterCard, emphasizing the key roles of merchant acquirers and card processors.
Transparency, Expectations, and Forecasts
Andrew Bauer, Robert A. Eisenbeis, Daniel F. Waggoner, and Tao Zha
This article investigates whether private agents' ability to predict the economy's direction has improved since 1994. The analysis focuses on forecasts of macroeconomic variables such as inflation, gross domestic product growth, and unemployment and policy variables such as short-term interest rates.