Purpose: This paper aims to provide fresh empirical evidence on how Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) monetary policy decisions from a benchmark monetary policy rule affect the profitability of US banking institutions. Design/methodology/approach: It thereby provides a link between the literature on central bank monetary policy implementation through monetary rules and banks’ profitability. It uses a novel data set from 11,894 US banks, spanning the period 1990 to 2013. Findings: The empirical findings show that deviations of FOMC monetary policy decisions from a number of benchmark linear and non-linear monetary (Taylor type) rules exert a negative and statistically significant impact on banks’ profitability. Originality/value: The results are expected to have substantial implications for the capacity of banking institutions to more readily interpret monetary policy information and accordingly to reshape and hedge their lending behaviour. This would make the monetary policy decision process less noisy and, thus, enhance their capability to attach the correct weight to this information.
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