Jonathan Witmer is the Director of the Monetary Policy Analysis and Research Team in the Financial Markets Department. His primary research interests include the role of mutual funds in financial markets and the transmission of monetary policy. Jonathan has also worked on various policy issues such as the zero lower bound, monetary policy implementation, and OTC derivatives. He obtained his PhD in Finance from Queen’s University and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business.

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Staff Analytical Notes

Estimating Canada’s Effective Lower Bound

Staff Analytical Note 2015-2 Jonathan Witmer, Jing Yang
In 2009, the Bank of Canada set its effective lower bound (ELB) at 25 basis points (bps). Given the recent experience of Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and the euro area with negative interest rates, we examine the economics of negative interest rates and suggest that cash storage costs are the source of a negative lower bound on interest rates.

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Staff Discussion Papers

Market Timing of Long-Term Debt Issuance

Staff Discussion Paper 2009-14 Jonathan Witmer
The literature on market timing of long-term debt issuance yields mixed evidence that managers can successfully time their debt-maturity issuance. The early results that are indicative of debt-maturity timing are not robust to accounting for structural breaks or to other measures of debt maturity from firm-level data that account for call and put provisions in […]

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Staff Working Papers

Monetary Policy Implementation and Payment System Modernization

Staff Working Paper 2020-26 Jonathan Witmer
Canada plans to adopt a retail payment system to allow Canadians to pay in real time (or near real time) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, the traditional model for setting the overnight interest rate does not operate 24/7.

Following the Money: Evidence for the Portfolio Balance Channel of Quantitative Easing

Staff Working Paper 2018-33 Itay Goldstein, Jonathan Witmer, Jing Yang
Recent research suggests that quantitative easing (QE) may affect a broad range of asset prices through a portfolio balance channel. Using novel security-level holding data of individual US mutual funds, we establish evidence that portfolio rebalancing occurred both within and across funds.

Monetary Policy Implementation in a Negative Rate Environment

Staff Working Paper 2017-25 Michael Boutros, Jonathan Witmer
Monetary policy implementation could, in theory, be constrained by deeply negative rates since overnight market participants may have an incentive to invest in cash rather than lend to other participants.

Strategic Complementarities and Money Market Fund Liquidity Management

Staff Working Paper 2017-14 Jonathan Witmer
Following the financial crisis, there has been increased regulatory focus on the management of liquidity in mutual funds and, specifically, whether funds hold enough liquidity to guard against the potential for investor runs.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff working papers Topic(s): Financial institutions, Financial markets JEL Code(s): F, F3, F30, G, G0, G01, G1, G18, G2, G20

Does the Buck Stop Here? A Comparison of Withdrawals from Money Market Mutual Funds with Floating and Constant Share Prices

Staff Working Paper 2012-25 Jonathan Witmer
Recent reform proposals call for an elimination of the constant net asset value (NAV) or “buck” in money market mutual funds to reduce the occurrence of runs. Outside the United States, there are several countries that have money market mutual funds with and without constant NAVs.

Short Changed? The Market's Reaction to the Short Sale Ban of 2008

Staff Working Paper 2009-23 Louis Gagnon, Jonathan Witmer
Do short sales restrictions have an impact on security prices? We address this question in the context of a natural experiment surrounding the short sale ban of 2008 using a comprehensive sample of Canadian stocks cross-listed in the U.S.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff working papers Topic(s): Financial markets, International topics JEL Code(s): F, F3, F30, G, G0, G01, G1, G18, G2, G20

The Cost of Equity in Canada: An International Comparison

Staff Working Paper 2008-21 Jonathan Witmer
This paper calculates an implied cost of equity for 19 developed countries from 1991 to 2006. During this period, there has been a decline in the cost of equity of about 10-15 bps per year, which can be partially attributed to declining government yields and declining inflation.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff working papers Topic(s): Financial markets, International topics JEL Code(s): G, G3, G30, G38

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Journal Publications

Refereed publications