Since the federal funds rate reached the zero lower bound in late 2008, economists have been struggling to adapt their models to a long-term zero rate. Wu and Xia built upon previous research by Fischer Black to create a model for how the federal funds rate behaves during the ZLB period. In their model, the rate actually dips into the negative digits, which the actual federal funds rate does not do. The logic behind the model is that a negative shadow rate is a much better indicator of true economic conditions while the current zero rate merely masks the actual economic reality. It is also easier to use the shadow rate for trend analysis purposes, since the shadow rate is flexible and changes while the federal funds rate remains artificially fixed at zero. Thus, this paper seeks to provide a comparison between the Shadow Rate, as defined by Wu and Xia, and how three key banking variables (leverage, profitability, and non-performing loans to total loans) react in response to the shadow rate, along with three control variables: real GDP growth, inflation, and the current account to GDP ratio. Regression will also be used to determine how three key borrower variables (S&P 500 Index, Credibility Consumer Distress Index, and the ratio of nonfinancial corporate business debt securities to total assets) interact with the shadow rate and the three control variables previously mentioned.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Aysun, Uluc


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Business Administration



Degree Program



Orlando (Main) Campus



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date

May 2016