Dealer Balance Sheets and Corporate Bond Liquidity Provision
Regulatory reforms since the financial crisis have sought to make the financial system safer and severe financial crises less likely. But by limiting the ability of regulated institutions to increase their balance sheet size, reforms?such as the Dodd-Frank Act in the United States and the Basel Committee's Basel III bank regulations internationally?might reduce the total intermediation capacity of the financial system during normal times. Decreases in intermediation capacity may then lead to decreased liquidity in markets in which the regulated institutions intermediate significant trading ...
Market Liquidity after the Financial Crisis
The possible adverse effects of regulation on market liquidity in the post-crisis period continue to garner significant attention. In a recent paper, we update and unify much of our earlier work on the subject, following up on three series of earlier Liberty Street Economics posts in August 2015, October 2015, and February 2016. We find that dealer balance sheets have continued to stagnate and that various measures point to less abundant funding liquidity. Nonetheless, we do not find clear evidence of a widespread deterioration in market liquidity.
Unlocking the Treasury Market through TRACE
The U.S. Treasury market is widely regarded as the deepest and most liquid securities market in the world, playing a critical role in the global economy and in the Federal Reserve’s implementation of monetary policy. Despite the Treasury market’s importance, the official sector has historically had limited access to information on cash market transactions. This data gap was most acutely demonstrated in the investigation of the October 15, 2014, flash event in the Treasury market, as highlighted in the Joint Staff Report (JSR). Following the JSR, steps were taken to improve regulators’ ...
Did Banks Subject to LCR Reduce Liquidity Creation?
Banks traditionally provide loans that are funded mostly by deposits and thereby create liquidity, which benefits the economy. However, since the loans are typically long-term and illiquid, whereas the deposits are short-term and liquid, this creation of liquidity entails risk for the bank because of the possibility that depositors may ?run? (that is, withdraw their deposits on short notice). To mitigate this risk, regulators implemented the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) following the financial crisis of 2007-08, mandating banks to hold a buffer of liquid assets. A side effect ofthe ...
Liquidity Effects of Post-Crisis Regulatory Reform
The post-crisis regulatory reform efforts to improve capital and liquidity positions of regulated institutions provide incentives for banks to change not only the structure of their own balance sheets but also how they interact with their customers and other market participants more generally. A 2015 PwC study on global financial market liquidity, for example, noted that ?[a]s banks respond to the new regulatory environment, they have sought to make more efficient use of capital and liquidity resources, by reducing the markets they serve and streamlining their operations.? In this blog post, ...
Credit Market Choice
Credit default swaps (CDS) are frequently credited with being the cause of AIG?s collapse during the financial crisis. A Reuters article from September 2008, for example, notes ?[w]hen you hear that the collapse of AIG [?] might lead to a systemic collapse of the global financial system, the feared culprit is, largely, that once-obscure [?] instrument known as a credit default swap.? Yet, despite the prominent role that CDS played during the financial crisis, little is known about how individual financial institutions utilize CDS contracts on individual companies. In a recent New York Fed ...
Since the 2007-09 financial crisis, the prices of closely related assets have shown persistent deviations?so-called basis spreads. Because such disparities create apparent profit opportunities, the question arises of why they are not arbitraged away. In a recent Staff Report, we argue that post-crisis changes to regulation and market structure have increased the costs to banks of participating in spread-narrowing trades, creating limits to arbitrage. In addition, although one might expect hedge funds to act as arbitrageurs, we find evidence that post-crisis regulation affects not only the ...
Breaking Down TRACE Volumes Further
Following an earlier joint FEDS Note and Liberty Street Economics blog post that examined aggregate trading volume in the Treasury cash market across venues, this post looks at volume across security type, seasoned-ness (time since issuance), and maturity. The analysis, which again relies on transactions recorded in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's (FINRA) Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE), sheds light on perceptions that some Treasury securities—in particular those that are off-the-run—may not trade very actively. We confirm that most trading volume is made up of ...
The Primary and Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facilities
On April 9, the Federal Reserve announced that it would take additional actions to provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Among the initiatives are the Primary Market and Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facilities (PMCCF and SMCCF), whose intent is to provide support for large U.S. businesses that typically finance themselves by issuing debt in capital markets. Corporate bonds support the operations of companies with more than 17 million employees based in the United States and these bonds are key assets for retirees and pension ...
Bank Liquidity Creation, Systemic Risk, and Basel Liquidity Regulations
We find that banks subject to the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR banks) create less liquidity per dollar of assets in the post-LCR period than non-LCR banks by, in part, lending less. However, we also find that LCR banks are more resilient as they contribute less to fire-sale risk, relative to non-LCR banks. We estimate the net after-tax benefits from reduced lending and fire-sale risk to be about 1.4 percent of assets in 2013:Q2-2014 for large banks. Our findings, which we show are unlikely to result from capital regulations, highlight the trade-off between lower liquidity creation and ...