Responses to the financial crisis, treasury debt, and the impact on short-term money markets
Several programs have been introduced by U.S. fiscal and monetary authorities in response to the financial crisis. We examine the responses involving Treasury debt?the Term Securities Lending Facility (TSLF), the Supplemental Financing Program, increases in Treasury issuance, and open market operations?and their impacts on the overnight Treasury general collateral repo rate, a key money market rate. Our contribution is to consider each policy in light of the others, both to help guide policy responses to future crises and to emphasize policy interactions. Only the TSLF was designed to ...
This paper, originally released in August 1989 as part of a Federal Reserve Bank of New York series on the U.S. securities markets, examines loans of Treasury and agency securities in the domestic market. It highlights some important institutional characteristics of securities loan transactions, in particular the common use of agents to arrange the terms of the loans. While we note that this characteristic sets securities lending apart from most repurchase agreement (repo) transactions, which occur bilaterally between a borrower and a lender, we observe that repo and securities loan ...
Preparing for a smooth (eventual) exit
Remarks at the National Association for Business Economics Policy Conference, Arlington, Virginia
Policy statement on repurchase agreement transactions
The Odd Behavior of Repo Haircuts during the Financial Crisis
Since the financial crisis began, there’s been substantial debate on the role of haircuts in U.S. repo markets. (The haircut is the value of the collateral in excess of the value of the cash exchanged in the repo; see our blog post for more on repo markets.) In an influential paper, Gorton and Metrick show that haircuts increased rapidly during the crisis, a phenomenon they characterize as a general “run on repo.” Consequently, some policymakers and academics have considered whether regulating haircuts might help stabilize the repo markets, for example, by setting a minimum level so ...
Repo market effects of the Term Securities Lending Facility
The Term Securities Lending Facility (TSLF) was introduced by the Federal Reserve to promote liquidity in the financing markets for Treasury and other collateral. We evaluate one aspect of the program--the extent to which it has narrowed repo spreads between Treasury collateral and less liquid collateral. We find that TSLF operations have precipitated a significant narrowing of repo spreads. More refined tests indicate the market conditions and types of operations associated with the program's effectiveness. Various additional tests, including a split-sample test, suggest that our findings ...
Financial intermediary leverage and value at risk
We study a contracting model for the determination of leverage and balance sheet size for financial intermediaries that fund their activities through collateralized borrowing. The model gives rise to two features: First, leverage is procyclical in the sense that leverage is high when the balance sheet is large. Second, leverage and balance sheet size are both determined by the riskiness of assets. For U.S. investment banks, we find empirical support for both features of our model, that is, leverage is procyclical, and both leverage and balance sheet size are determined by measured risks. In a ...
Repurchase and reverse repurchase agreements
An abstract for this article is not available
Trading risk, market liquidity, and convergence trading in the interest rate swap spread
While trading activity is generally thought to play a central role in the self-stabilizing behavior of markets, the risks in trading on occasion can affect market liquidity and heighten asset price volatility. This article examines empirical evidence on the limits of arbitrage in the interest rate swap market. The author finds both stabilizing and destabilizing forces attributable to leveraged trading activity. Although the swap spread tends to converge to its fundamental level, it does so more slowly or even diverges from its fundamental level when traders are under stress, as indicated by ...