Dealers’ Positions and the Auction Cycle
The aftermath of the financial crisis and changes in technology and regulation have spurred a spirited discussion of dealers? evolving role in financial markets. One such role is to buy securities at auction and sell them off to investors over time. We assess this function using data on primary dealers? positions in benchmark Treasury securities, released by the New York Fed since April 2013 and described in this earlier Liberty Street Economics post.
Comments on “A Skeptical View of the Impact of the Fed’s Balance Sheet”: remarks at the 2018 U.S. Monetary Policy Forum, New York City
Remarks at the 2018 U.S. Monetary Policy Forum, New York City.
The Federal Reserve’s Recent Actions to Support the Flow of Credit to Households and Businesses
Remarks before the Foreign Exchange Committee, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York City.
How the Fed Changes the Size of Its Balance Sheet
The size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet increased greatly between 2009 and 2014 owing to large-scale asset purchases. The balance sheet has stayed at a high level since then through the ongoing reinvestment of principal repayments on securities that the Fed holds. When the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decides to reduce the size of the Fed’s balance sheet, it is expected to do so by gradually reducing the pace of reinvestments, as outlined in the June 2017 addendum to the FOMC’s Policy Normalization Principles and Plans. How do asset purchases increase the size of the ...
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’ ...
Treasury Market Liquidity during the COVID-19 Crisis
A key objective of recent Federal Reserve policy actions is to address the deterioration in financial market functioning. The U.S. Treasury securities market, in particular, has been the subject of Fed and market participants’ concerns, and the venue for some of the Fed’s initiatives. In this post, we evaluate a basic metric of market functioning for Treasury securities— market liquidity—through the first month of the Fed’s extraordinary actions. Our particular focus is on how liquidity in March 2020 compares to that observed over the past fifteen years, a period that includes the ...
An index of Treasury Market liquidity: 1991-2017
Order book and transactions data from the U.S. Treasury securities market are used to calculate daily measures of bid-ask spreads, depth, and price impact for a twenty-six-year sample period (1991-2017). From these measures, a daily index of Treasury market liquidity is constructed, reflecting the fact that the varying measures capture different aspects of market liquidity. The liquidity index is then correlated with various metrics of funding liquidity, volatility, and macroeconomic conditions. The liquidity index points to poor liquidity during the 2007-09 financial crisis and around the ...
Unconventional monetary policy and the behavior of shorts
In November 2008, the Federal Reserve announced the first of a series of unconventional monetary policies, which would include asset purchases and forward guidance, to reduce long-term interest rates. We investigate the behavior of shorts, considered sophisticated investors, before and after a set of these unconventional monetary policy announcements that spot bond markets did not fully anticipate. Short interest in agency securities systematically predicts bond price changes and other asset returns on the days of monetary announcements, particularly when growth or monetary news is released, ...
Treasury Safety, Liquidity, and Money Premium Dynamics: Evidence from Recent Debt Limit Impasses
Treasury securities normally possess unparalleled safety and liquidity and, consequently, carry a money premium. We use recent debt limit impasses, which temporarily increased the riskiness of Treasuries, to investigate the relationship between the money premium, safety, and liquidity. Our results shed light on Treasury market dynamics specifically, and debt more generally. We first establish that a decline in the perceived safety of Treasuries erodes the money premium at all times. Meanwhile, changes in liquidity only affected the money premium during the impasses. Next, we show that ...
The Federal Reserve's Portfolio and its Effect on Interest Rates
We explore the historical composition of the Federal Reserve's Treasury portfolio and its effect on Treasury yields. Using data from 1985 to 2016, we show that the divergence of the composition of the Federal Reserve's portfolio from overall Treasury securities outstanding is associated with a statistically significant effect on interest rates. In aggregate, when the Federal Reserve's portfolio has shorter maturity than overall Treasury debt outstanding, measures of the term premium are higher at all horizons; likewise, when the Federal Reserve's portfolio has longer maturity, term premiums ...