Supply and demand shifts of shorts before Fed announcements during QE1–QE3
Cohen, Diether, and Malloy (Journal of Finance, 2007), find that shifts in the demand curve predict negative stock returns. We use their approach to examine changes in supply and demand at the time of FOMC announcements. We show that shifts in the demand for borrowing Treasuries and agencies predict quantitative easing. A reduction in the quantity demanded at all points along the demand curve predicts expansionary quantitative easing announcements.
Primary Dealers’ Waning Role in Treasury Auctions
In this post, we quantify the macroeconomic effects of central bank announcements about future federal funds rates, or forward guidance. We estimate that a commitment to lowering future rates below market expectations can have fairly strong effects on real economic activity with only small effects on inflation.
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 ...
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 ...
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.
Unconventional monetary policy and the behavior of shorts
We investigate the behavior of shorts, considered sophisticated investors, before and after a set of Federal Reserve 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, indicating shorts correctly anticipated these surprises. Shorts also systematically rebalanced after announcements in the direction of the announcement surprise when the announcement released ...
The Federal Reserve’s Market Functioning Purchases
In March 2020, massive customer selling of U.S. Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed dealers’ capacity to intermediate trades, contributing to a marked deterioration of market functioning. The Federal Reserve promptly took numerous steps to address the market disruptions, including the initiation of market functioning purchases of Treasury securities and agency MBS. Purchases quickly expanded to over $100 billion per day as the Fed announced plans to buy securities “in the amounts needed” to support market ...
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 ...
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 ...
What Explains the June Spike in Treasury Settlement Fails?
In June of this year?as we noted in the preceding post?settlement fails in U.S. Treasury securities spiked to their highest level since the implementation of the fails charge in May 2009. Our first post reviewed what fails are, why they arise, and how they can be measured. In this post, we dig into the fails data to identify possible explanations for the high level of fails in June. We observe that sequential fails of several benchmark securities accounted for the lion?s share of fails in June, but that fails in seasoned securities?which have been trending upward for some time?were also ...