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The Effects of Quantitative Easing on Interest Rates: Channels and Implications for Policy

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  • Arvind Krishnamurthy
  • Annette Vissing-Jorgensen
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    Abstract

    We evaluate the effect of the Federal Reserve’s purchase of long-term Treasuries and other long-term bonds ("QE1" in 2008-2009 and "QE2" in 2010-2011) on interest rates. Using an event-study methodology we reach two main conclusions. First, it is inappropriate to focus only on Treasury rates as a policy target because QE works through several channels that affect particular assets differently. We find evidence for a signaling channel, a unique demand for long-term safe assets, and an inflation channel for both QE1 and QE2, and an MBS pre-payment channel and a corporate bond default risk channel for QE1. Second, effects on particular assets depend critically on which assets are purchased. The event-study suggests that (a) mortgage-backed securities purchases in QE1 were crucial for lowering mortgage-backed security yields as well as corporate credit risk and thus corporate yields for QE1, and (b) Treasuries-only purchases in QE2 had a disproportionate effect on Treasuries and Agencies relative to mortgage-backed securities and corporates, with yields on the latter falling primarily through the market’s anticipation of lower future federal funds rates.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17555.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2011
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    Publication status: published as Brookings Papers on Economic Activity The Effects of Quantitative Easing on Interest Rates: Channels and Implications for Policy Fall 2011, Annette Vissing-Jorgensen and Arvind Krishnamurthy
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17555

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    1. Matthias Fleckenstein & Francis A. Longstaff & Hanno Lustig, 2010. "Why Does the Treasury Issue Tips? The Tips–Treasury Bond Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 16358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Andreas Fuster & Paul S. Willen, 2010. "$1.25 Trillion is still real money : some facts about the effects of the Federal Reserve’s mortgage market investments," Public Policy Discussion Paper 10-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    3. Xavier Gabaix & Arvind Krishnamurthy & Olivier Vigneron, 2007. "Limits of Arbitrage: Theory and Evidence from the Mortgage-Backed Securities Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(2), pages 557-595, 04.
    4. Eric T. Swanson, 2011. "Let's Twist Again: A High-Frequency Event-study Analysis of Operation Twist and Its Implications for QE2," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 151-207.
    5. Jonathan H. Wright, 2011. "What does Monetary Policy do to Long-Term Interest Rates at the Zero Lower Bound?," NBER Working Papers 17154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Michael Joyce & David Miles & Andrew Scott & Dimitri Vayanos, 2012. "Quantitative Easing and Unconventional Monetary Policy – an Introduction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages F271-F288, November.
    2. Laura Jaramillo & Carlo Cottarelli, 2012. "Walking Hand in Hand," IMF Working Papers 12/137, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Floro, Danvee & Tesfaselassie, Mewael F., 2013. "Can forward guidance be ambiguous yet effective?," Kiel Policy Brief 65, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Michael E. Cahill & Stefania D’Amico & Canlin Li & John S. Sears, 2013. "Duration risk versus local supply channel in Treasury yields: evidence from the Federal Reserve's asset purchase announcements," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Judit Krekó & Csaba Balogh & Kristóf Lehmann & Róbert Mátrai & György Pulai & Balázs Vonnák, 2013. "International experiences and domestic opportunities of applying unconventional monetary policy tools," MNB Occasional Papers 2013/100, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the central bank of Hungary).
    6. Richhild Moessner & Philip Turner, 2012. "Threat of fiscal dominance? Workshop summary," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Threat of fiscal dominance?, volume 65, pages 1-12 Bank for International Settlements.
    7. Kandrac, John & Schlusche, Bernd, 2013. "Flow effects of large-scale asset purchases," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 330-335.
    8. Jing Cynthia Wu & Kinda Hachem, 2013. "Inflation Announcements and Social Dynamics," 2013 Meeting Papers 238, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. George Kapetanios & Haroon Mumtaz & Ibrahim Stevens & Konstantinos Theodoridis, 2012. "Assessing the Economy‐wide Effects of Quantitative Easing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages F316-F347, November.
    10. Marcel Fratzscher & Marco Lo Duca & Roland Straub, 2013. "On the International Spillovers of US Quantitative Easing," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1304, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    11. SZCZERBOWICZ, Urszula, 2014. "The ECB's Unconventional Monetary Policies: Have they lowered market borrowing costs for banks and governments?," Discussion papers 14008, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    12. Carlo Altavilla & Domenico Giannone & Michele Lenza, 2014. "The Financial and Macroeconomic Effects of the OMT Announcements," CSEF Working Papers 352, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    13. Rossi, José Luiz Júnior, 2014. "The Usefulness of Financial Variables in Predicting Exchange Rate Movements," Insper Working Papers wpe_332, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
    14. Ellison , Martin & Tischbirek , Andreas, 2013. "Unconventional government debt purchases as a supplement to conventional monetary policy," Research Discussion Papers 3/2013, Bank of Finland.
    15. Fratzscher, Marcel & Lo Duca, Marco & Straub, Roland, 2012. "A global monetary tsunami? On the spillovers of US Quantitative Easing," CEPR Discussion Papers 9195, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Lo Duca, Marco & Nicoletti, Giulio & Vidal Martinez, Ariadna, 2014. "Global corporate bond issuance: what role for US quantitative easing?," Working Paper Series 1649, European Central Bank.
    17. Michael D. Bauer, 2012. "Fed asset buying and private borrowing rates," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue may21.
    18. Martin Fukac, 2011. "Have rising oil prices become a greater threat to price stability?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 27-53.

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