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The Treasury market in spring 2020 and the response of the Federal Reserve

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  • Annette Vissing-Jørgensen

Abstract

Treasury yields spiked during the initial phase of COVID. The 10-year yield increased by 64 bps from March 9 to 18, 2020, leading the Federal Reserve to purchase $1T of Treasuries in 2020Q1. Fed Treasury purchases were causal for reducing Treasury yields based on (1) the timing of purchases (which increased on March 19), (2) evidence against confounding factors, and (3) the timing of yield reversal and Fed purchases in the MBS market. Treasury-QE worked more via purchases than announcements. The yield spike was driven by liquidity needs of mutual funds, foreign official agencies, and hedge funds that were unaffected by the March 15, 2020 Treasury-QE announcement.

Suggested Citation

  • Annette Vissing-Jørgensen, 2021. "The Treasury market in spring 2020 and the response of the Federal Reserve," BIS Working Papers 966, Bank for International Settlements.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:966
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    1. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2012. "The Aggregate Demand for Treasury Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(2), pages 233-267.
    2. He, Zhiguo & Nagel, Stefan & Song, Zhaogang, 2022. "Treasury inconvenience yields during the COVID-19 crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 57-79.
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    4. Falato, Antonio & Goldstein, Itay & Hortaçsu, Ali, 2021. "Financial fragility in the COVID-19 crisis: The case of investment funds in corporate bond markets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 35-52.
    5. Zakrajsek, Egon & Gilchrist, Simon & Wei, Bin & Yue, Vivian, 2020. "The Fed Takes on Corporate Credit Risk: An Analysis of the Efficacy of the SMCCF," CEPR Discussion Papers 15258, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Matthias Fleckenstein & Francis A Longstaff & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2020. "Renting Balance Sheet Space: Intermediary Balance Sheet Rental Costs and the Valuation of Derivatives," The Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 33(11), pages 5051-5091.
    7. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2011. "The Effects of Quantitative Easing on Interest Rates: Channels and Implications for Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(2 (Fall)), pages 215-287.
    8. Valentin Haddad & Alan Moreira & Tyler Muir, 2020. "When Selling Becomes Viral: Disruptions in Debt Markets in the COVID-19 Crisis and the Fed’s Response," NBER Working Papers 27168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Daniel Barth & Jay Kahn, 2020. "Basis Trades and Treasury Market Illiquidity," Briefs 20-01, Office of Financial Research, US Department of the Treasury.
    10. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2011. "The Effects of Quantitative Easing on Interest Rates: Channels and Implications for Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 43(2 (Fall)), pages 215-287.
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    Cited by:

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    2. Sirio Aramonte & Andreas Schrimpf & Hyun Song Shin, 2023. "Non-bank financial intermediaries and financial stability," Chapters, in: Refet S. Gürkaynak & Jonathan H. Wright (ed.), Research Handbook of Financial Markets, chapter 7, pages 147-170, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Ron Alquist & Karlye Dilts Stedman & R. Jay Kahn, 2022. "Foreign Reserve Management and U.S. Money Market Liquidity: A Cost of Exorbitant Privilege," Research Working Paper RWP 22-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    4. Guillermo Calvo & Andrés Velasco, 2021. "Joined at the hip: monetary and fiscal policy in a liquidity-dependent world," BIS Working Papers 967, Bank for International Settlements.
    5. Darrell Duffie & Michael J. Fleming & Frank M. Keane & Claire Nelson & Or Shachar & Peter Van Tassel, 2023. "Dealer Capacity and U.S. Treasury Market Functionality," Staff Reports 1070, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    6. Thomas M. Eisenbach & Anna Kovner & Michael Junho Lee, 2022. "When It Rains, It Pours: Cyber Risk and Financial Conditions," Staff Reports 1022, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    7. Egemen Eren & Philip Wooldridge, 2021. "Non-bank financial institutions and the functioning of government bond markets," BIS Papers, Bank for International Settlements, number 119.
    8. Orkideh Gharehgozli & Sunhyung Lee, 2022. "Money Supply and Inflation after COVID-19," Economies, MDPI, vol. 10(5), pages 1-14, April.
    9. Forbes, Kristin & Friedrich, Christian & Reinhardt, Dennis, 2023. "Stress relief? Funding structures and resilience to the covid shock," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 47-81.
    10. Sebastian Doerr & Egemen Eren & Semyon Malamud, 2023. "Money Market Funds and the Pricing of Near-Money Assets," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 23-04, Swiss Finance Institute.
    11. Ralf R. Meisenzahl & Karen M. Pence, 2022. "Crisis Liquidity Facilities with Nonbank Counterparties: Lessons from the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2022-021, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    12. Busetto, Filippo, 2024. "Asymmetric expectations of monetary policy," Bank of England working papers 1058, Bank of England.
    13. Riedler, Jesper & Koziol, Tina, 2021. "Scaling, unwinding and greening QE in a calibrated portfolio balance model," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-086, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    14. Sirio Aramonte & Andreas Schrimpf & Hyun Song Shin, 2023. "Margins, debt capacity, and systemic risk," BIS Working Papers 1121, Bank for International Settlements.
    15. Semeyutin, Artur & Downing, Gareth, 2022. "Co-jumps in the U.S. interest rates and precious metals markets and their implications for investors," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Treasury bonds; COVID; Federal Reserve; quantitative easing.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets

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