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Eurosystem collateral policy and framework: Was it unduly changed?

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  • Guntram B. Wolff

Abstract

This Policy Contribution was prepared for the European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. All Eurosystem credit operations, including the important open market operations, need to be based on adequate collateral. Liquidity is provided to banks against collateral at market prices subject to a haircut. The Eurosystem adapted its collateral framework during the crisis to accept lower-rated assets as collateral. Higher haircuts are applied to insure against liquidity risk as well as the greater volatility of prices of lower-rated assets. The adaptation of the collateral framework was necessary to provide sufficient liquidity to banks in the euro area periphery in particular. In crisis countries, special emergency liquidity assistance was provided. More than 80 percent of the European Central Bank’s liquidity (Main Refinancing Operations and Long Term Refinancing Operations) is provided to banks in five countries (Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain). The changes in the collateral framework were necessary for the ECB to fulfil its treaty-based mandate of providing liquidity to solvent banks and safeguarding financial stability. The ECB did not take on board excessive risks. Alvaro Leandro provided excellent research assistance.

Suggested Citation

  • Guntram B. Wolff, 2014. "Eurosystem collateral policy and framework: Was it unduly changed?," Policy Contributions 857, Bruegel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bre:polcon:857
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Micossi, 2015. "The Monetary Policy of the European Central Bank (2002-2015)," Bruges European Economic Policy Briefings 35, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.
    2. Jorg Bibow, 2015. "The Euro's Savior? Assessing the ECB's Crisis Management Performance and Potential for Crisis Resolution," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_845, Levy Economics Institute.
    3. Cassola, Nuno & Koulischer, François, 2019. "The collateral channel of open market operations," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 73-90.
    4. Jakob Korbinian Eberl, 2016. "The Collateral Framework of the Eurosystem and Its Fiscal Implications," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 69, May.
    5. Micossi, Stefano, 2015. "The Monetary Policy of the European Central Bank (2002-2015)," CEPS Papers 10610, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    6. Christophe Blot & Jérôme Creel & Paul Hubert, 2018. "The effect and risks of ECB collateral framework changes," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/4hi059h9n59, Sciences Po.
    7. J. Barthélemy & V. Bignon & B. Nguyen, 2018. "Monetary Policy and Collateral Constraints since the European Debt Crisis," Working papers 669, Banque de France.

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