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The ECB and the Interbank Market

  • Giannone, Domenico
  • Lenza, Michele
  • Pill, Huw
  • Reichlin, Lucrezia

This paper analyses the impact on the macroeconomy of the ECB’s non-standard monetary policy implemented in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the Fall of 2008. We study in particular the effect of the expansion of the intermediation of transactions across central bank balance sheets as dysfunctional financial markets seize up, which we regard as a key channel of transmission for non-standard monetary policy measures. Our approach is similar to Lenza et al., 2009 but we introduce the important innovation of distinguishing between private intermediation of interbank transactions in the money market and central bank intermediation of bank-to-bank transactions across the Eurosystem balance sheet. We do this by exploiting data drawn from the aggregate Monetary and Financial Institutions (MFI) balance sheet which allows us to construct a new measure of the ‘policy shock’ represented by the ECB’s increasing role as a financial intermediary. We find that bank loans to households and, in particular, to non-financial corporations are higher than would have been the case without the ECB’s intervention. In turn, the ECB’s support has a significant impact on economic activity: two and a half years after the failure of Lehman Brothers, the level of industrial production is estimated to be 2% higher, and the unemployment rate 0.6 percentage points lower, than would have been the case in the absence of the ECB’s non-standard monetary policy measures.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8844.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8844
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  1. repec:cup:cbooks:9781107014732 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Walsh, Carl E., 1982. "Asset substitutability and monetary policy : An alternative characterization," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 59-71.
  3. Domenico Giannone & Michèle Lenza & Huw Pill & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2010. "Non‐Standard Monetary Policy Measures," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2010-040, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Domenico Giannone & Michele Lenza & Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2012. "Prior Selection for Vector Autoregressions," NBER Working Papers 18467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  20. Fama, Eugene F, 1970. "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 383-417, May.
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