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Bidding behaviour in the ECB’s main refinancing operations during the financial crisis

  • Eisenschmidt, Jens
  • Hirsch, Astrid
  • Linzert, Tobias

Liquidity provision through its repo auctions has been one of the main instruments of the European Central Bank (ECB) to address the recent tensions in financial markets since summer 2007. In this paper, we analyse banks’ bidding behaviour in the ECB’s main refinancing operations (MROs) during the ongoing turmoil in money and financial markets. We employ a unique data set comprising repo auctions from March 2004 to October 2008 with bidding data from 877 counterparties. We find that increased bid rates during the turmoil can be explained by, inter alia, the increased individual refinancing motive, the increased attractiveness of the ECB’s tender operations due to its collateral framework and banks’ bidding more aggressively, i.e. at higher rates to avoid being rationed at the marginal rate in times of increased liquidity uncertainty. JEL Classification: E52, D44, C33, C34

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1052.

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Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20091052
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  1. Linzert, Tobias & Nautz, Dieter & Breitung, Jorg, 2006. "Bidder behavior in central bank repo auctions: Evidence from the Bundesbank," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 215-230, July.
  2. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  3. Ben R. Craig & Falko Fecht, 2006. "The Eurosystem money market auctions: a banking perspective," Working Paper 0506, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  4. Linzert, Tobias & Nautz, Dieter & Bindseil, Ulrich, 2004. "The longer term refinancing operations of the ECB," Working Paper Series 0359, European Central Bank.
  5. Ricardo J. Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2007. "Collective Risk Management in a Flight to Quality Episode," NBER Working Papers 12896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Kjell G. Nyborg, 2004. "Multiple Unit Auctions and Short Squeezes," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(2), pages 545-580.
  7. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  8. Välimäki , Tuomas, 2006. "Why the marginal MRO rate exceeds the ECB policy rate?," Research Discussion Papers 20/2006, Bank of Finland.
  9. Nautz, Dieter, 1998. "Banks' demand for reserves when future monetary policy is uncertain," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 161-183, June.
  10. Dieter Nautz & Jörg Oechssler, 2001. "The Repo Auctions of the European Central Bank and the Vanishing Quota Puzzle," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse9_2001, University of Bonn, Germany.
  11. Fecht, Falko & Nyborg, Kjell G & Rocholl, Jörg, 2010. "The Price of Liquidity: Bank Characteristics and Market Conditions," CEPR Discussion Papers 7794, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Michael B. Gordy, 1997. "Hedging Winner's Curse with Multiple Bids: Evidence from the Portuguese Treasury Bill Auction," Microeconomics 9702002, EconWPA.
  13. Mireia Jofre-Bonet & Martin Pesendorfer, 2001. "Estimation of a Dynamic Auction Game," NBER Working Papers 8626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Giuseppe Bruno & Ernesto Maurizio Ordine & Antonio Scalia, 2005. "Banks� participation in the Eurosystem auctions and money market integration," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 562, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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