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Unconventional Monetary Policy and Risk-Taking: Evidence from Agency Mortgage REITs

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Abstract

We study how the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing (QE) influenced the behavior of Agency mortgage real estate investment trusts (REITs)—a set of institutions identified by the Financial Stability Oversight Council as posing systemic risk. We document that Agency mortgage REITs: [i] equity prices reacted to QE announcements and in a manner consistent with their business prospects; [ii] grew markedly during QE2 and receded during QE3 in relation to the Federal Reserve's Agency MBS purchase activity; and [iii] increased their leverage during QE3. Our findings are consistent with unconventional monetary policy actions crowding out private investment and "reaching for yield" behavior by financial institutions.

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  • Frame, W. Scott & Steiner, Eva, 2018. "Unconventional Monetary Policy and Risk-Taking: Evidence from Agency Mortgage REITs," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2018-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2018-08
    DOI: 10.29338/wp2018-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Manthos D. Delis & Iftekhar Hasan & Nikolaos Mylonidis, 2017. "The Risk‐Taking Channel of Monetary Policy in the U.S.: Evidence from Corporate Loan Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 49(1), pages 187-213, February.
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    3. Borio, Claudio & Zhu, Haibin, 2012. "Capital regulation, risk-taking and monetary policy: A missing link in the transmission mechanism?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 236-251.
    4. D’Amico, Stefania & King, Thomas B., 2013. "Flow and stock effects of large-scale treasury purchases: Evidence on the importance of local supply," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 425-448.
    5. Vasso Ioannidou & Steven Ongena & José-Luis Peydró, 2015. "Monetary Policy, Risk-Taking, and Pricing: Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 19(1), pages 95-144.
    6. Joseph E. Gagnon & Matthew Raskin & Julie Remache & Brian P. Sack, 2011. "Large-scale asset purchases by the Federal Reserve: did they work?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 41-59.
    7. James D. Hamilton & Jing Cynthia Wu, 2012. "The Effectiveness of Alternative Monetary Policy Tools in a Zero Lower Bound Environment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44, pages 3-46, February.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    quantitative easing; risk-taking; REITs; GSEs; mortgages; securitization;

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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