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$1.25 Trillion is still real money : some facts about the effects of the Federal Reserve’s mortgage market investments

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  • Andreas Fuster
  • Paul S. Willen

Abstract

This paper measures the effects on the primary U.S. mortgage market of the large-scale asset purchase (LSAP) program in which the Federal Reserve bought $1.25 trillion of mortgage-backed securities in 2009 and 2010. We use an event-study approach and measure the movements in both prices and quantities around the initial announcement of the LSAP and subsequent changes to the program. We use a new dataset to document the changes in the menu of rates and points offered to borrowers and show that there was wide dispersion in the rate changes generated by the announcement of the LSAP program, with some borrowers seeing immediate rate reductions of up to 40 basis points and other borrowers confronting rate increases. We show that the LSAP program led to a substantial boost in market activity, with discontinuous increases in searches, applications and originations for refinance mortgages, but not purchase mortgages. Finally, we show that more creditworthy borrowers were significantly more likely to benefit from the improved credit availability.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Fuster & Paul S. Willen, 2010. "$1.25 Trillion is still real money : some facts about the effects of the Federal Reserve’s mortgage market investments," Public Policy Discussion Paper 10-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbpp:10-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John C. Williams & John B. Taylor, 2009. "A Black Swan in the Money Market," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 58-83, January.
    2. Caplin, Andrew & Freeman, Charles & Tracy, Joseph, 1997. "Collateral Damage: Refinancing Constraints and Regional Recessions," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(4), pages 496-516, November.
    3. Yongheng Deng & John M. Quigley, 2003. "Woodhead Behavior and the Pricing of Residential Mortgages," Working Paper 8616, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
    4. 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.
    5. Glenn B. Canner & Karen E. Dynan & Wayne Passmore, 2002. "Mortgage refinancing in 2001 and early 2002," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Dec, pages 469-481.
    6. Johannes C. Stroebel & John B. Taylor, 2009. "Estimated Impact of the Fed's Mortgage-Backed Securities Purchase Program," NBER Working Papers 15626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Ferreira, Fernando & Gyourko, Joseph & Tracy, Joseph, 2010. "Housing busts and household mobility," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 34-45, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Diana Hancock & Wayne Passmore, 2012. "The Federal Reserve's portfolio and its effects on mortgage markets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-22, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Andreas Fuster & Stephanie H. Lo & Paul S. Willen, 2017. "The Time-Varying Price of Financial Intermediation in the Mortgage Market," NBER Working Papers 23706, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2013. "The ins and outs of LSAPs," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    4. Simon Gilchrist & David López-Salido & Egon Zakrajšek, 2015. "Monetary Policy and Real Borrowing Costs at the Zero Lower Bound," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-109, January.
    5. Hancock, Diana & Passmore, Wayne, 2011. "Did the Federal Reserve's MBS purchase program lower mortgage rates?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(5), pages 498-514.
    6. repec:eee:dyncon:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:215-231 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Bernanke, Ben S., 2012. "Monetary Policy since the Onset of the Crisis : a speech at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Symposium, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, August 31, 2012," Speech 645, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Walentin, Karl, 2014. "Business cycle implications of mortgage spreads," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 62-77.
    9. Beraja, Martin & Fuster, Andreas & Hurst, Erik & Vavra, Joseph, 2015. "Regional heterogeneity and monetary policy," Staff Reports 731, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, revised 01 Aug 2017.
    10. Ryan M. Goodstein, 2014. "Refinancing Trends among Lower Income and Minority Homeowners during the Housing Boom and Bust," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 42(3), pages 690-723, September.
    11. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2011. "The Effects of Quantitative Easing on Interest Rates: Channels and Implications for Policy," NBER Working Papers 17555, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Johannes Stroebel & John B. Taylor, 2012. "Estimated Impact of the Federal Reserve’s Mortgage-Backed Securities Purchase Program," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 8(2), pages 1-42, June.
    13. Martina Cecioni & Giuseppe Ferrero & Alessandro Secchi, 2011. "Unconventional Monetary Policy in Theory and in Practice," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 102, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    14. 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.
    15. Annette Vissing-Jorgensen & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2011. "The Effects of Quantitative Easing on Long-term Interest Rates," 2011 Meeting Papers 1447, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. Christina D. Romer, 2013. "It Takes a Regime Shift: Recent Developments in Japanese Monetary Policy through the Lens of the Great Depression," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2013, Volume 28, pages 383-400 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Yu, Edison, 2016. "Did quantitative easing work?," Economic Insights, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, vol. 1(1), pages 5-13, Q1.
    18. Chabot, Benjamin & Herman, Gabe, 2013. "A History of Large-Scale Asset Purchases before the Federal Reserve," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 140-152.
    19. Jeffrey A. Miron & Natalia Rigol, 2013. "Bank Failures and Output During the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 19418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. repec:eee:quaeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:314-327 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Charles Rahal,, 2016. "Housing markets and unconventional monetary policy," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 67-80.
    22. Kandrac, John & Schlusche, Bernd, 2015. "An agency problem in the MBS market and the solicited refinancing channel of large-scale asset purchases," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    23. Ben S. Bernanke, 2012. "Opening remarks: monetary policy since the onset of the crisis," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 1-22.
    24. Robert Jarrow & Hao Li, 2014. "The impact of quantitative easing on the US term structure of interest rates," Review of Derivatives Research, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 287-321, October.

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    Keywords

    Mortgage-backed securities;

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