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Let’s twist again: a high-frequency event-study analysis of operation twist and its implications for QE2

  • Eric T. Swanson

This paper undertakes a modern event-study analysis of Operation Twist and compares its effects to those that should be expected for the recent quantitative policy announced by the Federal Reserve, dubbed "QE2". We first show that Operation Twist and QE2 are similar in magnitude. We identify six significant, discrete announcements in the course of Operation Twist that potentially could have had a major effect on financial markets, and show that four did have statistically significant effects. The cumulative effect of these six announcements on longer-term Treasury yields is highly statistically significant but moderate, amounting to about 15 basis points. This estimate is consistent both with Modigliani and Sutch’s (1966) time series analysis and with the lower end of empirical estimates of Treasury supply effects in the literature.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2011-08.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2011-08
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  1. James D. Hamilton & Jing Cynthia Wu, 2011. "The Effectiveness of Alternative Monetary Policy Tools in a Zero Lower Bound Environment," NBER Working Papers 16956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dimitri Vayanos & Jean-Luc Vila, 2009. "A Preferred-Habitat Model of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 15487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robin Greenwood & Dimitri Vayanos, 2008. "Bond supply and excess bond returns," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24425, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Joseph Gagnon & Matthew Raskin & Julie Remache & Brian 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. Charles M. Jones & Owen Lamont & Robin Lumsdaine, 1996. "Macroeconomic News and Bond Market Volatility," Home Pages _005, Princeton University, Department of Economics.
  6. Refet Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2004. "Do actions speak louder than words? the response of asset prices to monetary policy actions and statements," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-66, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Michael J. Fleming & Eli M. Remolona, 1999. "Price Formation and Liquidity in the U.S. Treasury Market: The Response to Public Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(5), pages 1901-1915, October.
  8. Gürkaynak, Refet S. & Wright, Jonathan, 2010. "Macroeconomics and the Term Structure," CEPR Discussion Papers 8018, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Francis E. Warnock & Veronica Cacdac Warnock, 2006. "International Capital Flows and U.S. Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 12560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Faust, Jon & Swanson, Eric T. & Wright, Jonathan H., 2004. "Identifying VARS based on high frequency futures data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1107-1131, September.
  11. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2007. "The Demand for Treasury Debt," NBER Working Papers 12881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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