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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2011-08
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  1. Charles M. Jones & Owen Lamont & Robin Lumsdaine, 1996. "Macroeconomic News and Bond Market Volatility," Home Pages _005, Princeton University, Department of Economics.
  2. Robin Greenwood & Dimitri Vayanos, 2014. "Bond Supply and Excess Bond Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 27(3), pages 663-713.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Refet Gürkaynak & Brian P. Sack & Eric T. 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. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Joseph E. Gagnon & Matthew Raskin & Julie Remache & Brian P. Sack, 2010. "Large-scale asset purchases by the Federal Reserve: did they work?," Staff Reports 441, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  10. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2007. "The Demand for Treasury Debt," NBER Working Papers 12881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Gürkaynak, Refet S. & Wright, Jonathan, 2010. "Macroeconomics and the Term Structure," CEPR Discussion Papers 8018, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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