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The impact of the Federal Reserve's Large-Scale Asset Purchase programs on corporate credit risk

  • Simon Gilchrist
  • Egon Zakrajsek

Estimating the effect of Federal Reserve's announcements of Large-Scale Asset Purchase (LSAP) programs on corporate credit risk is complicated by the simultaneity of policy decisions and movements in prices of risky financial assets, as well as by the fact that both interest rates of assets targeted by the programs and indicators of credit risk reacted to other common shocks during the recent financial crisis. This paper employs a heteroskedasticity-based approach to estimate the structural coefficient measuring the sensitivity of market-based indicators of corporate credit risk to declines in the benchmark market interest rates prompted by the LSAP announcements. The results indicate that the LSAP announcements led to a significant reduction in the cost of insuring against default risk--as measured by the CDX indexes--for both investment- and speculative-grade corporate credits. While the unconventional policy measures employed by the Federal Reserve to stimulate the economy have substantially lowered the overall level of credit risk in the economy, the LSAP announcements appear to have had no measurable effect on credit risk in the financial intermediary sector.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2013-56.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2013-56
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  1. Reuven Glick & Sylvain Leduc, 2011. "Central bank announcements of asset purchases and the impact on global financial and commodity markets," Working Paper Series 2011-30, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. Dimitri Vayanos & Jean-Luc Vila, 2009. "A preferred-habitat model of the term structure of interest rates," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 29308, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  7. D'Amico, Stefania & English, William & López-Salido, J David & Nelson, Edward, 2012. "The Federal Reserve’s Large-Scale Asset Purchase Programs: Rationale and Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 9145, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Thomas Laubach, 2003. "New evidence on the interest rate effects of budget deficits and debt," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-12, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Adrian, Tobias & Shin, Hyun Song, 2010. "Liquidity and leverage," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 418-437, July.
  10. Diana Hancock & Wayne Passmore, 2011. "Did the Federal Reserve's MBS purchase program lower mortgage rates?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-01, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Gabriele Fiorentini & Enrique Sentana Iváñez, 1997. "Identification, estimation and testing of conditionally heteroskedastic factor models," Working Papers. Serie AD 1997-22, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  12. Xavier Gabaix & Arvind Krishnamurthy & Olivier Vigneron, 2005. "Limits of Arbitrage: Theory and Evidence from the Mortgage-Backed Securities Market," NBER Working Papers 11851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Canlin Li & Min Wei, 2013. "Term Structure Modeling with Supply Factors and the Federal Reserve's Large-Scale Asset Purchase Progarms," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 9(1), pages 3-39, March.
  14. Roberto Rigobon, 2003. "Identification Through Heteroskedasticity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 777-792, November.
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