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QE Auctions of Treasury Bonds

Author

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  • Song, Zhaogang

    () (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.))

  • Zhu, Haoxiang

    () (MIT Sloan School of Management)

Abstract

The Federal Reserve (Fed) uses a unique auction mechanism to purchase U.S. Treasury securities in implementing its quantitative easing (QE) policy. In this paper, we study the outcomes of QE auctions and participating dealers' bidding behaviors from November 2010 to September 2011, during which the Fed purchased $780 billion Treasury securities. Our data include the transaction prices and quantities of each traded bond in each auction, as well as dealers' identities. We find that: (1) In QE auctions the Fed tends to exclude bonds that are liquid and on special, but among included bonds, purchase volumes gravitate toward more liquid bonds; (2) The auction costs are low on average: the Fed pays around 0.7 cents per $100 par value above the secondary market ask price on auction dates; (3) The heterogeneity of Fed's costs across bonds relates to their liquidity and specialness, suggesting that dealers respond to both valuation and information uncertainties; (4) Dealers exhibit strong heterogeneity in their participation, trading volumes, and profits in QE auctions; (5) Auction bidding variables forecast bond returns only one day after the auction, suggesting that dealers have price-relevant information but the information decays quickly.

Suggested Citation

  • Song, Zhaogang & Zhu, Haoxiang, 2014. "QE Auctions of Treasury Bonds," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-48, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2014-48
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Saki Bigio & Galo Nuño & Juan Passadore, 2019. "A Framework for Debt-Maturity Management," Working Papers 143, Peruvian Economic Association.
    2. Schlepper, Kathi & Riordan, Ryan & Hofer, Heiko & Schrimpf, Andreas, 2017. "Scarcity effects of QE: A transaction-level analysis in the Bund market," Discussion Papers 06/2017, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    3. repec:mes:ijpoec:v:46:y:2017:i:2-3:p:91-112 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Breedon, Francis, 2018. "On the transactions costs of UK quantitative easing," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 347-356.
    5. Pelizzon, Loriana & Subrahmanyam, Marti G. & Tomio, Davide & Uno, Jun, 2018. "Central bank-driven mispricing," SAFE Working Paper Series 226, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    6. Nina Boyarchenko & David O. Lucca & Laura Veldkamp, 2016. "Taking Orders and Taking Notes: Dealer Information Sharing in Treasury Markets," NBER Working Papers 22461, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Boneva, L. & Elliott, D. & Kaminska, I. & Linton, O. & McLaren, N. & Morley, B., 2019. "The Impact of QE on Liquidity: Evidence from the UK Corporate Bond Purchase Scheme," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1937, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    8. Nina Boyarchenko & David O. Lucca & Laura Veldkamp, 2018. "Taking Orders and Taking Notes: Dealer Information Sharing in Financial Markets," Working Papers 18-07, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    9. Esteban Pérez Caldentey, 2017. "Quantitative Easing (QE), Changes in Global Liquidity, and Financial Instability," International Journal of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(2-3), pages 91-112, July.
    10. Bo Young Chang & Jun Yang & Parker Liu, 2018. "The Cost of the Government Bond Buyback and Switch Programs in Canada," Staff Analytical Notes 2018-41, Bank of Canada.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Auction; quantitative easing; Federal Reserve; treasury bond; specialness;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing

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