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US Monetary Policy and International Bond Markets

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  • Simon Gilchrist
  • Vivian Yue
  • Egon Zakrajšek

Abstract

This paper uses high-frequency financial data to analyze the effects of US monetary policy—during the conventional and unconventional policy regimes—on international bonds markets. We focus on yields of dollar-denominated sovereign bonds issued by more than 90 countries since the early 1990s, which allows us to abstract from the policy-induced movements in exchange rates that otherwise confound the response of yields on foreign bonds denominated in local currencies. Our results show that yields on dollar-denominated sovereign debt are highly responsive to unanticipated changes in the stance of US monetary policy during both the conventional and unconventional policy regimes, and that the passthrough of unconventional policy actions to foreign bond yields is, on balance, comparable to that of conventional policy actions. In addition, a conventional US monetary easing leads to a significant narrowing of credit spreads on sovereign bonds issued by countries with a speculative-grade credit rating. During the unconventional policy regime, however, yields on speculative-grade sovereign debt move one-to-one with policy-induced fluctuations in yields on comparable US Treasuries. We also examine whether the response of sovereign credit spreads to US monetary policy differs between policy easings and policy tightenings and find no evidence of such asymmetry. This finding casts doubt on the notion that US monetary easings induce excessive risk-taking in international bond markets.

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  • Simon Gilchrist & Vivian Yue & Egon Zakrajšek, 2019. "US Monetary Policy and International Bond Markets," NBER Working Papers 26012, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26012
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    2. Swanson, Eric T., 2021. "Measuring the effects of federal reserve forward guidance and asset purchases on financial markets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 32-53.
    3. Bianchi, Francesco & Kind, Thilo & Kung, Howard, 2019. "Threats to Central Bank Independence: High-Frequency Identification with Twitter," CEPR Discussion Papers 14021, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Lakdawala, Aeimit & Moreland, Timothy & Schaffer, Matthew, 2021. "The international spillover effects of US monetary policy uncertainty," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
    5. Dimic, Nebojsa & Piljak, Vanja & Swinkels, Laurens & Vulanovic, Milos, 2021. "The structure and degree of dependence in government bond markets," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    6. ter Ellen, Saskia & Jansen, Edvard & Midthjell, Nina Larsson, 2020. "ECB Spillovers and domestic monetary policy effectiveness in small open economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 121(C).
    7. Lawrence Kryzanowski & Jie Zhang & Rui Zhong, 2021. "Currency hedging and quantitative easing: Evidence from global bond markets," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 555-597, June.
    8. Albagli, Elias & Calani, Mauricio & Hadzi-Vaskov, Metodij & Marcel, Mario & Ricci, Luca Antonio, 2020. "Comfort in Floating: Taking Stock of Twenty Years of Freely-Floating Exchange Rate in Chile," CEPR Discussion Papers 14967, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Steven B. Kamin & Canlin Li & Marius del Giudice Rodriguez, 2018. "International Spillovers of Monetary Policy : Conventional Policy vs. Quantitative Easing," International Finance Discussion Papers 1234, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Jasper Hoek & Steven B. Kamin & Emre Yoldas, 2020. "When is Bad News Good News? U.S. Monetary Policy, Macroeconomic News, and Financial Conditions in Emerging Markets," International Finance Discussion Papers 1269, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    11. Cuadra, Gabriel & Menna, Lorenzo, 2019. "Capital flows and the business cycle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 1-1.
    12. Eric Fischer, 2020. "Monetary Surprises and Global Financial Flows: A Case Study of Latin America," Journal of Emerging Market Finance, Institute for Financial Management and Research, vol. 19(2), pages 189-225, August.

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    JEL classification:

    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance

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