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Treasury Inconvenience Yields during the COVID-19 Crisis

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  • Zhiguo He
  • Stefan Nagel
  • Zhaogang Song

Abstract

In sharp contrast to most previous crisis episodes, the Treasury market experienced severe stress and illiquidity during the COVID-19 crisis, raising concerns that the safe-haven status of U.S. Treasuries may be eroding. We document large shifts in Treasury ownership and temporary accumulation of Treasury and reverse repo positions on dealer balance sheets during this period. We build a dynamic equilibrium asset pricing model in which dealers subject to regulatory balance sheet constraints intermediate demand/supply shocks from habitat agents and provide repo financing to levered investors. The model predicts that Treasury inconvenience yields, measured as the spread between Treasuries and overnight-index swap rates (OIS), as well as spreads between dealers’ reverse repo and repo rates, should be highly positive during the COVID-19 crisis, which are confirmed in the data. The same model framework, adapted to the institutional setting in 2007-2009, also helps explain the negative Treasury-OIS spread observed during the Great Recession.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhiguo He & Stefan Nagel & Zhaogang Song, 2020. "Treasury Inconvenience Yields during the COVID-19 Crisis," NBER Working Papers 27416, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27416
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    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Covid-19 > Economic consequences > Stock market

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    3. Angelo Ranaldo & Benedikt Ballensiefen & Hannah Winterberg, 2020. "Monetary policy disconnect," Working Papers on Finance 2003, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.

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    More about this item

    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
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

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