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Central Bank Interventions, Demand for Collateral, and Sovereign Borrowing Costs

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  • Luís Fonseca
  • Miguel Faria-e-Castro
  • Matteo Crosignani

Abstract

We analyze the effect of unconventional monetary policy, in the form of collateralized lending to banks, on sovereign borrowing costs. Using our unique dataset on monthly security- and bank-level holdings of government bonds, we document that Portuguese banks increased their holdings of domestic public debt during the allotment of the three year Long-Term Refinancing Operations (LTRO) of the European Central Bank. We argue that domestic banks engaged in a "collateral trade", which involved the purchase of high-yield bonds with short maturities that could be pledged as collateral for low cost and long-term borrowing from the ECB. This significant increase in bond holdings was concentrated in shorter maturities, as these were especially suited to mitigate funding liquidity risk. The resulting steepening of the sovereign yield curve and the timing and characteristics of government bond auctions are consistent with a strategic response by the debt management agency.

Suggested Citation

  • Luís Fonseca & Miguel Faria-e-Castro & Matteo Crosignani, 2015. "Central Bank Interventions, Demand for Collateral, and Sovereign Borrowing Costs," Working Papers w201509, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ptu:wpaper:w201509
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ricardo Reis, 2015. "Looking for a Success in the Euro Crisis Adjustment Programs: The Case of Portugal," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(2 (Fall)), pages 433-458.
    2. Krishnamurthy, Arvind & Nagel, Stefan & Vissing-Jorgensen, Annette, 2017. "ECB Policies Involving Government Bond Purchases: Impact and Channels," Research Papers repec:ecl:stabus:3578, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    3. Arnold, Ivo J.M. & Soederhuizen, Beau, 2018. "Bank stability and refinancing operations during the crisis: Which way causality?," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 79-89.
    4. Dubecq, Simon & Monfort, Alain & Renne, Jean-Paul & Roussellet, Guillaume, 2016. "Credit and liquidity in interbank rates: A quadratic approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 29-46.
    5. van der Kwaak, Christiaan, 2017. "Financial Fragility and Unconventional Central Bank Lending Operations," Research Report 17005-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    6. Matías Lamas & Javier Mencía, 2018. "What drives sovereign debt portfolios of banks in a crisis context?," Working Papers 1843, Banco de España.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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