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Collateral scarcity premia in euro area repo markets


  • Ferrari, Massimo
  • Guagliano, Claudia
  • Mazzacurati, Julien


Collateral plays a very important role in financial markets. Without easy access to high-quality collateral, dealers and market participants would find it more costly to trade, with a negative impact on market liquidity and the real economy through increased financing costs. The role of collateral has become increasingly significant since the global financial crisis, partly due to regulatory reforms. Using bond-level data from both repo and securities lending markets, this paper introduces a new measure of collateral reuse and studies the drivers of the cost of obtaining high-quality collateral, i.e. the collateral scarcity premium, proxied by specialness of government bond repos. We find that the cost of obtaining high-quality collateral increases with demand pressures in the cash market (short-selling activities), even in calm financial market conditions. In bear market conditions ‒ when good collateral is needed the most ‒ this could lead to tensions in some asset market segments. Collateral reuse may alleviate some of these tensions by reducing the collateral scarcity premia. Yet, it requires transparency and monitoring due to the financial stability risks associated. Finally, we find that the launch of the ECB quantitative easing programme has a statistically significant, albeit limited, impact on sovereign collateral scarcity premia, but this impact is offset by the beginning of the ECB Securities Lending Programme. JEL Classification: E52, G12, G23

Suggested Citation

  • Ferrari, Massimo & Guagliano, Claudia & Mazzacurati, Julien, 2017. "Collateral scarcity premia in euro area repo markets," ESRB Working Paper Series 55, European Systemic Risk Board.
  • Handle: RePEc:srk:srkwps:201755

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dimitri Vayanos & Pierre‐Olivier Weill, 2008. "A Search‐Based Theory of the On‐the‐Run Phenomenon," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(3), pages 1361-1398, June.
    2. Boissel, Charles & Derrien, François & Ors, Evren & Thesmar, David, 2017. "Systemic risk in clearing houses: Evidence from the European repo market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(3), pages 511-536.
    3. Bottazzi, Jean-Marc & Luque, Jaime & Páscoa, Mário R., 2012. "Securities market theory: Possession, repo and rehypothecation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 477-500.
    4. D'Amico, Stefania & Fan, Roger & Kitzul, Yuriy, 2013. "The Scarcity Value of Treasury Collateral: Repo Market Effects of Security-Specific Supply and Demand Factors," Working Paper Series WP-2013-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    5. Graveline, Jeremy J. & McBrady, Matthew R., 2011. "Who makes on-the-run Treasuries special?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 620-632, October.
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    7. Infante, Sebastian, 2015. "Liquidity Windfalls: The Consequences of Repo Rehypothecation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-22, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
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    Cited by:

    1. W. Arrata & B. Nguyen & I. Rahmouni-Rousseau & M. Vari, 2017. "Eurosystem’s asset purchases and money market rates," Working papers 652, Banque de France.
    2. Brand, Claus & Ferrante, Lorenzo & Hubert, Antoine, 2019. "From cash- to securities-driven euro area repo markets: the role of financial stress and safe asset scarcity," Working Paper Series 2232, European Central Bank.

    More about this item


    collateral; collateral reuse; negative interest rates; quantitative easing; repos; securities lending; short selling; specialness;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors


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