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The repo auctions of the European Central Bank and the vanishing quota puzzle

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  • Nautz, Dieter
  • Oechssler, Jörg

Abstract

Weekly repo auctions are the European Central Bank's most important policy instrument. Provided that banks bid seriously, these auctions should reveal useful information about banks' liquidity needs and the stance of monetary policy. However 1 as we show in this paper, the applied auction rules specify a game without equilibrium. In particular, banks have incentives to grossly exaggerate their needs for refinancing. In response, they are drastically rationed, and the allotment quota virtually vanishes over time, which makes banks' bids useless as a monetary indicator. Our empirical results suggest that banks are requesting more than 25 times the amount they actually need - with increasing trend.

Suggested Citation

  • Nautz, Dieter & Oechssler, Jörg, 1999. "The repo auctions of the European Central Bank and the vanishing quota puzzle," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,79, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:199979
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    Keywords

    monetary policy instruments; auctions; European Central Bank;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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