4

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Policy area
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The effects and risks of ECB collateral framework changes

16-07-2018

During the crisis, the ECB modified its collateral framework to face increased liquidity needs of commercial banks. This has taken two forms: the minimum required rating for different classes of assets has been reduced and the haircut associated to these assets has evolved conditional on the default risks of these assets. The benefits in terms of cushioning a liquidity crisis and enhancing monetary policy transmission have most probably exceeded the costs in terms of riskier central bank balance ...

During the crisis, the ECB modified its collateral framework to face increased liquidity needs of commercial banks. This has taken two forms: the minimum required rating for different classes of assets has been reduced and the haircut associated to these assets has evolved conditional on the default risks of these assets. The benefits in terms of cushioning a liquidity crisis and enhancing monetary policy transmission have most probably exceeded the costs in terms of riskier central bank balance sheet and potential capital losses. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.

External author

Christophe BLOT, Jérôme CREEL, Paul HUBERT (Sciences Po – OFCE)

ECB non-standard-policies and collateral constraints

16-07-2018

Collateral constitutes an indispensable lubricant for the financial system. Government bonds constitute the most important source of collateral, for use in inter-bank and repo transactions. But, the vast bond buying program of the ECB in the context of the Public Sector Purchase Programme has not led to any collateral scarcity. Banks still hold very large amounts of sovereign bonds and they have ample other collateral should they want to borrow more from the ECB for ‘standard’ monetary policy operations ...

Collateral constitutes an indispensable lubricant for the financial system. Government bonds constitute the most important source of collateral, for use in inter-bank and repo transactions. But, the vast bond buying program of the ECB in the context of the Public Sector Purchase Programme has not led to any collateral scarcity. Banks still hold very large amounts of sovereign bonds and they have ample other collateral should they want to borrow more from the ECB for ‘standard’ monetary policy operations. Banks tend to use less liquid assets as collateral with the ECB, but this does not mean necessarily more risk for the ECB for which liquidity is not important. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

External author

Daniel GROS, Willem Pieter de Groen (CEPS)

ECB non-standard monetary measures, collateral constraints and potential risks for monetary policy

02-07-2018

This paper takes a wide view of nonstandard measures in difficult situations. We explore how, and to what extent, prudential metrics written into the new prudential and surveillance regulations can be used as policy instruments. The paper does not try to reach a judgment on which measures will work best. Instead we explore how these policies work; why they depend on high quality collateral/assets; what happens if policymakers are driven to expand the bounds of “sufficient quality or liquidity”; how ...

This paper takes a wide view of nonstandard measures in difficult situations. We explore how, and to what extent, prudential metrics written into the new prudential and surveillance regulations can be used as policy instruments. The paper does not try to reach a judgment on which measures will work best. Instead we explore how these policies work; why they depend on high quality collateral/assets; what happens if policymakers are driven to expand the bounds of “sufficient quality or liquidity”; how new credit risks arise and for whom. Some of these risks are quite subtle, implicit or indirect. But they all reduce the effective-ness of the measures in question (a transmission problem). As a result, they require larger interventions to reach certain target values (a feasibility question, given the side effects). Thus, the new prudential regulation regimes offer several nonstandard policy instruments. But they depend of the availability of high quality and liquid collateral/assets. Poor collateral makes nonstandard measures less effective. Less credit and less cheap credit will be offered due to the increasing credit risks. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.

External author

Andrew Hughes Hallett, Paul Fisher

The ECB Collateral Policy Beyond Conventional Monetary Stimulus

02-07-2018

The importance of collateral as an instrument for monetary policy has increased in recent years not only in the light of the changes in the ECB’s collateral framework during the crisis but also due to the progressive replacement of the unsecured money market segment with the secured one in the euro area. Both aspects are set to have consequences for collateral availability and the scarcity of high-quality assets, particularly as these interact with non-standard monetary policy. In this note, we look ...

The importance of collateral as an instrument for monetary policy has increased in recent years not only in the light of the changes in the ECB’s collateral framework during the crisis but also due to the progressive replacement of the unsecured money market segment with the secured one in the euro area. Both aspects are set to have consequences for collateral availability and the scarcity of high-quality assets, particularly as these interact with non-standard monetary policy. In this note, we look for evidence of the ECB’s Expanded Asset Purchase Programme (EAPP) effects through the quantity and quality of collateral, based on the Eurosystem Collateral Data, as well as a review of the literature. We conclude that collateral is vital to the well-functioning of money markets, and the availability in principle of monetary policy beyond conventional remains an important tool to deal with the issue of potential shortages of high-quality collateral, at least in the short-term. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.

External author

Corrado MACCHIARELLI and Mara MONTI

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