Liquidity in a Market for Unique Assets: Specified Pool and TBA Trading in the Mortgage Backed Securities Market
67 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2015 Last revised: 3 Sep 2016
Date Written: September 2, 2016
Agency mortgage-backed securities trade simultaneously in a market for specified pools (SPs) and in the to-be-announced (TBA) forward market. TBA trading creates liquidity by allowing thousands of different MBS to be traded in a handful of TBA contracts. SPs that are eligible to be traded as TBAs have significantly lower trading costs than other SPs. We present evidence that TBA eligibility, in addition to characteristics of TBA eligible SPs, lowers trading costs. We show that dealers hedge SP inventory with TBA trades, and they are more likely to prearrange trades in SPs that are difficult to hedge.
Keywords: mortgage backed securities, OTC Market, Liquidity
JEL Classification: G10, G18, G24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation