Lender of Last Resort versus Buyer of Last Resort – Evidence from the European Sovereign Debt Crisis
63 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2016 Last revised: 15 May 2018
Date Written: August 28, 2017
We document channels of monetary policy transmission to banks following two interventions of the European Central Bank (ECB). As a lender of last resort via the long-term refinancing operations (LTROs), the ECB improved the collateral value of sovereign bonds of peripheral countries. This resulted in an elevated concentration of these bonds in the portfolios of domestic banks, increasing fire-sale risk and making both banks and sovereign bonds riskier. In contrast, the ECB’s announcement of being a potential buyer of last resort via the Outright Monetary Transaction (OMT) program attracted new investors and reduced fire-sale risk in the sovereign bond market.
Keywords: Bank-sovereign nexus, ECB, fire sales, unconventional monetary policy
JEL Classification: G01, G21, G28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation