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Discussion or working paper
Jeromin Zettelmeyer

ECB interventions in distressed sovereign debt markets: The case of Greek bonds

  • Abstract

    We study central bank interventions in times of severe distress (mid-2010), using a unique bond-level dataset of ECB purchases of Greek sovereign debt. ECB bond buying had a large impact on the price of short and medium maturity bonds, resulting in a remarkable “twist” of the Greek yield curve. However, the effects were limited to those sovereign bonds actually bought. We find little evidence for positive effects on market quality, or spillovers to close substitute bonds, CDS markets, or corporate bonds. Hence, our findings attest to the power of central bank intervention in times of crisis, but also suggest that in highly distressed situations, this power may not extend beyond those assets actually purchased.
  • Keywords

    Central Bank Asset Purchases, Securities Markets Programme, Eurozone Crisis, Sovereign Risk, Market Segmentation
  • JEL classification

    E43, E58, F34, G12
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