This paper examines the role of the derivatives market in South Africa and provides policy options for promoting the development of derivatives markets in sub-Saharan Africa. South Africa's derivatives market has grown rapidly in recent years, supporting capital inflows and helping market participants to price, unbundle and transfer risk. There are tight regulations on asset allocations by insurance and pension funds to prevent excessive risk taking. The development of derivatives markets in sub-Saharan African countries could enable market participants to self-insure against volatile capital flows. Theiroverdependence on bank credit as a source of funding could be reduced and their management of seasonal risk could be improved through the introduction of commodity futures. However, these markets must be appropriately regulated and supervised. Since such markets would likely be small, consideration should be given to the establishment of a regional derivatives market.
This paper examines the impact of central bank communication on market expectations of monetary policy and long-term interest rates by comparing Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) action dates when a policy statement was made to dates before statements were issued. Increased communication has been associated with a reduction in the magnitude of short-term monetary surprises; a greater flow of information about the long-term path of policy that is distinct from the short-term surprise; and a larger role for these long-term surprises in the determination of long-term interest rates.
Antoine Bouveret, Mr. Peter Breuer, Ms. Yingyuan Chen, David Jones, and Tsuyoshi Sasaki
Changes in the structure of the U.S. Treasury market over recent years may have increased risks to financial stability. Traditional market makers have changed their liquidity provision by increasingly switching from risk warehousing to risk distribution, and a new breed of market maker has emerged with the rise of electronic trading. The “flash rally” of October 15, 2014 provides a clear example of how those risks can materialize. Based on an in-depth analysis of the event—complementing the authorities’ work—we suggest i) providing incentives for liquidity provision, ii) improving market safeguards, and iii) enhancing the regulation of the Treasury market.
The paper documents institutional reforms that have taken place in the government debt markets of many industrial countries since the early 1980s, and investigates the impact of three key changes: (i) the move from relationship financing to market funding; (ii) the introduction of options; and (iii) the introduction of futures. Variance ratio tests on bond data for 14 industrial countries indicate that the move to market funding increased the volatility of bond yields and improved the informational efficiency of the secondary markets. The introduction of options and futures increased the informational efficiency of the underlying market, but did not have a stabilizing effect.
This paper examines the transmission mechanism through which unconventional monetary policy affects long-term interest rates. I construct a real-time measure summarizing market projections of the magnitude and duration of the Federal Reserve's Large Scale Asset Purchases (LSAP) program, and analyze the determination of term premiums and expectations of future short-term interest rates in a sample spanning more than two decades. Empirical findings suggest that the LSAP has effectively lowered the long-term Treasury bond yields, through both "signaling" and "portfolio balance" channels. On the other hand, the Fed's "forward guidance" also leads to gradual extension of market projections for the duration of the LSAP program, thereby enhancing the LSAP's effect to keep term premiums low. Estimation results also reveal a diminished effectiveness of the LSAP during QE III. Finally, model simulations underscore the importance of policy transparency in minimizing unnecessary market turbulence and ensuring a timely and smooth exit of the unconventional monetary policy stimulus.
Ms. Laura E. Kodres, Kristian Hartelius, and Kenichiro Kashiwase
Despite recent turmoil, spreads on emerging market countries' sovereign bonds have fallen dramatically since mid-2002. Some have attributed the fall to improved economic fundamentals while others to ample global liquidity. The paper models spreads and attempts to empirically distinguish between the two factors. The results indicate that fundamentals, as embedded in credit ratings, are very important, but that expectations of future U.S. interest rates and volatility in those expectations are also a key determinant of emerging market spreads.