Karl Walentin, 11 September 2014

Central banks have resorted to various unconventional monetary policy tools since the onset of the Global Crisis. This column focuses on the macroeconomic effects of the Federal Reserve’s large-scale purchases of mortgage-backed securities – in particular, through reducing the ‘mortgage spread’ between interest rates on mortgages and government bonds at a given maturity. Although large-scale asset purchases are found to have substantial macroeconomic effects, they may not necessarily be the best policy tool at the zero lower bound.

Johannes Stroebel, John Taylor, 27 January 2010

Should the Fed scale back its ownership of mortgage-backed securities? This column analyses the effect of the programme on mortgage interest rates. Controlling for prepayment and default risk suggests the programme has had little or no impact, and that the Fed could gradually cut the size of its portfolio without a significant impact on the mortgage market.

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