The European Repo Market, ECB Intervention and the COVID-19 Crisis
During the COVID-19 crisis, the combined effect of ECB communications, concerns on sovereigns’ stability, illiquidity and market expectations led to a flight to quality. This produced a sell-off of peripheral sovereign bonds that drove the repo rates of core and peripheral countries out-of-sync. Two ECB announcements affected the repo market, namely (i) the Press Conference of the ECB Governing Council on March 12, 2020 and (ii) the announcement of a €750 billion Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program (PEPP). These two announcements had heterogeneous effects in the European repo market which we shall investigate.
Keywords: Flight-to-quality • ECB announcements • European repo market • Repo specialness • COVID-19 crisis