The impact of recent central bank asset purchase programmes

BIS Quarterly Review  |  December 2011  | 
12 December 2011

This article analyses the effectiveness of the asset purchase programmes implemented by the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England. Both the Federal Reserve's Large-Scale Asset Purchase (LSAP) programme and the Bank of England's Asset Purchase Facility (APF) had a significant impact on financial markets when the first stages were announced, but the effects became smaller for later extensions of the programmes. Applying a methodology developed by D'Amico and King (2010), we estimate that the lasting reduction in bond supply via central bank asset purchases lowered government bond yields significantly. The effect is largely similar for the LSAP and the APF. Our estimations also suggest that the Federal Reserve's new maturity extension programme (MEP) should have an effect on longer-term Treasury bond yields comparable to that of the outright asset purchases under the LSAP.

JEL classification: E52, E63