Central bank swap lines

The Fed’s enhanced swap lines and new interventions in the Treasury market

In March 2020, the Federal Reserve enhanced its existing swap lines with foreign central banks, and introduced additional temporary swap lines with other central banks, in order to support the smooth functioning of U.S. dollar funding markets during the coronavirus epidemic. The Federal Reserve also announced purchases of US Treasuries and agency mortgage bonds in order to support the smooth functioning of the Treasury and mortgage-backed securities market. We analyse the motivations for and the effects of these measures.

Central bank swap lines and CIP deviations

We study the use of US dollar central bank swap lines as a tool for addressing dislocations in the foreign currency swap market against the USD since the global financial crisis. We find that the use of the Federal Reserve’s USD central bank swap lines was mainly related to tensions in US money markets during times of financial crisis, and less to tensions which were confined to foreign exchange swap markets.