The Bank of Canada recently developed an asset-liability-matching model to aid in the management of Canada’s foreign exchange reserves. The model allows policy-makers at the Bank and the Department of Finance to analyze asset-allocation and funding-mix decisions by quantifying both the risk-return and liquidity trade-offs for the assets, as well as the risk-cost trade-offs of the funding liabilities.Topics: Debt Management; Foreign reserves management
We build a dynamic capital structure model to study the link between systematic risk exposure and debt maturity, as well as their joint impact on the term structure of credit spreads. Our model allows for time variation and lumpiness in the maturity structure. Relative to short-term debt, long-term debt is less prone to rollover risks, but its illiquidity raises the costs of financing.Topics: Asset Pricing; Debt Management
The authors describe the liabilities model of the Exchange Fund Account (EFA). The EFA is managed using an asset-liability matching framework that requires currency and duration matching of both sides of the balance sheet.Topics: Debt Management; Foreign reserves management
As the Government of Canada’s fiscal agent, the Bank of Canada provides strategic policy advice on the management of the government’s debt, in addition to being responsible for conducting debt-management operations. In this article, the authors review the evolution of the debt strategy over the past 20 years and outline the complex process of developing a sound strategy that balances various cost and risk considerations. This includes an examination of the tools and practices used to develop the new medium-term debt-management strategy, such as the modelling approach involved, market consultations and various debt-management metrics.Topics: Debt Management; Economic models
As part of managing a debt portfolio, debt managers face the challenging task of choosing a strategy that minimizes the cost of debt, subject to limitations on risk. The Bank of Canada provides debt-management analysis and advice to the Government of Canada to assist in this task, with the Canadian debt-strategy model being developed to help in this regard.Topics: Debt Management; Econometric and statistical methods; Financial markets; Fiscal Policy
Using a rich sample of Canadian government securities auctions, we estimate the structural parameters of a share-auction model accounting for asymmetries across bidders. We find little evidence of asymmetries between participants at Canadian government nominal bond auctions.Topics: Debt Management; Financial markets; Market structure and pricing
We investigate the macroeconomic determinants of corporate spreads using a no-arbitrage technique. Structural shocks are identified by a New-Keynesian model. Treasury bonds are priced in an affine model with time-varying risk premia.Topics: Debt Management; Financial markets; Interest rates
In its role as fiscal agent to the government, the Bank of Canada provides analysis and advice on decisions about the government's domestic debt portfolio. Debt-management decisions depend on assumptions about future interest rates, macroeconomic outcomes, and fiscal policy, yet when a debt-strategy decision is taken, none of these factors can be known with certainty. Moreover, the government has various financing options (i.e., treasury bills, nominal bonds, and inflation-linked bonds) to meet its objectives of minimizing debt-service charges while simultaneously ensuring a prudent risk profile and well-functioning government securities markets. Bank of Canada staff have therefore developed a mathematical model to assist in the decision-making process. This article describes the key aspects of the debt manager's challenge and the principal assumptions incorporated in the debt-strategy model, illustrated with specific results.Topics: Debt Management; Economic models; Fiscal Policy
Domestic public debt issued by emerging markets has risen significantly relative to international debt in recent years. Some recent empirical evidence also suggests that sovereigns have defaulted differentially on debt held by domestic and external creditors.Topics: Debt Management; International topics
We study the joint dynamics of macroeconomic variables, bond yields, and the exchange rate in an empirical two-country New-Keynesian model complemented with a no-arbitrage term structure model. With Canadian and US data, we are able to study the impact of macroeconomic shocks from both countries on their yield curves and the exchange rate.Topics: Debt Management; Econometric and statistical methods; Exchange rates; Financial markets; Interest rates
The stochastic simulation model suggested by Bolder (2003) for the analysis of the federal government's debt-management strategy provides a wide variety of useful information. It does not, however, assist in determining an optimal debt-management strategy for the government in its current form.Topics: Debt Management; Econometric and statistical methods; Financial markets; Fiscal Policy
The Bank of Canada's interest in fixed-income markets spans several of its functional areas of responsibility, including monetary policy, funds management, and financial system stability and efficiency. For that reason, the 2006 conference brought together top academics and central bankers from around the world to discuss leading-edge work in the field of fixed-income research. The papers and discussions cover such topics as the efficiency of fixed-income markets, price formation, the determinants of the yield curve, and volatility modelling. This article provides a short summary of each conference paper and the ensuing discussion.Topics: Debt Management; Financial markets; Interest rates
Two models of default risk are prominent in the financial literature: Merton's structural model and Altman's non-structural model.Topics: Credit and credit aggregates; Debt Management; Econometric and statistical methods; Financial markets; Recent economic and financial developments
This overview includes a brief history highlighting the government's use of the primary and secondary markets to develop a framework for distributing its debt securities to financial market intermediaries and end investors. The framework is also intended to meet the government's debt-strategy objectives of raising stable, low-cost funding and maintaining a well-functioning debt market. Pellerin reviews the government's adoption of a new framework in 1998 as well as the 2005 modifications aimed at attracting continued broad and competitive participation in government auctions.Topics: Debt Management; Financial markets
A database of historical Government of Canada zero-coupon yield curves developed at the Bank of Canada is introduced in this article, which also includes an initial statistical analysis of the behaviour and evolution of the zero-coupon interest (spot) rates over the full period and two distinct subperiods. Specific areas of interest include the evolution of the levels of key interest rates and yield-curve measures over the sample as well as daily changes in the key interest rates and the yield-curve measures; the identification of a relatively small number of factors that drove the evolution of the yield curve; and the total returns that would have been realized by holding bonds of different maturities for a given holding period.Topics: Debt Management; Econometric and statistical methods; Financial markets
Using turnover ratios, Anderson and Lavoie describe the recent evolution of liquidity in various secondary government bond markets, focusing specifically on the market for Government of Canada securities. They attribute much of the recent variation in liquidity to such cyclical factors as changes in the interest rate environment and investors' appetite for risk, as well as developments in equity markets in the late 1990s. They also examine longer-term structural and policy-related trends, including the rate of adoption of financial and technological innovations and the level of government borrowing and debt-management initiatives.Topics: Debt Management; Financial markets; Recent economic and financial developments
The authors contrast the impact of two sources of information flow on the volatility of prices, trading activity, and liquidity in the brokered interdealer market for Government of Canada bonds.Topics: Debt Management; Financial markets; Market structure and pricing
Debt strategy is defined as the manner in which a government finances an excess of government expenditures over revenues and any maturing debt issued in previous periods. The author gives a thorough qualitative description of the complexities of debt strategy analysis and then demonstrates that it is, in fact, a problem in stochastic optimal control.Topics: Debt Management; Econometric and statistical methods; Economic models
An effective technique governments use to evaluate the desirability of different financing strategies involves stochastic simulation. This approach requires the postulation of the future dynamics of key macroeconomic variables and the use of those variables in the construction of a debt charge distribution for each individual financing strategy.Topics: Debt Management; Econometric and statistical methods; Interest rates
Although dealership government and equity securities have, on the surface, similar market structures, the author demonstrates that some subtle differences exist between them that are likely to significantly affect the way market-makers trade, and as such have an impact on the liquidity that they provide.Topics: Debt Management; Financial markets; Market structure and pricing
The Canadian fixed-income market is in the midst of a structural transformation similar to those occurring in other national financial markets around the world. The authors examine recent developments and trends in the market and discuss their possible effects.
The simultaneous shrinking of the federal government's financial requirements and steady rise in issues of corporate securities have significantly altered the composition of Canada's fixed-income market. Government of Canada securities constitute a predominant portion of outstanding fixed-income securities and play a pivotal role, serving as benchmarks for the valuation of other traded securities and as a hedging vehicle for market participants trying to control their exposure to risk. The reduced issuance of federal government securities has contributed to a decline in the liquidity of the benchmark market. This raises broader issues regarding the future of the Canadian fixed-income market, since the corporate market is still fairly underdeveloped and illiquid compared with that for Government of Canada issues. There are thus currently few benchmark and hedging alternatives. The federal government is, however, committed to preserving the integrity of the market for benchmark issues and is adopting initiatives to enhance market liquidity and alleviate some of the pressures on the effective supply of these securities.
Another evolving trend in the market is the emergence of electronic trading platforms. These platforms have the potential to facilitate the price-discovery mechanism, increase cost efficiency, and improve the liquidity and transparency of the market.Topics: Debt Management; Financial markets
Affine models describe the stylized time-series properties of the term structure of interest rates in a reasonable manner, they generalize relatively easily to higher dimensions, and a vast academic literature exists relating to their implementation. This combination of characteristics makes the affine class a natural introductory point for modelling interest rate dynamics.Topics: Debt Management; Econometric and statistical methods; Interest rates
With the elimination of the federal deficit, the Bank of Canada, the Department of Finance, and financial market participants are examining ways to manage the reduction in the stock of marketable debt. This paper summarizes three different methods—reverse auction, over-the-counter purchases, and conversions—that could be used to buy back Government of Canada bonds before they [...]Topics: Debt Management; Financial markets
The Department of Finance and the Bank of Canada, as its fiscal agent, work closely with financial market participants in the management of the federal government's debt program. From the government's perspective, maintaining a liquid well-functioning market in Government of Canada securities is a key factor in ensuring that debt-service costs are minimized. It is [...]Topics: Debt Management
This article examines the changes that have occurred in the composition of funds raised by provincial borrowers during the 1990s.
Higher financing requirements, coupled with the declining availability of funds from non-market sources such as the Canada Pension Plan, led provincial governments and their Crown corporations to broaden and to diversify their debt management programs.
In particular, provincial borrowers expanded their presence in foreign bond markets, increased their issuance of floating-rate debt, and incorporated a wide variety of innovative debt instruments into their borrowing programs in order to minimize their borrowing costs and to manage the risks associated with the issuing of debt. As a result, the composition of funds raised by provincial borrowers during the 1990s differed markedly from that of the previous decade: between 1990 and 1995, provincial borrowing requirements were met almost entirely through the issuance of marketable debt, and net new foreign currency debt issues averaged nearly 50 per cent of funds raised, whereas between 1980 and 1989, non-market sources provided close to 30 per cent of funds raised, and net new foreign currency debt issues provided less than 20 per cent.Topics: Debt Management; Fiscal Policy