Guillaume Ouellet Leblanc is a Principal Economist in the Market Risks and Vulnerabilities Division of the Financial Markets Department. Prior to his current role, he held various positions in the Financial Stability and Funds Management and Banking departments. Guillaume holds a M.A. in Economics from the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium) and the PRM designation.
The creation and redemption activity of fixed-income exchange-traded funds listed in the United States has shifted. Funds of established issuers have traditionally exchanged their shares for baskets of bonds. In contrast, young funds managed by new issuers tend to create and redeem their shares almost exclusively in cash. Cash transactions imply that new funds are taking on exposure to liquidity risk. This has implications for financial stability.
Lending to business is central to economic growth because it supports investment by firms. Knowing how market participants view risk in the financial system can give the Bank of Canada information about future growth in business loans. In this note, we look at three market-based risk measures and find that sudden increases in the perception of risk in the Canadian banking system are associated with a weaker outlook for business loans and real gross domestic product.
We introduce a new proxy for measuring corporate bond liquidity, using the price of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that hold corporate bonds. It measures the average liquidity across 900 corporate bonds every day, many more than other proxies used in previous Bank of Canada analysis. The new proxy nonetheless paints a very similar picture of liquidity conditions and confirms the previous findings: the liquidity of bonds has generally improved since 2010.
We create a hypothetical scenario to study the role bond funds play in intensifying shocks to the financial system. Using data from 2018 and 2007, we find that bond funds play a larger role now than they did in the past.