The liquidity management strategies of fund managers, supported by policy measures, have helped bond funds limit the increase in redemptions caused by COVID 19. This avoided further deterioration in liquidity in bond markets. Nevertheless, these funds were left with lower cash buffers, which could make them more vulnerable to additional large redemptions.
Ryan Shotlander is a Research Assistant in the Financial Markets Department at the Bank of Canada.
Staff Analytical Notes
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.
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.