Quantitative Easing and Direct Lending in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis
When the COVID-19 crisis hit the economy in 2020, the Federal Reserve responded with numerous programs designed to prevent a collapse in bank credit and firms’ available funds. I develop a dynamic general equilibrium model to study how these programs work and to evaluate their effectiveness. In the model, quantitative easing works through three channels: the expansion of bank reserves lowers a liquidity premium, the purchase of assets lowers a volatility risk premium, and the economic stimulus lowers a credit risk premium. Since bank reserves are currently larger than in the past, the liquidity premium channel is weaker, and quantitative easing is less effective. Direct lending to firms at a market rate is also less effective. Direct lending to firms at a subsidized rate can be more stimulative than quantitative easing, provided that it lowers firms’ marginal borrowing rate and user cost of capital.
Keywords: Quantitative easing, credit easing, liquidity premium, risk premium.
JEL Classification Numbers: E32, E43, E51, E52, E58.
Suggested citation: Occhino, Filippo. 2020. “Quantitative Easing and Direct Lending in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper No. 20-29. https://doi.org/10.26509/frbc-wp-202029.