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Bank of England to Buy Bonds on Whatever Scale Necessary to Halt Crisis

To restore orderly bond markets, the Bank of England is stepping in to halt a disorderly crash.
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UK 10-year bond yield courtesy of Trading Economics

UK 10-year bond yield courtesy of Trading Economics

In a news release, Bank of England Announces Gilt Market Operation.

The Bank is monitoring developments in financial markets very closely in light of the significant repricing of UK and global financial assets.

This repricing has become more significant in the past day – and it is particularly affecting long-dated UK government debt. Were dysfunction in this market to continue or worsen, there would be a material risk to UK financial stability. This would lead to an unwarranted tightening of financing conditions and a reduction of the flow of credit to the real economy.

In line with its financial stability objective, the Bank of England stands ready to restore market functioning and reduce any risks from contagion to credit conditions for UK households and businesses.

To achieve this, the Bank will carry out temporary purchases of long-dated UK government bonds from 28 September. The purpose of these purchases will be to restore orderly market conditions. The purchases will be carried out on whatever scale is necessary to effect this outcome. The operation will be fully indemnified by HM Treasury.

On 28 September, the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee noted the risks to UK financial stability from dysfunction in the gilt market. It recommended that action be taken, and welcomed the Bank’s plans for temporary and targeted purchases in the gilt market on financial stability grounds at an urgent pace.

These purchases will be strictly time limited. They are intended to tackle a specific problem in the long-dated government bond market. Auctions will take place from today until 14 October. The purchases will be unwound in a smooth and orderly fashion once risks to market functioning are judged to have subsided.

Temporary? How Temporary?

It will be interesting to see how temporary these "strictly time limited" actions turn out to be and also how fast the bond buys will be unwound.

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