Market Manipulation, Price Bubbles, and a Model of the U.S. Treasury Securities Auction Market

Chatterjea, Arkadev; Jarrow, Robert A.
June 1998
Journal of Financial & Quantitative Analysis;Jun98, Vol. 33 Issue 2, p255
Academic Journal
This paper models the U.S. Treasury securities auction market and demonstrates that market manipulation can occur in a rational equilibrium. It is a dynamic model with traders participating in a "when-issued" market, a Treasury auction, and a resale market. Manipulations occur when dealers in the when-issued market use their knowledge of the net order flow in order to corner the auction and squeeze the shorts (from the when-issued market). This manipulation equilibrium generates bubbles in Treasury security prices and specials in repo rates. We also compare discriminatory and uniform price auction rules with respect to manipulation. Our analysis shows that manipulations can occur in long-run equilibrium under discriminatory price auctions, but not under uniform price auctions.


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