DP15735 The (Not So) Quiet Period: Communication by ECB Decision-makers during Monetary Policy Blackout Days
We use confidential data to provide an empirical primer on the European Central Bank's (ECB) monetary policy quiet period between 2008 and 2021. Breaches of blackout rules happen regularly and their frequency is heterogeneous across ECB Governing Council members. We document that quiet period breaches trigger high-frequency market reactions that are up to twice as large as the median market reaction to speeches in inter-meeting periods. Controlling for member and time fixed effects, we find that breaches respond to absolute inflation deviations of policy-makers’ constituencies from the ECB's target and to interest rate spreads inside the euro area. We also exploit plausibly exogenous variation in the ECB's rotational voting schedule to show that non-voting members do not engage in strategic communication during the quiet period to lock in their voting peers.