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Tag Archives: liquidity

Why 2014? Less (Big) Banks, Fewer ‘Dollars’, No Growth

One of the biggest reasons why I always find the regulations explanation(s) so lacking is because of what is the biggest part of the scientific process. The excuses for problems in global liquidity and the dollar-based banking system in general have run the gamut of regulatory exercises. Who can forget, for one example, 2a7? That was 2016’s preferred explanation for a range of imbalances and “anomalies” that showed up at seemingly the most inopportune time. Always “unexpectedly.” The...

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2019: The Year of Repo

The year 2019 should be remembered as the year of repo. In finance, what happened in September was the most memorable occurrence of the last few years. Rate cuts were a strong contender, the first in over a decade, as was overseas turmoil. Both of those, however, stemmed from the same thing behind repo, a reminder that September’s repo rumble simply punctuated. To be frank, every year should be the year of repo. But by and large nobody cares because no one can see it. They don’t have an...

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Listen To China: Managed Decline, Not ‘Stimulus’

So much of the growth scare scenario relies upon China’s willingness to end it. By count of conventional Economics, there cannot be a case where a country like China just sits back and lets the economy fall into (further) decay. The argument will always devolve into some form of debate as to economic potential, but surely in a place like that such a thing is up from here not down. Perversely, the more the Chinese economy slows the more Western commentary assures anyone who will listen to...

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How Do You Spell R-E-P-O With C-L-O?

There’s trouble brewing in a particular sector of the corporate bond market. It’s not really new trouble, merely the continuation of doubts and angst that have existed for more than a year already. What’s different now is that it is finally causing more open disruptions, and thus sparking our interest as to what it might mean well beyond this specific market or corporate finance. Including and especially what it could do to repo. What I’m writing about is CLO’s, or collateralized loan...

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There’s No S-L-R in R-E-P-O

JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon has been running around Washington claiming that mid-September’s repo rumble was the result of the post-crisis regulatory environment. He now says that his bank had the spare cash and was willing to cash in on double digit repo rates but it was government rules which prevented that from happening. It’s unclear (but we can, and I will, guess) why he didn’t make the same claim and warn everyone on Friday, September 13, before the seasonal low point in liquidity that...

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The Spread of Collateral, Credit, and Spreads

When we talk about money dealers (not just primary dealers) and liquidity, we aren’t just zeroing in on the repo market. Money market conditions such as what we can observe in the part of the global repo market that ends up hitting the tape can be helpful in assessing overall liquidity. It isn’t, however, the complete picture. If money dealers are shy in repo, where else might they be reluctant to willingly add their resources (balance sheet capacities)? Whether we fully appreciate it or not,...

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Tidbits Of Further Warnings: Houston, We (Still) Have A (Repo) Problem

Despite the name, the Fed doesn’t actually intervene in the US$ repo market. I know they called them overnight repo operations, but that’s only because they mimic repo transactions not because the central bank is conducting them in that specific place. What really happened was FRBNY allotting bank reserves (in exchange for UST, MBS, and agency collateral) only to the 24 primary dealers. These were repos only between those entities and the Federal Reserve. It had nothing directly to do with...

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Head Faking In The Empty Zoo: Powell Expands The Balance Sheet (Again)

They remain just as confused as Richard Fisher once was. Back in ’13 while QE3 was still relatively young and QE4 (yes, there were four) practically brand new, the former President of the Dallas Fed worried all those bank reserves had amounted to nothing more than a monetary head fake. In 2011, Ben Bernanke had admitted basically the same thing. But who was falling for it? The stock market, sure. Investors on Wall Street are still betting as if it will work any day now. The financial media,...

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The Wholesale Zoo: Where Did All The Animals Go?

One of the most maddening aspects of the recent repo market, federal funds mashup is the lack of context behind it. The event is being characterized and described as if in isolation. Regulations are squeezing dealers at the same time there is a lack of bank reserves. Thanks to QT, there’s just not enough liquidity to go around. Therefore, the Fed adds a repo facility of some type and, voila, back to our regularly scheduled programming. It all sounds very comforting. The focus on bank reserves...

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Sizing Up the Cavalry

There’s been an unusual level of honesty coming out of Liberty Street of late. Not total honesty but certainly more than the usual nothing denials and dismissals. If you don’t immediately recognize the reference, that’s the street in NYC where FRBNY and its Open Market Desk resides. What is supposed to be the moneyed centered of the universe. After all, as Ben Bernanke famously threatened in November 2002, that’s the printing press. Or is it? In my own conversations and from I’ve been reading...

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