Category Archives: Crisis of 2007-2008

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Why you should worry if the U.S. defaults

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This commentary first appeared in the Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat. As Congress once again threatens to default on U.S. debt, you are going to hear more predictions of doom. Should you be concerned? Yes. Let me explain this by … Continue reading

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Finally, a U.S. business reporter says it out loud

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“Wall Street’s One-Night Stands; Someone Could Get Hurt in Repo Market” by David Weidner, The Wall Street Journal MoneyBeat, Writing on the Wall, May 29, 2013: “The repo market wasn’t just a part of the meltdown. It was the meltdown.” … Continue reading

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Covering the Repo Market and Shadow Banking

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From the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University: Mary Fricker, founder of RepoWatch.org, said the repurchase market is a key reason for the ferocity of the financial crisis. She shares her tips and resources … Continue reading

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The future looks a lot like the past

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“Regulation of shadow banking is starting to look more and more like regulation of traditional banking 100 to 150 years ago, when it took decades of runs on banks, bank failures and economic agony before  Congress in 1933 finally approved … Continue reading

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NY Fed chief lays it on the line, for bankers and for the rest of us

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It felt like “The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.” First to appear was departing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who told Wall Street Journal economics editor David Wessel in a wide-ranging exit interview January 17 that the financial markets are much … Continue reading

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How journalists can learn from the 2008 financial crisis

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This post is a transcript of  an 11-minute talk RepoWatch editor Mary Fricker gave to college journalism professors, students and others at the 11th Annual Convergence and Society Conference, Advancing Business Journalism and Convergence, at the University of South Carolina School … Continue reading

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Shadow banking, part 1: Failure to reform shadows hurts economy, endangers financial markets

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Updated June 18, 2012 One of the failures of the Dodd-Frank Act was in not restructuring shadow banking, with a sturdy repo market at its heart, so it could safely gear back up to boost credit and help the economy … Continue reading

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News round-up: Repo and shadow banking A to Z

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RepoWatch recommends the following reports. Search for the topics that interest you: DataWatch, Financial crisis, Finding a fix, Hedge funds, Regulation, Repurchase market, Securities lending, Securitization, Shadow banking, Too big to fail, and Tri-party repo. Items are arranged chronologically, within … Continue reading

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Part 1: Tri-party repo’s problems are deep and unresolved

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The tri-party repurchase market is more vulnerable to panic and abuse and further from being fixed than has previously been understood, based on recent reports. This matters, because tri-party was the chief trouble spot in the financial markets in 2007 … Continue reading

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News roundup: Repo and shadow banking in the crosshairs

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Repo and shadow banking have been getting a lot of attention lately. It’s rewarding that an understanding of their importance is spreading. RepoWatch recommends the following reports, arranged within topics that are listed alphabetically: Financial crisis “Getting up to speed … Continue reading

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Matt King had it right in 2008, joins Gorton, Milne

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Commentary The Financial crisis of 2008 was not caused by financial institutions having to write down the value of subprime loans, collateralized debt obligations of asset-backed securities, asset-backed commercial paper, auction rate securities, and just plain old home loans. Instead, … Continue reading

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To understand the financial crisis, read this book

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Book Review If you only read one book about the financial crisis, read “The Fall of the House of Credit” by Alistair Milne, a professor of financial economics at Loughborough University in Leicestershire, UK, north of London. This book, which … Continue reading

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Regulators talk tough about tri-party reform

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If the industry task force working to make the tri-party repurchase market more stable in a crisis won’t do the job, regulators may have to do it for them. That tough warning comes from William Dudley, president of the Federal … Continue reading

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In brief: The leveraged bankers did it

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RepoWatch believes the financial crisis of 2007-2008 was caused more by giant financial institutions borrowing too much money than by homeowners borrowing too much money. Leading UK banker Andrew G Haldane takes a somewhat similar view. Haldane is executive director of … Continue reading

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In brief: The demand side did it

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University of Oregon professor Mark Thoma believes the cause of the financial panic in 2007-2008 is likely to lie with the demand side of the market, more than the supply side. So does International Monetary Fund economist Zoltan Pozsar. So does RepoWatch. … Continue reading

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Bloomberg details Fed’s three-year bailout frenzy

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Bloomberg News has given us a stunning picture of the frantic efforts by the Federal Reserve to save the credit markets between August 2007 and April 2010. The report doesn’t mention the R-word (repo), even though fear for the repurchase … Continue reading

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Why banks had so much skin in the game

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One of the great surprises of the financial crisis of 2007-2008 was that commercial and investment banks held one-fourth of the mortgage-backed securities they’d supposedly sold to investors. This surprise shot a big hole in the pre-crisis theory that securitization … Continue reading

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Lenders, not borrowers, were the driving force behind the financial crisis

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Editor’s note: RepoWatch would like to recognize Financial Times editor Gillian Tett, whose August 11 column about the Pozsar report proves once again that she is far ahead of other journalists in her understanding of the core issues facing financial … Continue reading

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Repo makes the headlines, but similarity to 2008 rarely noted

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The news wires are flooded with stories using the r-word (repo). This is great news. RepoWatch is stoked. Suddenly, it seems that everyone in the financial markets is worried about the repurchase market,  because of the debt-ceiling stand-off in Washington, and … Continue reading

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Fear in today’s markets shows failure of Dodd-Frank

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If the financial crisis in 2007-2008 was fundamentally about mortgages, as many believe, why are we facing a similar financial crisis today? Here’s the answer: The fundamental problem three years ago was not mortgages. It was the repurchase market and credit default swaps. … Continue reading