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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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London’s Financial Times is key to understanding repo and U.S. default

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Early next year, when Congress once again threatens to default on U.S. debt, you will need to have a subscription to the Financial Times to get timely information about conditions in the repo market, which is where the danger lies. … Continue reading

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Don’t touch my repo

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The repo industry has dire warnings for anyone who wants to rein in its market. The warnings are a sobering, inside look at how important the repurchase market has become to the world’s flow of credit. From the International Capital … Continue reading

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U.S. Regulators: Repo is vital, and it’s dangerous

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In the past three months, U.S. regulators have issued nine warnings about danger in the repo market, a market they repeatedly describe as critical to the worldwide financial system but needing reform. Is anyone listening? The Financial Stability Oversight Council, … 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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Economists and other analysts see value, danger in repo and shadow banking, urge reform

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Latest update: October 2, 2012 In recent months economists and other experts have published a torrent of reports on repo and shadow banking, noting their importance and their dangers and urging reform. Following are 74 of the reports, arranged chronologically … Continue reading

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News Round-up: Role of repo, securitization and shadow banking unsettled in post-crisis world

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RepoWatch recommends the following news reports. Items are arranged chronologically, with the most recent coming first. “Fed Said to Press BNY Mellon to Speed Repo Market Change” by Bradley Keoun, Bloomberg News, September 25: The Federal Reserve, seeking to cut … Continue reading

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The Federal Reserve’s century-long affair with repos

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Latest update: August 4, 2013 The Federal Reserve and the repurchase market are intimate partners in the financial system that delivers credit throughout the U.S. economy. For almost 100 years, they have relied on each other to help reach their … Continue reading

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An overview of shadow banking for journalists

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This post is a transcript of  a 12-minute talk RepoWatch editor Mary Fricker gave at the annual conference of Investigative Reporters & Editors in Boston June 15, 2012. Click here for accompanying handout and slides. Shadow banking was the epicenter of the financial … Continue reading

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News Round-up: Shadow bankers and regulators dig in for a long tug of war

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Updated June 18, 2012 RepoWatch recommends the following reports. Search for the topics that interest you: DataWatch, International repo market, Money market funds, Regulation, Repurchase transactions, Securitization, Shadow banking, Too big to fail, and Tri-party repo. Items are arranged chronologically, … Continue reading

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Repos are at the heart of the European distress

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As financial markets convulse over the European Union once again, RepoWatch would like to remind its readers that at the heart of the problem lies the repurchase market. Yes, some European countries spent too much money and now are burdened … Continue reading

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Shadow banking, part 3: Some experts call for FDIC-style safety net for shadow banking

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The financial crisis showed that the safety net for traditional banks can work. Although 436 banks failed from January 2008 through April 2012 – some large, like Washington Mutual, but none the size of Lehman Brothers – the FDIC handled … Continue reading

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Shadow banking, part 2: Lack of shadow master plan means impact of new rules is uncertain

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The shape of shadow banking reform is now clear. Congress and regulators are going to put a bunch of new rules in place, but they’re not going to articulate a coherent vision of what shadow banking should, or should not, … 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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A new entry to the repo underworld

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To Lehman Brothers’ repo 105′s and Lee Farkas’ repo fakes, we can now add Barclays’ repo stars. All are transactions viewed by regulators as trickery and deceit. Stars are explained in “Global taxation: Fiscal frustrations” by Megan Murphy and Jeff Gerth, … Continue reading