Category Archives: Finding a Fix

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It’s not rocket science

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Dear readers, Please indulge me some personal reflection. Those of us who are trying to understand the last financial crisis, so we can prevent the next one, are often told that the next crisis will be different and unpredictable. That’s … Continue reading

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The Panic of 2007-8: What happened?

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Ten years after the Panic of 2007-8, there’s still major disagreement about what caused the financial crisis and the Great Recession. That’s the sobering revelation in a flurry of commentary written for the 10th anniversary of the Lehman bankruptcy. Lehman … Continue reading

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Bring back our crisis tools

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Editor’s Note:  The following opinion column was published today in my local newspaper, the Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat. See original column here.  Thanks.   -Mary Fricker By Mary Fricker To prevent the next financial crisis from being worse than the … Continue reading

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At mid-year, repo is like an ancient fable

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Today’s repurchase market is like the ancient fable of the six blind men and the elephant, where the blind men offer very different descriptions of what each saw when they touched an elephant in a different spot. The only thing … Continue reading

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2016 news round-up: So little has changed

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The biggest news about the repurchase market in 2016 was how little has changed since 2008. A year ago, the future looked brighter. 2015 was a hopeful year for people who want to see a solution to the risks that … Continue reading

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Unfinished business: Banking in the shadows

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Paul Volcker gets it. Will anyone listen? Here’s what he wants Americans to know: The main danger in the financial markets is not banks getting too big. The main danger in the financial markets is non-banks borrowing short to lend … Continue reading

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Repos make the news

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The big news about the repurchase market in 2015 was that it made the news. After decades when the largest financial market in the world rarely appeared in public, in 2015 repos finally hit the big time. At least 140 … Continue reading

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Lenders drove the boom and the bust

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In the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, trillions of new dollars flooded into housing.  Why? Was it coaxed into the housing market by borrowers who convinced bankers they could pay back the loans? No. It gushed into … Continue reading

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Bankruptcy act of 2005 worsened boom and bust

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One puzzle about the 2008 financial crisis is what caused the financial markets to bubble and burst at that particular time. One reason was The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.  Its provisions encouraged lenders to lend into … Continue reading

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Economists who best understand repo are still working to stabilize it: 2014 in review

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A series of conferences and reports in the second half of 2014 show that the economists who best understand the repo phenomenon are still worried about it and working to stabilize it. This is welcome news, after months of concern … Continue reading

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Runs still threaten the repurchase market: 2014 in review

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As 2014 comes to a close,  it’s tempting to try to assess how much systemic risk has been wrung out of the repurchase market by six years of reforms. A fair summary would be: Much proposed but little imposed. In … 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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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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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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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