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If it walks like a bank, it should be regulated like a bank

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Financial institutions that borrow short-term loans and use that money to lend long-term loans – that is, they borrow short and lend long – should be regulated like FDIC-insured banks. That’s the essence of a new paper by Morgan Ricks, a … Continue reading

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Fitch: Shortage of risk-free repo collateral hits prime money market funds

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Prime money market funds, which invest in both corporate and government securities, are increasingly accepting nongovernment securities as collateral for repo loans, according to an August 4 Fitch Ratings survey of the 17 money market funds it rates. The survey did not say what … Continue reading

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Using taxes, fees or haircuts to reform repo

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Americans don’t hear much debate these days on ways to avoid having to bail out the repurchase market again. That’s a problem, because Congress is not likely to act on an issue the American public is not paying attention to. … 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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WSJ: REITS fall on repo fears

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In an otherwise enlightening August 2 story about how repo-dependent Real Estate Investment Trusts fared during the debt ceiling crisis, Wall Street Journal reporter John Jannarone made the following statement: Fortunately, the repo market is unlikely to freeze up entirely. … Continue reading

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Risk may move from credit default swaps to repos

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In the financial crisis of 2007-2008, much of the systemic risk that forced federal regulators to inject trillions of dollars into the financial markets to keep them from collapsing was caused by repos and credit default swaps. Now it appears the … Continue reading

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Economists: Repos underlie financial crisis in Europe

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The financial crisis in Europe grows out of banks’ excessive use of repos and their assumption that government officials will not let the repurchase market fail, according to a July 2011 report by two economists. In “Europe on the Brink,” economists Peter Boone and Simon … Continue reading

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The repurchase market has become Too Big To Fail

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Commentary From the editor: Have the U.S. and Europe reached the point where borrowers can not be allowed to default on their debt, and their lenders or investors can’t be forced to eat any losses, if financial institutions are widely using the debt as collateral … Continue reading

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JPM and BoNY exposed during debt-ceiling crisis

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Editor’s note: It’s a scandal that Bernanke and Geithner handed reform of tri-party repo to  the bankers instead of to Congress and Dodd-Frank and the reform has not been done. Commentary The most vulnerable banks during this U.S. debt-ceiling crisis … Continue reading

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Have you checked your repo market today?

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One of the best ways for RepoWatch readers to see what’s going on daily in the repo market during the U.S. debt crisis is the DTCC GFC Repo Index. If you check the DTCC index now, you will see that average rates on repo loans collateralized with Treasuries, though still low, … 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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Watching U.S. money market funds for signs of a run on EU repo

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New reports from Fitch Ratings and the Financial Times say U.S. money market funds are cutting their exposure to European banks, presumably to protect themselves in the event of a full-blown EU debt crisis. But neither report answers a critical question … Continue reading

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If there’s an EU credit panic, repos could transmit it to U.S. banks

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Money market funds, interbank lending and the repurchase market would likely be the key sources of contagion for U.S. banks if Europe’s debt problems panic the credit markets, according to a July 21 article by Jeff Horwitz at the American … 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

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NY Fed economist buries the bad news about tri-party repo reform

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Commentary From the editor: To those of you who read the latest from the New York Fed’s Liberty Street economists, Stabilizing the Tri-Party Repo Market by Eliminating the ‘Unwind,’ I hope you read to the end of the piece. At … Continue reading

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JP Morgan: Repos will transmit the shockwave of a U.S. default

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Money market funds, repos and foreign investors will transmit the shockwave of a U.S. default throughout the economy and the government, according to a JP Morgan report. The authors of the report said they think a default is highly unlikely. But if … Continue reading

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Fitch: Repo could be ‘serious’ threat to money market funds if U.S. defaults

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If the U.S. defaults on its debt payments, a key danger to U.S. money market funds lies on the repurchase market, Fitch Ratings said in a special report July 18. Fitch said it continues to believe an agreement will be reached … Continue reading

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FT: A U.S. default could threaten world’s ‘plumbing system’

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Finally we have a news story from the mainstream business press that explains the potential dangers of a U.S. default. Congratulations to the Financial Times for its consistent, clear reporting on the repurchase market and for not being afraid to … Continue reading

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Doubt cast on key tri-party repo reform

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Three years after the financial crisis, Wall Street banks still have not fixed one of the most dangerous flaws in the markets, and they said July 6 they will not be able to meet an October 2011 deadline for reform … Continue reading

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Press reports unclear on dangers of Greek default

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Last updated June 26, 2012 Commentary From the editor: The main reason world finance officials want to prevent Greece from defaulting on its debt is the same reason U.S. officials bailed out the investment banks in 2008:  To prevent a … Continue reading