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Yep, the 2020s feel like the 1920s

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Latest update: August 18, 2021 “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”   – Mark Twain It’s hard not to notice the similarities between the 1920s and 2020s economy. Does that mean trouble is coming in 2029?   Maybe not exactly, … Continue reading

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A view of repo from Main Street

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Editor’s Note:  I recently wrote the following story for my local newspaper, the Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat. See the original story here.  -Mary Fricker   It used to be hard to get a loan and go into debt. Old-timers may … Continue reading

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Repo ended 2020 like it began: causing trouble

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Editor’s Note: The following summary of repo news in 2020 is based on the Breaking News that I post daily at repowatch.org. See the entire list of 2020 breaking news reports below this story. See 2021 breaking news reports that … Continue reading

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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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10 years after Lehman, in one community

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Editor’s Note:  The following news story, published today in my local newspaper, the Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat, attempts to show one way the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy 10 years ago, and the run on repo that followed, directly impacted a … Continue reading

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Yelling “Fire!” but no one moves

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Risk is rising in the land of shadow banking. Regulators don’t know how to track it, they don’t know what to do about it and it’s not going to end well. Those are the implications of recent reports whose authors … Continue reading

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The school of financial crises

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Something really smart is happening at the Yale School of Management. They’re training people to fight a financial crisis. (Editor’s note: You, too, can take some of this training, at no cost. See The Global Financial Crisis Project below.) After … 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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The 2008 crisis: Was it traditional banks or shadow banks?

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Still think the financial crisis happened at banks? Think the extensive regulation of banks that Congress and regulators have undertaken since 2008 has solved the problem? Take a look at this chart from “Shadow Banking Reemerges, Posing Challenges to Banks … 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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Commentary: SIFMA report ignores repo risk

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Dear readers, Last month the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, better known as SIFMA, published its US Repo Market Fact Sheet, 2015. This fact sheet contains the following paragraph: Safety of the repo market: The repo market has been … 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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2008 Fed meetings give blow by blow of crisis

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With the Federal Reserve’s release of the transcripts of key Fed meetings in 2008, anyone can read in detail how the financial crisis unfolded in that pivotal year. These transcripts, of the 14 meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee, should … Continue reading