Blog Archives

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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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Part 1: Still no data – What’s taking so long?

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It’s three years after the financial crisis, and we still don’t have the most basic data that we  need in order to be able to spot a gathering storm in the financial markets. Especially needed is more information about shadow … Continue reading

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Part 2: Here’s the data regulators need to collect on repo

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To spot the build-up of systemic risk in the financial markets, regulators need to collect six bits of information about every repo and securities lending transaction, according to a report from four economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New … Continue reading

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Top dealers to Fed: Flow of credit continues to slow

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Credit in key areas of the repurchase market continued to tighten in the fourth quarter, according to the Federal Reserve’s quarterly survey of senior credit managers at 20 leading Wall Street dealers. The finding furthers a trend that the Fed reseachers … 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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The media buzz about rehypothecation

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Updated July 30, 2013 Rehypothecation may be the news hook that finally gets the U.S. business press to start covering the repurchase market. Ever since the broker-dealer MF Global filed bankruptcy October 31, and word escaped that $1.2 billion of … Continue reading

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Keep an eye on this quarterly Fed study of repos

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A shortgage of trusted repo collateral is slowing the flow of credit in the U.S. and in Europe, and that trend is showing up in a survey of the repo market now being conducted quarterly by the Federal Reserve. Spotting … 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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WSJ steps up its repo coverage

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With no repo reform on the horizon, the European financial crisis threatens to erupt into a full-blown panic, Wall Street Journal reporter Kelly Evans wrote last week. While this is not news to RepoWatch readers, it’s big news to readers … Continue reading

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MF Global warning: Financial markets have not been fixed

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The October 31 bankruptcy of MF Global Holdings Ltd., a broker-dealer on Fifth Avenue in New York City, is important news for all Americans because it is a warning: The Dodd-Frank Act, which Congress passed 16 months ago to protect Americans … Continue reading

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European repo market continues rapid growth

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While the U.S. repo recovery has lagged since the 2008 crisis, the European repurchase market has been expanding for two years and rose rapidly in the first half of 2011, according to a biannual survey by the European Repo Council. Fifty-five survey respondents reported that the value of … Continue reading

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Leading crisis experts are trying to get our attention

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When three of the economists most knowledgeable about the financial crisis of 2007-2008 start jumping up and down, waving their arms and shouting “fire!” … maybe we should listen? That’s happening now. Three prominent economists are calling for a solution to … 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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FT: Volcker rule may exempt repos and securitization

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Repos and securitization, the combination that nearly destroyed the credit markets and the U.S. economy in 2007-2009, will not be prohibited by the Volcker rule, according to the Financial Times. The Volcker rule is intended to limit proprietary trading at … Continue reading

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Reuters: U.S. banks making repo loans to European banks

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Reuters reports U.S. banks have agreed in recent weeks to make billions of dollars of repurchase loans to European banks, contrary to the official word from U.S. regulators that American banks have reduced their exposure to European banks to a minimum … Continue reading

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Reuters: Repo participants are getting cautious

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Reuters news service reports some traders believe another run on repo has begun. Meanwhile, data tracked by RepoWatch shows a mild tightening. From an August 30 article by Reuters reporter Karen Brettell: Pockets of the fixed income and money markets … 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