Do You Know How Your Treasury Trades Are Cleared and Settled?
The Treasury Market Practices Group (TMPG) recently released a consultative white paper on clearing and settlement processes for secondary market trades of U.S. Treasury securities. The paper describes in detail the many ways Treasury trades are cleared and settled? information that may not be readily available to all market participants?and identifies potential risk and resiliency issues. The work is designed to facilitate discussion as to whether current practices have room for improvement. In this post, we summarize the current state of clearing and settlement for secondary market Treasury ...
Price risk intermediation in the over-the-counter derivatives markets: interpretation of a global survey
In April 1995, central banks in twenty-six countries conducted a global survey of the financial derivatives markets' size and structure. The authors' analysis of the survey results suggests that at the time of the survey, dealers in the aggregate assumed only small exposures to price risks in meeting end-user demands. In addition, despite the derivatives markets' large size, potential price shocks there would still be appreciably smaller in scale than price shocks in the cash markets. Thus, the overall effect of derivatives markets may be to modify and redistribute exposures to price risks in ...
Expected repo specialness costs and the Treasury auction cycle
Repo rates for the most recently issued or "on-the-run" securities often diverge from general repo rates. The purpose of this study is to convey that relatively sizable divergences in repo rates for on-the-run issues are normal repeating events for the Treasury market, rather than evidence of abnormal circumstances. The costs associated with these repo market premia are small for short holding periods and are sometimes offset by gains from declining cash market premia for longer holding periods. Moreover, repo specialness costs seem small when considered against the alternative of not ...
The Treasury Market Practices Group: A Consequential First Decade
The Treasury Market Practices Group (TMPG) was formed in February 2007 in response to the appearance of some questionable trading practices in the secondary market for U.S. Treasury securities. (A history of the origins of the TMPG is available here.) Left unaddressed, the practices threatened to harm the efficiency and integrity of an essential global benchmark market. The Group responded by identifying and publicizing “best practices” in trading Treasury securities—a statement of behavioral norms intended to maintain a level and competitive playing field for all market participants. ...
A pilot survey of agent securities lending activity
This paper reports aggregate statistics on securities lending activity based on a recently concluded pilot data collection by staff from the Office of Financial Research (OFR), the Federal Reserve System, and staff from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In its annual reports, the Financial Stability Oversight Council identified a lack of data about securities lending activity as a priority for the Council. This pilot data collection was a step toward addressing this critical data need. The voluntary pilot collection included end-of-day loan-level data for three non-consecutive ...
What Explains the June Spike in Treasury Settlement Fails?
In June of this year?as we noted in the preceding post?settlement fails in U.S. Treasury securities spiked to their highest level since the implementation of the fails charge in May 2009. Our first post reviewed what fails are, why they arise, and how they can be measured. In this post, we dig into the fails data to identify possible explanations for the high level of fails in June. We observe that sequential fails of several benchmark securities accounted for the lion?s share of fails in June, but that fails in seasoned securities?which have been trending upward for some time?were also ...
Mortgage refinancing and the concentration of mortgage coupons
Because of the concentrated distribution of interest rates on outstanding mortgages, modest interest rate declines in 1997 and 1998 made refinancing a smart choice for a record number of homeowners. In addition, the strong economy and the age of mortgage loans likely contributed to the surge in refinancing activity.
What’s behind the March Spike in Treasury Fails?
U.S. Treasury security settlement fails—whereby market participants are unable to make delivery of securities to complete transactions—spiked in March 2016 to their highest level since the financial crisis. As noted in this post, fails delay the settlement of transactions and can therefore lead to illiquidity, create operational risk, and increase counterparty credit risk. Fails in the Treasury market attract particular attention because of the market’s key role for global investors as a pricing benchmark, hedging instrument, and reserve asset. So what drove the March spike? In this ...
Repo market effects of the Term Securities Lending Facility
The Term Securities Lending Facility (TSLF) was introduced by the Federal Reserve to promote liquidity in the financing markets for Treasury and other collateral. We evaluate one aspect of the program--the extent to which it has narrowed repo spreads between Treasury collateral and less liquid collateral. We find that TSLF operations have precipitated a significant narrowing of repo spreads. More refined tests indicate the market conditions and types of operations associated with the program's effectiveness. Various additional tests, including a split-sample test, suggest that our findings ...
A Closer Look at the Federal Reserve’s Securities Lending Program
The Federal Reserve lends specific Treasury and agency debt securities held in its System Open Market Account (SOMA)—and accepts general Treasury securities as collateral—through its daily securities lending program. The program supports Treasury and agency debt market function by providing a secondary and temporary source of securities to the broader market through the Fed’s trading counterparties, the primary dealers. Importantly, the size and composition of the SOMA portfolio reflect past monetary policy decisions, limiting the program's ability to help alleviate all collateral ...