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What’s Up with GCF Repo®?
In a recent Important Notice, the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (FICC) announced that it would no longer support interbank trading for its General Collateral Finance Repo Service. (GCF Repo, hereafter GCF Repo, is a registered service mark of FICC.) But what exactly is the GCF Repo market? And what is interbank GCF Repo specifically? In a series of four posts we take a close look at the GCF Repo market and how it has evolved recently. This first post provides an overview of the GCF Repo market and evaluates its size relative to that of the tri-party repo market as a whole. We also explain ...
What’s Your WAM? Taking Stock of Dealers’ Funding Durability
One of the lessons from the recent financial crisis is the need for securities dealers to have durable sources of funding. As evidenced by the demise of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, during times of stress, cash lenders may pull away from firms or funding markets more broadly. Lengthening the tenor of secured funding is one way for a dealer to mitigate the risk of losing funding when market conditions are strained. In this post, we use clearing bank tri-party repo data to examine the degree to which dealers are lengthening the maturities of their sources of funding. (Aggregate statistics ...
Don’t Be Late! The Importance of Timely Settlement of Tri-Party Repo Contracts
Tri-party repo is popular among securities dealers as a way to raise short-term funding. The tri-party repo settlement process has been improved, and continues to be improved, with the implementation of a set of recent reforms. Two main goals of these reforms are to sharply reduce the amount of liquidity needed to facilitate the settlement of tri-party repo contracts, and to increase the use of more resilient sources of liquidity (for example, term financing and committed credit) to ensure that settlement can occur in good and bad times. In this post, we detail how the reforms have affected ...
Understanding the Interbank GCF Repo® Market
In this post, we provide a different perspective on the General Collateral Finance (GCF) Repo market. Instead of looking at the market as a whole, as we did in our previous post , or breaking it down by type of dealer, as we did in this primer, we disaggregate interbank activity by clearing bank and by collateral class. This perspective highlights the most traded collateral and the extent to which dealers at a clearing bank are net borrowers or net lenders. This view of the market is informative given the proposed changes announced recently by the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation.
Excess Funding Capacity in Tri-Party Repo
Security dealers sometimes enter into tri-party repo contracts to fund one class of securities with the expectation they will wind up settling the contract with higher quality securities. This strategy is costly to dealers because they could have borrowed funds at lower rates had they agreed to use the higher-quality securities at the outset. So why do dealers do this? Why obtain or arrange excess funding for the initial asset class? In this post, we discuss possible rationales for an excess funding strategy and measure the extent of excess funding capacity in the tri-party repo market. In a ...
Are New Repo Participants Gaining Ground?
Following the 2007-09 financial crisis, regulations were introduced that increased the cost of entering into repurchase agreements (repo) for bank holding companies (BHC). As a consequence, banks and securities dealers associated with BHCs, a set of firms which dominates the repo market, were predicted to pull back from the market. In this blog post, we examine whether this changed environment allowed new participants, particularly those not subject to the new regulations, to emerge. We find that although new participants have come on the scene and made gains, they remain a small part of the ...
The Cost and Duration of Excess Funding Capacity in Tri-Party Repo
In a previous post, we showed that dealers sometimes enter into tri-party repo contracts to acquire excess funding capacity, and that this strategy is most prevalent for the agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and equity asset classes. In this post, we examine the maturity of the repos used to pursue this strategy and estimate the associated costs. We find that repos that generate excess funding capacity for equities and corporate debt have longer maturities than the average repo involving either of these asset classes. Furthermore, the premiums dealers pay to maintain excess funding ...