Unlocking the Treasury Market through TRACE
This joint FEDS Note and Liberty Street Economics blog post from staff at the Board of Governors and Federal Reserve Bank of New York aims to share initial insights on the Treasury cash transactions data reported to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)'s Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE).
Is There a Future for Credit Default Swap Futures?
Last year, IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) launched a credit default swap index futures contract. In the first two weeks there were spurts of interest in it, but soon it became evident that the new product was unable to generate sufficient demand. Given their short life span in the credit default swaps (CDS) market, the question becomes why were these futures contracts launched in the first place? And, assuming that they were created in response to a real need of market participants, will we see a revival of swap futures in the future?
The Effects of Entering and Exiting a Credit Default Swap Index
Since their inception in 2002, credit default swap (CDS) indexes have gained tremendous popularity and become leading barometers of the credit market. Today, investors who want to hedge credit risk or to speculate can choose from a broad menu of indexes that offer protection against the default of a firm, a European sovereign, or a U.S. municipality, among others. The major CDS indexes in the U.S. are the CDX.NA.IG and the CDX.NA.HY, composed of North American investment-grade (IG) and high-yield (HY) issuers, respectively. In this post, we focus on the CDX.NA.IG index. We discuss the ...
How Has Post-Crisis Banking Regulation Affected Hedge Funds and Prime Brokers?
“Arbitrageurs” such as hedge funds play a key role in the efficiency of financial markets. They compare closely related assets, then buy the relatively cheap one and sell the relatively expensive one, thereby driving the prices of the assets closer together. For executing trades and other services, hedge funds rely on prime brokers and broker-dealers. In a previous Liberty Street Economics blog post, we argued that post-crisis changes to regulation and market structure have increased the costs of arbitrage activity, potentially contributing to the persistent deviations in the prices of ...
Breaking Down TRACE Volumes Further
Following an earlier joint FEDS Note and Liberty Street Economics blog post that examined aggregate trading volume in the Treasury cash market across venues, this post looks at volume across security type, seasoned-ness (time since issuance), and maturity. The analysis, which again relies on transactions recorded in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's (FINRA) Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE), sheds light on perceptions that some Treasury securities—in particular those that are off-the-run—may not trade very actively. We confirm that most trading volume is made up of ...
Alternative Trading Systems in the Corporate Bond Market
We investigate the trading of corporate bonds on alternative trading system (ATS) platforms. We draw a key distinction between request-for-quote (RFQ) and electronic communication network (ECN) trading protocols, which balance investors’ preference for immediacy and anonymity. Trades on ATS platforms are smaller and more likely to involve investment-grade bonds. Trades on ATS platforms are more probable for older, less actively traded bonds from smaller issues and for bonds traded by more dealers where inventory is high. Moreover, dealer participation on ATS platforms is associated with ...
Unlocking the Treasury Market through TRACE
The U.S. Treasury market is widely regarded as the deepest and most liquid securities market in the world, playing a critical role in the global economy and in the Federal Reserve’s implementation of monetary policy. Despite the Treasury market’s importance, the official sector has historically had limited access to information on cash market transactions. This data gap was most acutely demonstrated in the investigation of the October 15, 2014, flash event in the Treasury market, as highlighted in the Joint Staff Report (JSR). Following the JSR, steps were taken to improve regulators’ ...
Treasury Market When-Issued Trading Activity
When the U.S. Treasury sells a new security, the security is announced to the public, auctioned a number of days later, and then issued sometime after that. When-issued (WI) trading refers to trading of the new security after the announcement but before issuance. Such trading promotes price discovery, which may reduce uncertainty at auction, potentially lowering government borrowing costs. Despite the importance of WI trading, and the advent of Treasury trading volume statistics from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), little is known publicly about the level of WI activity. ...
Since the 2007-09 financial crisis, the prices of closely related assets have shown persistent deviations—so-called basis spreads. Because such disparities create apparent profit opportunities, the question arises of why they are not arbitraged away. In a recent Staff Report, we argue that post-crisis changes to regulation and market structure have increased the costs to banks of participating in spread-narrowing trades, creating limits to arbitrage. In addition, although one might expect hedge funds to act as arbitrageurs, we find evidence that post-crisis regulation affects not only the ...
Have Dealers' Strategies in the GCF Repo® Market Changed?
In a previous post, “Mapping and Sizing the U.S. Repo Market,” our colleagues described the structure of the U.S. repurchase agreement (repo) market. In this post, we consider whether recent regulatory changes have changed the behavior of securities broker-dealers, who play a significant role in repo markets. We focus on the General Collateral Finance (GCF) Repo market, an interdealer market primarily using U.S. Treasury and agency securities as collateral. We find that some dealers use GCF Repo as a substantial source of funding for their inventories, while others primarily use GCF Repo ...