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Regulatory Incentives and Quarter-End Dynamics in the Repo Market
Since the global financial crisis, central bankers and other prudential authorities have been working to design and implement new banking regulations, known as Basel III, to reduce risk in the financial sector. Although most features of the Basel III regime are implemented consistently across jurisdictions, some important details vary. In particular, banks headquartered in the euro area, Switzerland, and Japan report their leverage ratios?essentially, capital divided by total consolidated assets?as a snapshot of their value on the last day of the quarter. In contrast, institutions ...
The risk of fire sales in the tri-party repo market
This paper studies the risk of "fire sales" in the tri-party repo market, a large and important market where securities dealers find short-term funding for a substantial portion of their own and their clients' assets. We distinguish between fire sales of assets by a dealer who, facing a run that could lead to default, sells securities to generate liquidity, and fire sales of assets by repo investors after a dealer's default has occurred. While fire sales do cause damage no matter how they arise, the tools available to lessen the harm from the two types of fire sales are different. We find ...
The Market Events of Mid-September 2019
This paper studies the mid-September 2019 stress in U.S. money markets: On September 16 and 17, unsecured and secured funding rates spiked up and, on September 17, the effective federal funds rate broke the ceiling of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) target range. We highlight two factors that may have contributed to these events. First, reserves may have become scarce for at least some depository institutions, in the sense that these institutions’ reserve holdings may have been close to, or lower than, their desired level. Moreover, frictions in the interbank market may have ...
The Scarcity Value of Treasury Collateral: Repo Market Effects of Security-Specific Supply and Demand Factors
In the repo market, forward agreements are security-specific (i.e., there are no deliverable substitutes), which makes it an ideal place to measure the value of fluctuations in a security's available supply. In this study, we quantify the scarcity value of Treasury collateral by estimating the impact of security-specific demand and supply factors on the repo rates of all the outstanding U.S. Treasury securities. Our results indicate the existence of an economically and statistically significant scarcity premium, especially for shorter-term securities. The estimated scarcity effect is quite ...
The Federal Reserve’s Large-Scale Repo Program
The repo market faced extraordinary liquidity strains in March amid broader financial market volatility related to the coronavirus pandemic and uncertainty regarding the path of policy. The strains were particularly severe in the term repo market, in which borrowing and lending arrangements are for longer than one business day. In this post, we discuss the causes of the liquidity disruptions that arose in the repo market as well as the Federal Reserve’s actions to address those disruptions.