The Fed announced this morning that they will be extending U.S. dollar liquidity swaps through summer of 2011. This is basically their way of saying that they’re worried about the risk of a dollar funding crisis still. That’s not unreasonable given the elevated risks in Europe (it’s nice to see a more proactive Fed), however, it does expose the USA to a risk that it should never have – foreign denominated debt risk. They issued this useful primer on swaps along with the announcement:
Why has the Federal Reserve re-established temporary U.S. dollar liquidity swap facilities with foreign central banks?
The swap facilities announced in May 2010 respond to the re-emergence of strains in short term funding markets in Europe. They are designed to improve liquidity conditions in global money markets and to minimize the risk that strains abroad could spread to U.S. markets, by providing foreign central banks with the capacity to deliver U.S. dollar funding to institutions in their jurisdictions.
With which central banks has the Federal Reserve entered into swap facilities?
The Federal Reserve has established swap arrangements with the Bank of Canada (BOC), the Bank of England (BOE), the European Central Bank (ECB), the Swiss National Bank (SNB), and the Bank of Japan (BOJ).
How will the swap facilities function?
The swap lines with the ECB, BOE, SNB and BOJ will provide these central banks with the capacity to conduct tenders of U.S. dollars in their local markets at fixed local rates for full allotment, similar to arrangements that had been in place previously. The swap line with the Bank of Canada allows for drawings of up to $30 billion. The terms, structure, and operational mechanics of these swap agreements closely parallel the arrangements that expired on February 1, 2010. For reference please see the attached link.
For how long are the swap facilities expected to be operational?
These swap arrangements have been authorized through August 1, 2011. Central banks may request drawings on their swap lines up to the date of expiration.
Is the Federal Reserve exposed to foreign exchange or private bank risk in extending these lines?
No. Dollars provided through the reciprocal currency swaps are provided by the Federal Reserve to foreign central banks, not to the institutions obtaining the funding in these operations. The foreign central bank receiving dollars determines the terms on which it will lend dollars onward to
The Governor invited the Committee to vote on the proposition that:
Bank Rate should be maintained at 0.5%;
The Bank of England should finance a further £50 billion of asset purchases by the creation of central bank reserves, implying a total quantity of £175 billion of such asset purchases. The Bank should seek to complete the additional purchases within the next three months.
Six members of the Committee (Charles Bean, Paul Tucker, Kate Barker, Spencer Dale, Paul Fisher and Andrew Sentance) voted in favour of the proposition. Three members of the Committee (the Governor, Tim Besley and David Miles) voted against, preferring to increase the size of the asset purchase programme by £75 billion to a total of £200 billion.
Yep, Mervyn King, together with Besley and Miles wanted the rate of monetary stimulus increasing, not just extending at the current rate of £50bn-a-quarter. That was good for half a cent off sterling versus the dollar and a third of a cent v the euro on Wednesday morning. Gilts, of course, spiked higher.
The extraordinary thing about UK monetary policy today is how close it is shadowing fiscal policy. This year, the Bank of England printing presses will produce roughly the same amount of new money as this year’s fiscal deficit. Or to put it more bluntly, the private sector have, on a net basis, stopped lending money to the government.
Last Sunday (31 January) Zero Hedge ran an article drawing attention to the big names in the hedge fund community who are betting heavily that the yuan will suffer a major devaluation any time between the next few months and perhaps the next three years.
The impression given is that this view is universal, almost to the exclusion of any other.
The China currency debate in financial markets is rather interesting right now with many market ramifications. A rapid depreciation in the Chinese currency could lead to an Asian currency market crisis. I can see both sides of the current debate of a rapid devaluation versus a prolonged drawn out devaluation of the currency.
Buying something at good value is a good approach, however it is another approach to know when to enter and exit the market, enter Wyckoff logic. If You 'know nothing' of Wyckoff logic is a good time to start.
Throughout the past 30 days of wild volatility, here’s what I didn’t do.
Panic. Worry. Sell.
In fact, the best I did was add to a couple of positions yesterday. The world was already in an uncertain state for the past 3+ years. It’s just that with the market rising, we pushed the issue to the back of our mind and ignored it.
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A number of systemic, structural forces are intersecting in 2016. One is the rise of non-state, non-central-bank-issued crypto-currencies.
We all know money is created and distributed by governments and central banks. The reason is simple: control the money and you control everything.
The invention of the blockchain and crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin have opened the door to non-state, non-central-bank currencies--money that is global and independent of any state or central bank, or indeed, any bank, as crypto-currencies are structurally peer-to-peer, meaning they don't require a bank to function: people can exchange crypto-currencies to pay for goods and services without a bank acting as a clearinghouse for all these transactions.
Last year, the S&P 500 large caps closed 2015 essentially flat on a total return basis, while the NASDAQ 100 showed a little better performance at +8.3% and the Russell 2000 small caps fell -5.9%. Overall, stocks disappointed even in the face of modest expectations, especially the small caps as market leadership was mostly limited to a handful of large and mega-cap darlings.
Notably, the full year chart for the S&P 500 looks very much like 2011. It got off to a good start, drifted sideways for...
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Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).
Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself.
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
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