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
Hopefully this portends a shake-up of the Administration’s economic policy but that will very much depend on who is appointed to replace him. It is, once again, the economy stupid and Larry’s stint as Director of the National Economics Council has given us far too much of the same at a time where we really needed — change. As Barry Rhitholtz points out:
He was one of the chief architects of the crisis. In addition to believing all of the usual foolishness about efficient markets, he bought into the radical deregulation arguments pushed by the free market absolutists.
Summers was Treasury Secretary when Glass Steagall was repealed. Instead of speaking out against the irresponsible Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999), he actively supported it. Instead of explaining to the public how Glass Steagall prevented Wall Street crises from spilling over into Main Street for 65 years, he rolled over for Citibank. The repeal of Glass Steagall was not a cause of the crisis, but it allowed the net damage to be far, far worse than it would have otherwise been. And it was emblematic of the corporate takeover of the legislative process. For a fee (campaign donation) you could write your own regulations. How could that ever go wrong?
Even more ruinously, Summers oversaw the passage of Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000 that exempted financial derivatives from all regulatory oversight. The CFMA made the AIG collapse not only possible, but likely. It helped to set up both Lehman and Bear Stearns. CFMA allowed AIG FP to write over $3 trillion in derivatives, reserving precisely zero dollars in case an underwritten derivative needed to be paid.
Larry has to get out of town before the Administration goes after his meal-ticket and begins asking Big Business to pay their fair share, an issue that is very likely to shape the next election cycle. The chart on the left is a measure of taxes paid in relation to GDP and you’ll notice that corporations…
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.
When markets broke on Wednesday, XIV soared, stocks followed and the volumeless levitation was praised by all as evidence that the world was once again fixed. Yesterday we also saw NYSE Euronext 'break' into the European melt-up close, and later that day, as Ebola headlines hit, the market once again broke numerous times with various exchanges declaring self-help against one another as stocks tumbled on heavy volume. If you are wondering how it is that "the great stock markets in the world" can break so often (and be so ignored by financial media), Nanex exposes the act... as massive quote spamming yesterday sent OPRA to full capacity (broke the efficient flow of ...
The Weekly Leading Index (WLI) of the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) is at 131.9, down substantially from the previous week's 131.4. The WLI annualized growth indicator (WLIg) is at -0.1, down from 1.0 the previous week and its first negative print since August of 2012.
ECRI has been at the center of a prolonged controversy since publicizing its recession call on September 30, 2011. The company had made the announcement to its private clients on September 21st. ECRI's cofounder and spokesman, Lakshman Achuthan, subsequently forecast that the recession would begin in Q1 2012, or Q2 at the latest. He later identified mid-2012 as the start of the recession. Over the past two years he has been a frequent guest on...
If you're following Valeant's proposed takeover (or merger) of Allergan and the lawsuit by Allergan against Valeant and notorious hedge fund manager William Ackman, for insider trading this is a must-read article.
Linette Lopez describes the roles played by key Wall Street hedge fund owners--Jim Chanos, John Paulson, and Mason Morfit, a major shareholder in Valeant. Linette goes through the con...
There is lots of action in Southwest Airlines Co. November expiry call options today ahead of the air carrier’s third-quarter earnings report prior to the opening bell on Thursday. Among the large block trades initiated throughout the trading session, there appears to be at least one options market participant establishing a call spread in far out of the money options. It looks like the trader purchased a 4,000-lot Nov 37/39 call spread at a net premium of $0.40 apiece. The trade makes money if shares in Southwest rally 9.0% over the current price of $34.32 to exceed the effective breakeven point at $37.40, with maximum potential profits of $1.60 per contract available in the event that shares jump more than 13% to $39.00 by expiration. In September, the stock tou...
Last week brought even more stock market weakness and volatility as the selloff became self-perpetuating, with nobody mid-day on Wednesday wanting to be the last guy left holding equities. Hedge funds and other weak holders exacerbated the situation. But the extreme volatility and panic selling finally led some bulls (along with many corporate insiders) to summon a little backbone and buy into weakness, and the market finished the week on a high note, with continued momentum likely into the first part of this week.
Despite concerns about global economic growth and a persistent lack of inflation, especially given all the global quantitative easing, fundamentals for U.S. stocks still look good, and I believe this overdue correction ultimately will shape up to be a great buying opportunity -- i.e., th...
Now that bitcoin has subsided from speculative bubble to functioning currency (see the price chart below), it’s safe for non-speculators to explore the whole “cryptocurrency” thing. So…is bitcoin or one of its growing list of competitors a useful addition to the average person’s array of bank accounts and credit cards — or is it a replacement for most of those things? And how does one make this transition?
With his usual excellent timing, London-based financial writer/actor/stand-up comic Dominic Frisby has just released Bitcoin: The Future of Money? in which he explains all this in terms most readers will have no tr...
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Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely. From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.
First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices. Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment. Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer. For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...
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