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The Fed Gets Its Ducks in a Row for the Next Wall Street Bailout; Quietly Adds Goldman Sachs Bank, Citibank to Its New $500 Billion Standing Repo Facility

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Jerome Powell (Thumbnail)

Jerome (Jay) Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board

Last Friday, with the public’s attention diverted to the surge in Omicron variant cases of COVID in the U.S. and holiday travelers’ attention focused on the safety of air travel and family gatherings, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York quietly announced, in a one sentence statement, that it was adding the following three federally-insured banks to its list of counterparties for its newly-minted $500 billion Standing Repo Facility: Citibank, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, and the New York Branch of Mizuho Bank.

If you’re stunned that Goldman Sachs is allowed to own a federally-insured bank under existing U.S. law, see our previous report: Goldman Sachs’ Rich Man’s Bank Backstopped by You and Me. If you’re stunned that a New York branch of Mizuho Bank, part of the Japanese conglomerate Mizuho Financial Group, is able to have federal deposit insurance backstopped by the U.S. taxpayer, welcome to the world of borderless global banking for the one percent.

These three banks have a number of things in common: (1) each financial institution already has a broker-dealer affiliate that is already one of the Fed’s 24 primary dealers that participates in the Fed’s repo operations; (2) each of the three banks’ primary dealer affiliates took large, secret loans from the Fed’s repo facility when credit collapsed on Wall Street on September 17, 2019; (3) all three institutions have trillions of dollars in exposure to derivatives according to data from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

If all three banks already have broker-dealer affiliates participating in the Fed’s repo loan facility, why would another affiliate be added? The first thought that comes to mind is the fact that the Fed puts a daily cap on the dollar amount that each counterparty can borrow per day. By having two affiliates as counterparties, the amount that can be borrowed is doubled.

Why would these three banks need to have a sugar daddy at the Fed to loan them money in a financial crisis? Because all three banks have huge exposure to derivatives. According to the latest report from the OCC, as of September 30, 2021, Goldman Sachs Bank USA had $387 billion in assets versus $48 trillion (yes, trillion) in notional (face amount) derivatives. Citibank had $1.7 trillion in assets versus $44 trillion in notional derivatives. Mizuho’s bank holding company had $48.8 billion in assets versus $6 trillion in derivatives.



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