201708.17
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The Fed Tries To Tighten By Rates, But The System Instead Tightens By Repo

The Fed voted for the first federal funds increase in almost a decade on December 15, 2015. It was the official end of ZIRP, and though taking so many additional years to happen, to many it marked the start of recovery. The yield on the 2-year Treasury Note was 98 bps that day. A lot…

201706.26
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Follow-Up on Bills; Supply Side

Returning to the theme of the parallel evolutionary developments in the early 20th century as compared to the last decades of it, in 1908 famed Gilded Age industrialist Andrew Carnegie wrote what seems today a misplaced article for New York Outlook magazine. The steel magnate lamented the state of American banking, which he called within…

201706.26
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Chart of Last Week: In Need of Official Address

According to the US Treasury, the calculated equivalent treasury bill yield for the 4-week maturity was 76 bps at Friday’s close. At such a short time frame there isn’t actually a single instrument that creates the rate, more of an amalgamation (spline) of various 4-week securities staggered on their own. The bill maturing this week,…

201704.25
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Maybe A Bit More Complex Still?

One of the defining characteristics of the 2011 crisis was dollar swaps. Almost all attention was paid to PIIGS and focus on the European banks holding their debt, as well as the very real possibility that all would break up the euro. Behind all that was the same dollar troubles as in 2008, and for…

201704.11
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How We Got Here: Ignoring Even The Mathematics of Ideology When It Becomes Uncomfortable

On July 20, 2007, the much discussed slow-walk implementation of the Basel II framework was finally taking its form. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, all government agencies dealing in bank supervisory powers, issued a joint…

201703.06
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If You Believe There Was Too Much Money During The Monetary Panic, Then Why Not Heroin

November 2008 was an extremely busy month for authorities in the US. The financial markets had just undergone panic the month before, but rather than dissipate there were lingering indications that all was not yet over. On November 23, 2008, the Treasury Department, the FDIC, and the Federal Reserve issued a joint statement on Citigroup….

201703.02
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Where’s The Floor?

On February 23, the equivalent yield for the 4-week US Treasury bill was just 39 bps. That was almost 11 bps (counting full pips) below the so-called money rate floor, to which T-bills are a near enough equivalent to count in that view. It was also 36 bps below IOER, which at one time was…

201702.08
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The Very Important Task Of Trying To Figure Out What Happened In The Middle

The whole point of any “stimulus” is to buy time. The idea is to keep the economy busy or, in the case of more purely monetary policy, happy during that time so that the economy on the demand side can on its own heal. In the parlance of orthodox economics, “stimulus” reduces the output gap,…

201512.17
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Hail The RRP; Savior And Destroyer

Now that the FOMC has announced its intentions, it has to sit back and wait to see if it can actually do anything. This is the direct consequence of using the federal funds rate as the primary target, as it is a dead market that nobody really uses anymore. The only reason the Fed is…

201503.24
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There’s No Money In Monetary Policy, But There Are Feelings

Every other central bank in the world has at some point shifted their monetary policy framework to the world of secured short-term funding rather than unsecured. That shows the primacy of repo as opposed to what has been used almost exclusively in the US (and related eurodollars). The Federal Reserve has discussed letting go of…