As Repo Volumes Plunge And The GC-IOER Carry Trade Dries Up, One Third Of Treasury Repo Volume Is Now At Negative Rates
Zero Hedge was the first to observe the curious phenomenon of the collapse in the General Collateral-IOER carry trade following the implementation of the FDIC assessment rate back in early April (discussed in depth here) which continues to force repo rates far below where they would ordinarily be (and is generating an undue amount of stress on short end rates, impacting money markets, repo, and other shadow economy components, and also substantially complicating an unwind by the Fed if and when one occurs). But that's not all. As Barclays' Joseph Abate points out, another consequence, which is rapidly becoming appreciate by repo market players, is that up to a third of all Treasury repo volume now trades at sub zero rates, making life for money markets a living hell, which perhaps that was the goal all along... And while the fails rates for the time being has not picked up substantially (liquidity is still ample although if the Fed continues to pummel the market with its foolhardy sale of Maiden Lane II securities this may change, more on this later), it does present a complication for the Fed, should Bernanke decided to halt securities reinvestment. Granted it appears this will not be a major worry at a time when some believe QE3 is a given, and others believe QE2 Lite will be precisely the ineffectual, yet critical reinvestment of maturity securities.
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