Infotainment channels and slide-show CPM websites could easily mistake the data in the following charts as balance sheet stress, economic pressures, and financial industry health in Europe is improving. To contrary, it's so bad that the vehicle used to transfer the worlds reserve currency to those sovereign regions reaching out for help that the FED is now hopelessly handing cash right over.
Presented with limited comment
Hey, at least a handful of Ben's buddies will make a bundle ...
As JPM's Michael Feroli, he move to cut the Fed's swap lines rate from OIS+100 to OIS+50 should not come as a surprise: it was already in the works, the only question is when it would be enacted. As it so happens it was decided on Monday, and was announced today after unfounded rumors of a potential bank failure in Europe became apparent. There was however a twist: "The new foreign liquidity swaps, whereby the Fed can offer euros, yen, loonies, pounds or swiss francs to US banks, is a novel step and a curious feature of today's announcement. The Fed's official statement is that these are being implemented as a "contingency measure." There are no plans to make these operational in the near term, but are apparently being set up as a backup plan in the event of a worsening in global financial conditions." What this means remains unclear but the Fed never changes policy without reason. Which then begs the question: while everyone is focusing on foreign bank lack of USD liquidity, should the real focus be on US bank lack of foreign currency liquidity?
Rather than calming markets, these arrangements should indicate just how frightened governments around the world are about the European financial crisis. Central banks are grasping at straws, hoping that flooding the world with money created out of thin air will somehow resolve a crisis caused by uncontrolled government spending and irresponsible debt issuance. Congress should not permit this type of open-ended commitment on the part of the Fed, a commitment which could easily run into the trillions of dollars. These dollar swaps are purely inflationary and will harm American consumers as much as any form of quantitative easing.
Those wondering about the global Fed bailout (this is not the first time, recall How The Federal Reserve Bailed Out The World) can read the FAQ from none other than the source of the global liquidity tsunami itself.
As expected, the Fed has just bailed out the world once again:
- FED, ECB, BOJ, BOE, SNB, BANK OF CANADA LOWER SWAP RATES - BBG
- ECB, FED other major central bank to lower the pricing of existing USD liquidity swaps by 50BPS
And as we have been writing every single day, the worldwide dollar crunch is now confirmed:
- At present, there is no need to offer liquidity in non-domestic currencies other than the U.S. dollar,
This means that the global situation is far, far more dire than the talking heads have said. Luckily, when this step fails, which it will, Mars can always come and bail us out.
Better late .....here is all you need to read.
Technically the title of this post is wrong: the truth is that nobody could possibly know or predict what a bank run would looks like in details suffice to say that it would have terminal and devastating results on the global economy. One needs only remember what happened when the Reserve Fund broke the buck and the $3 billion money market industry was at risk of unwinding (for those who do not, Paul Kanjorski does a good summary here). What we do, however, wish to demonstrate is the tenuous balance between physical money - yes, just like precious metals, there is actual "physical money", better known as currency in circulation - and more abstract, confidence-based, "electronic money." Now when it comes to talking about systemic instability, pundits often enjoy bringing up the case of the $600+ trillion (recently discussed here in a different capacity) in synthetic derivatives, whose implosion would "wipe out the world." While that may indeed be the case (the memory of the CDS-precipitated AIG implosion is still all too fresh), since nobody really can comprehend the side effects of the collapse of global derivative system, which by some estimates is over $1 quadrillion when combining exchange and OTC based derivatives, it is largely based on pure conjecture. And, as we demonstrate below, one doesn't even need to do get that high up in the pyramid of credit money. The truth is that should there be an American bank run, what would happen is the conversion of all electronic dollars into physical dollars, as retail Americans rush to empty their checking and savings accounts, exit their money markets, while institutional America converts all "shadow" liabilities into hard dollar assets (Zero Hedge has a specific methodology of defining what liabilities make up the shadow banking system). The truth is that should there be a D-Day in the American banking system and there is a global scramble for physical paper (ignore gold) the conversion ratio for binary dollars into hard ones could be as high as 30 to 1. Which begs the question: should one apply a 90% discount when evaluating their electronic dollar exposure? That, and many other questions too...
Moody's Downgrades Operating Entities Of Belgium's Dexia, The Bank Most Rescued By The Fed, From A1 To A3Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/08/2011 07:13 -0500
Watch for those FRBNY liquidity swaps to spring in action momentarily as Dexia was, is and will be the bank that sets off the dominoes in Europe's core. "Moody's Investors Service has downgraded to A3 from A1 the long-term senior debt and deposit ratings of Dexia Group's three main operating entities: Dexia Bank Belgium (DBB), Dexia Credit Local (DCL) and Dexia Banque Internationale a Luxembourg (DBIL). This was driven by the lowering of these entities' Bank Financial Strength Ratings (BFSRs) to D, which corresponds to Ba2 on Moody's long-term scale, from C-/ Baa2 previously. The outlook on the BFSRs is negative.Dexia continues to suffer from the consequences of the financial imbalances mentioned above, inherited from the pre-crisis period. The rating agency recognises the group has made material improvements since the peak of the crisis
The Fed is not backing off of its desire to stimulate the economy, all it is doing is backing off of its policy of steadily adding to that stimulus. The air is not, on net, leaking from the tire, it is still in the balloon. That stimulus is still working and the key question is how effective it has been and will be.
Two weeks ago we broke the story that the bulk of the excess reserves, and thus cash, generated as part of QE2 has gone not to US banks, but to foreign banks operating in the US. One of the generic rebuttals of this observation was that it is naive to assume that European banks have been buying up the Treasurys issued by the Fed (and flipping these to their clients) which would also leads to a contemporaneous increase in excess reserves (over $630 billion since the start of QE3). This was a good question and we did not have a ready answer. Luckily, Stone McCarthy has come up with a resolution. In a just released note to clients, SMRA hints at how these banks have loaded up on cash without having to also see domestic assets surge (and instead just have just seen the net liability owed to foreign offices increase). The answer: Eurodollars.
Expect the usual: more promises of Marshall Plans, more FX liquidity swaps, more US taxpayer commitments to keep Europe afloat and the Greek retirement age under 60, etc.
The Fed Does Not Need QE3 And Can Fund Debt Monetization Merely From Rolling Debt And MBS Prepayments? WrongSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/11/2011 13:02 -0500
Recently there has been a meme spreading in the internet that the Fed does not really need to do QE3 as the central bank can maintain bid interest at sufficiently high levels by merely rolling and extending maturing debt, a form of QE Lite Version 2, where the Fed's balance sheet is kept constant even as MBS are prepaid and Treasuries mature. The argument goes that based on some "logic" and lots of estimates it is "reasonable" to assume that $750 billion in MBS prepays and Treasury maturities will depart the Fed's balance sheet and need to be repurchased in the open market in keeping with a pro forma QE Lite V2.0 mandate. This is false. Here's why.
Back in April 2010, before Waddell and Reed sold a few shares of ES, effectively destroying the market on news that Europe was insolvent, we made the following observation: "The IMF has just announced that it is expanding its New Arrangement to Borrow (NAB) multilateral facility from its existing $50 billion by a whopping $500 billion (SDR333.5 billion), to $550 billion." Little did we know that our conclusion "something big must be coming" would prove spot on just a month later after Greece, then Ireland, then Portgual, and soon Spain, Italy, Belgium, and pretty much all other European countries would topple like dominoes tethered together by a flawed monetary regime. Well, based on news from Dow Jones we can now safely predict the following: "something bigger must be coming." As if the IMF's trillions in open lending facilities (many of which have recently been adjusted to uncapped) were not enough, we now learn that the world lender of last resort (which in theory is the Fed, but apparently Bernanke has been getting a little shy lately so is offsetting his direct lending directives to secondary organizations like the IMF, leaving the Fed with only USD liquidity swaps) is about to activate a "Special Funding Pool" - Dow Jones explains: "The International Monetary Fund is expected to soon activate a special funding pool that will boost the fund's ability to prevent or resolve economic crises, two people familiar with the situation said Thursday. One of the people said the activation of the funding--which can only be made by a special request from the IMF managing director to the board--was in anticipation of an expected wave of new IMF programs, including the possible expansion of the Greek bailout package." Wonderful. Global financial cataclysm rinse repeat all over again...