Liquidity Swaps

Frontrunning: September 3

  • Confusion as Ukraine and Russia announce progress towards peace (Reuters)... but not for stock buying algos, they know everything
  • Obama Expresses Skepticism About Possible Ukraine Cease-Fire (WSJ)
  • Fighters Unwind in Russia Where Beer Doesn’t Spell Death (BBG)
  • Despite dangers, U.S. journalist Sotloff was determined to record Arab Spring's human toll (Reuters)
  • New Beheading Video Spurs Calls for Global Response (BBG)
  • Christie’s Spending on Outside Lawyers Passes $50 Million (BBG)
  • IEX to Apply for Exchange Status (WSJ)
  • UK says not ruling out airstrikes against Islamic State, says hostage video genuine (Reuters)

If You Own A Kalashnikov Rifle, Obama Just Sanctioned You

If you thought the latest round of US sanctions against some largely unknown Russians and a few new companies listed here, most notably Rosneft and Gazprombank - but not Gazprom, never Gazprom - that would cut off Russian gas to Europe and Merkel doesn't want that - would be largely a non-event, you are right. Unless you own a Kalashnikov, aka AK-47 rifle. In which case read on.

Fed's Fisher Says "Investors Have Beer Goggles From Liquidity", Joins Goldman In Stock Correction Warning

"Continuing large-scale asset purchases risks placing us in an untenable position, both from the standpoint of unreasonably inflating the stock, bond and other tradable asset markets and from the perspective of complicating the future conduct of monetary policy," warns the admittedly-hawkish Dallas Fed head. Fisher goes on to confirm Peter Boockvar's "QE puts beer goggles on investors," analogy adding that while he is "not among those who think we are presently in a 'bubble' mode for stocks or bonds; he is reminded of William McChesney Martin comments - the longest-serving Fed chair - "markets for anything tradable overshoot and one must be prepared for adjustments that bring markets back to normal valuations."

The eye of the needle of pulling off a clean exit is narrow; the camel is already too fat. As soon as feasible, we should change tack. We should stop digging. I plan to cast my votes at FOMC meetings accordingly.

CalibratedConfidence's picture

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.

JPM Explains The Novel Feature In Today's Fed Liquidity Swap Line Expansion

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?

Ron Paul Statement On The Fed's Bailout Of Europe

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.

Here Comes The Global, US-Funded Liquidity Bail Out

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.

What An American Bank Run Would Look Like

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 A3

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

rcwhalen's picture

Bob Eisenbeis: QE 2 and Policy

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.