Did The Fed Just Buy Europe A Week?
One of our most watched indications of the pressure on European funding markets is the EUR-USD cross-currency basis swap. This simple trade is a way for European entities to take the excessive EUR funding they can get from the ECB and 'swap' it into USD to meet their significantly problematic USD funding needs. It has smashed higher (well lower in the charts) as the cost of the transaction moves with demand for the swap - indicating that demand for USD is huge and we are in as much of a liquidity crisis as we were in the middle of the 2008 critical period. What is fascinating to us is today's reaction - a 22bps jump - while being large, merely moves us back to the same levels of stress we were at one week ago. So even if this is seen as some huge form of liquidity surge, it seems not to have even solved the liquidity problems of banks, let alone solvency problems.
Short-term we are back to stress levels in the USD swap funding market from only a week ago. But on a longer-term basis, this is still extreme by any standards.
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