While sovereign spreads are leaking modestly tighter this morning as European credit markets emerge from the holiday hibernation, the ECB Deposit Facility surged 10% further to a LTRO-busting EUR452bn. While we assume there is some year-end 'management' involved here (and some will argue that putting the LTRO-carry-trade to work takes time), the sheer velocity and scale of the ramp in deposits suggests this is not a game-theoretically optimal use of this new-found cash (neg-carry-trade) but instead a clear message that banks will delever and remain risk averse no matter what the central banks 'suggest' is appropriate. Didn't we learn this lesson already in Japan (for two decades of debt minimization as opposed to profit maximization) and the US (Fed reserves skyrocketed as dealer bond inventories drop precipitously?). Also, those saying that banks are just waiting for the new year to start putting LTRO cash to use, there is no reason to wait - Italian BTPs are already at 7% - all banks are doing by delaying is giving up on days of free carry trade, thus this argument is pure rubbish. We are also seeing EUR-USD basis swaps starting to decompress (worsen) once again. In summary: since LTRO day, EUR187 billion of the 210 billion free money has been redeposited at the ECB.
And longer-term, showing the complete lack of seasonality.