Following yesterday's announcement that the ECB had purchased a new record total of €207 billion in peripheral bonds, many were focused on today's ECB sterilization announcement to see if, like last week, there would be a failure in the repo market, and less than the full amount of bonds to be sterilized, would be bid. As it happens today the ECB lucked out, after 113 bidders submitted bids for €236 billion in bonds, at a rate of 0.65%, with the threshold €207 billion amount being covered comfortable at 1.19x. Yet one wonders what is it that caused the €50 billion swing in available capital for European banks (last week the tendered for amount was €194 billion). What is ironic is that earlier today, the ECB provided €252 billion in a liquidity providing operation (MRO) to 197 banks at a fixed rate of 1.00%. In other words, banks borrowed €252 billion at 1% from the ECB to lend €207 billion back at 0.65% to the ECB. And that is called a "successful" sterilization.
Charting the ECB's recent sterilizations: