Shadow Banking Contagion Approaches As European Banks Sign Private Repo Agreements With US Counterparts

Tyler Durden's picture

In what is probably the riskiest escalation of the second credit crisis to date, IFR has released information that was until now speculated, but not confirmed, namely that European banks not only continue to make a mockery out of LiEbor by posting whatever rates they deem appropriate (for the simple reason they don't use interbank funding), while in the meantime going directly to US banks, using shadow, and hence completely unregulated conduits, in the form of private repo arrangements with "at least three of the five biggest US banks." Now where this is interesting is that as Zero Hedge disclosed three months ago, the bulk of the cash generated for the pendancy of QE2 went not to US banks, but to US-based branches of foreign banks. Which probably means that there is a roadblock to repatriating the US held cash (even in exchange for perfectly legitimate receivable debits). Because one would think that this is where the first source of cash for troubled banks would come from. Assuming it hasn't been repatriated already, or is not stuck in some IOER-GC carry trade that generates virtually no return (and when the Fed lowers IOER even more, absolutely no return). Alas this means that the 3M USD Libor which we update every day is substantially under-representing the true funding squeeze in Europe. Even worse, it means that US banks have lent us tens, if not hundreds of billions of cash, in exchange for collateral that could be virtually anything, and which collateral bypasses traditional Fed supervision. As a result, US banks can and will go hog wild in lending repo dollars (at big collateral haircuts but still) to European banks until everyone suddenly runs out of money, and the Fed realizes it has to not only fill traditional liquidity holes, but a massive shadow banking shortfall, precisely the stuff that none other than the Fed has been warning about over and over. Just like in 2008 when the big hit to the system came not from traditional sources of risk but perfectly innocuous and thus ignored money markets, so the same will happen this time, as the biggest crunch will come completely out of left field. It always does.

From IFRE:

US banks have become the unlikely saviours of their ailing European counterparts, signing private agreements to lend them billions of dollars in recent weeks after an exodus of nervous money market funds left many without ready access to short-term funding.


Agreements worth tens of billions of dollars have been signed in the last month alone, according to bankers directly involved, who added that senior management of firms on both sides of the transactions have been closely involved with hammering out deals.


French lenders are among those using such facilities, say bankers, although deals have also been struck with UK and other European firms. Loans have been made as repo agreements, with banks posting assets such as corporate loans and mortgage portfolios as collateral.


“We were able to use some of our assets to get long-term repos,” said one board member at a French bank. “It was a move we made to monetise some of the assets we had on the balance sheet which were good, quality assets, and also to mitigate the withdrawal of money market funds.”




Paris-based Societe Generale said that it had struck US dollar repo deals equivalent to €6bn against a portfolio of commercial mortgage-backed securities and collateralised loans with maturities longer than six months. US bankers say other banks have struck similar deals in recent weeks to generate cash.


One source at BNP Paribas with knowledge of the situation said the bank was using US dollar repo markets for fixed income activity, but “not more than usual”, though the bank acknowledged that its use of short-term US money market funds dropped by €10bn to €36bn since the end of July.


“Doing repo means you don’t have to sell and don’t have to take the loss on many of these assets upfront,” said another banker at a US bank, who has signed off on such deals in recent weeks. “You can do it privately, so nobody needs to know, and spread losses over the lifetime of the assets.”




The fact that US banks are willing to increase their exposure to European firms – even if they insist on significant haircuts and conservative interest rates – demonstrates that they are happy dealing with such counterparties, at least for the moment.

Yes: for the moment. Alas, when the moment ends, and said banks can no longer afford to lend out cash, and in fact need it, may we ask: who will provide this source of global bailout capital? Oh yes: Ben Bernanke of course, and who will be facing trillions of dollars in full loss exposure should central planning not be successful in patching up the second Great Financial Crisis?

Why you, dear reader.

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phyuckyiu's picture

Back in late '08 I started screaming at my ex-wife that Libor was getting huge and banks were not lending to each other anymore, aka money is stuck, and we needed to sell our house in bum fuck and move before the velocity of money came to a standstill. She told me to wait 5 years, Obama will fix everything, and that she had no idea what Libor was and didn't care. I got a divorce.

phyuckyiu's picture

You can commit to poverty if you wish :)

Dingleberry's picture

Did you lose your a$$ on the house, or on the divorce? Or perhaps both?

pan's picture

In these times you definitely stick her with the house.

phyuckyiu's picture

The house lost half the value, it was in bum fuck Oregon. Happy to be back in the Bay Area near my parents, where I don't have to consciously use double negatives to fit in (it sounds prude but I hate poor english). Actually maybe I am a prude I saw Philip Glass with my parents last weekend, that's like Woody Allen prude. Not happy to have lost a best friend, but i've already lost half my life's work as it is. I had to downgrade to Felton from Los Gatos when I came back, not that i'm a huge fan of Los Gatos but their school district made me money. Consider me one of those that slipped down from the middle class, cuz I aintz got no dough, cuz.

eisley79's picture

this tyler said "us" refering to himself as part of Europe, stay in character tylers!

George the baby crusher's picture

Actually he was refering to Ben Bernanke bailing out the European banks.  So he maintained his character quiet well.

eisley79's picture

no he(of they) didnt, the US/NA is always "us", never europe, europe is always "them"



Absalon's picture

So you left your wife and moved back to Mommy.   Your ex-wife's better off without you.

phyuckyiu's picture

Laugh I am guilty of having an intact family that I see once every few weeks. They live 100 miles away from me, but i'm sure that's too close for a bitter caucasian housewife such as yourself. You'd probably disapprove of our trips to the Museum of Modern Art or the De Young, or the Symphony, far too nebbish for someone as cool as yourself. They are also in their late 70's and I want to appreciate them before they are dead, which could be anytime. Apologies to those who don't enjoy their family, I realize they are legion. Perhaps if you had come from a supportive, loving family you wouldn't be so angry. Cheers.

jeff montanye's picture

your ex wife is lucky to be ex.

phyuckyiu's picture

Yes I know, best to leave the people that still talk to their family alone. Totally agree. I must be such a dweeb, going to museums with my -gasp- parents. I promise we'll pick more macho things to do down the road so you'll approve, except that they're old and the era of season Raiders tickets was 35 years ago. Or I suppose you object to someone seeing his parents twice a month before they are dead, it must be a sign of weakness. Sad. Or somehow I have to move away from my beloved Bay Area to prove to you some freudian theory on separation? I've tried, there is no place better than the Bay Area. If you don't get it, I can't help. And my parents lived here first. Bummer. The Bay Area is a huge place, I live in the woods near Santa Cruz, far from pretty much everything. I hope when you turn 78 that someone still wants to talk to you, but wouldn't it be justice after your post if you sat by yourself all day every day at that age? And to think all this started over a Philip Glass concert. LOL.

Comay Mierda's picture

arguing on the internet is like competing in the special olympics - even if you win, you are still retarded



phyuckyiu's picture

So true, gotta love the one line innuendos from assholes.

Pegasus Muse's picture

And to think all this started over a Philip Glass concert.

Might have been worth it had it been a decent composer -- a Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Mahler, etc.

Glass' minimalist 20th century stuff does little for me.

phyuckyiu's picture

Glass is a little like chinese water torture.

phyuckyiu's picture

My first post made it sound like I hated her, but I only hated her ignorance of things that really matter, during times that really matter. Some of course will say the only thing that matters is love. Anyone in a marriage knows that money troubles is a make or break scenario, very dicey. Everyone gets along great till there is money issues. Buying a business up in Oregon to make your wife happy and bleeding all your equity, and then watching all the doors to possibly selling the place quickly closing, is not the easiest scenario. To judge me that shallow with just a few posts is premature. She took the Sybian with her, does that help? :)

Two Towers AU AG's picture

bob_dabolina  Its not commitment. Its called discipline.

A guy told me one time ..Dont let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat. when you feel the heat around the corner.  (see @ 2:13-3:03)



Long-John-Silver's picture

My wife thought I had gone insane when I cleaned out the 401(k)'s and the savings accounts except for enough to float along. I then went physical Gold and Silver at a 25/75% ratio. I've gone from being a raving lunatic to an evil financial genius these past few years.

Fiat2Zero's picture

I did the same but less than a year ago.  I am transitioning out of raving lunatic to evil financial genius as the PMs are moving higher.  Alas the manipulation lately is definitely trying to take some of shine off my reputation.  I guess I'll have to wait for the Fall/Winter surge for confirmation.

Maybe I'm like the "mini-me" size evil financial genius now...

Waffen's picture

Indeed i had gone from crazy lunatic to "you can assfuck me" in April until May 1st when it was "you can sleep on the couch."

I am now back to speaking terms and am also waiting for the Fall/Winter surge to return to daily blowjobs.



full disclosure

~sadly, reality was April (your awesome) to May (you suck) and now its (meh). any sexual relations with the wife have always been hit or miss~

pan's picture

Re. your sexual relations, the problem is that you married her.  If you were still just dating her, you'd be getting it regularly.  I am speaking from experience.

Dugald's picture

Make this man  Fed Tres....quick

dasein211's picture

Fuck that is so true. I nominate you for president and warn anyone dating that if you hate sex and working out all the time than by all means get married.

Crisismode's picture

Women are just funny that way.


You can't live with them,


But  you certainly can live without them.

phyuckyiu's picture

Best post on the thread by far.

TheBadgersSett's picture

excellent mini thresd within an already exclellent thread. Excellent.

papaswamp's picture

Get a sailboat...head for a tropical island with plenty rum, bow ornaments some gold. When this whole shitsotrm finally hits, that's my plan.

FOr you non-nautical types...bow ornaments:

A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000's picture

That's why I only talk to my wife about the weather.


This December we'll have been together for 15 years.

CapitalistRock's picture

It boggles the mind that people are sitting in stocks "for the long haul". Fewer than 1 in 500 Americans own even a single ounce of gold bullion.

Thomas Jefferson's picture

Im scared shitless about the money I have in my business checking account. 

rocker's picture

Have you ever heard of withdrawal and safe deposit boxes.  Or even a safe or two.  

Just buy one that two monkeys can not carry and your safe. Eh.

Belarus's picture

Other than working capital needs, you shouldn't have ANY money in a business checking account. Pay it out as a dividend or make up some property and plant expenditures and move the money out. Jesus, who sits on your board?

readytoleave's picture

When liquidity dried up overnight in 2008 our banker went absoulutely nuts...  We had been giving him our financials every 30 days for over five years.  All of a sudden there were "issues" with our ratios...  Check any loan docs that you have a balance on. 

Check them very carefully for "Demand Clauses."  When this turns South --- again.... The bankers will be coming first after every quick dollar they can get their hands on(your checking account) and second they'll come after anything that they can sell for even 20 cents on the dollar -- quick.

I have found bankers to be the worst business people in the world.  I always thought "these guys lend out other people's money" they must be really sharp to be able to quantify and classify that kind of risk.  I was so far off it's not even funny.

The best thing that all of us "business people" can do is stay off the radar screens of the bankers and the IRS.  I can assure you --- it's no easy feat.  They will both make sh**t up to take your money -- and if "your" money is in a bank --- it isn't your money -- it's theirs.  You have a contract that they will breach at will.  They can take it out of your account at will !!  It isn't theft -- it's "bank process."  It's a civil matter and you have to use the courts to try and get it back. 

The banks throughout this country are screwed.  Their balance sheets are screwed --- and hence any money you have in a bank (which is actually nothing more than a bunch of 1's and 0's on a hard disk) is at risk.  I'm not being dramatic...  I'm speaking from experience.

That's why my user name is "readytoleave." 

My guess is that there is already a very quiet bank run happening throughout Europe.  It's been going on for weeks if not months.  The smart/big corporate money is moving it as fast as humanly possible without setting off any alarms...  

We use a small, little know institution on that side of the pond and two weeks ago I awoke to not being able to access our accounts -- "the web site just wouldn't resolve."

I thought holy sh**t.  For two days we couldn't make any transactions. 

And that's the way it's going to happen...   Everyone will wake up on a seemingly quiet Tuesday morning and you just won't be able to get to your accounts....

What is coming has already happened to a number of businessmen like myself.  But the next time --- and it will be soon --- will be so much worse.

Thomas Jefferson's picture

Well said.  Argentina style.  Looks like Ill have to sleep in my adult diapers tonight.

FreeNewEnergy's picture

You are 100% correct. Keep all loan balances high, so that the banks cannot cut your credit limit. If and when they do, stop paying, period.

I am more than happy to borrow at 23, 28, 34% interest on money that is depreciating at 6-8-10% a year. Why should I care? I'll borrow as much as possible of they'll lend it because I'm buying assets for a buck that are worth three, six, ten on the open market, so the interest expense is rather negligible, or, using the Chairman's term, "transitory."

To me, that translates into "if there's an absolute asset crash, I'll keep paying," because I'm that liquid and if my bank has any brains at all, they'll follow me to Nirvana.

Sadly, I have never met a banker with brains, nor a buyer with adequate restraint. I've either been cursed or very lucky, but I am still standing and doing business... and it seems to be getting better.

IQ 145's picture

That's right. the French and Austrian Bankers can hear the giant sucking sound; the wealthy European clients aren't renewing their CD's or their bonds. A quiet bank run. I think a lot of this is showing up as the frankly lunatic buying of long term treasuries in the US; some of it bleeds off into Gold and Silver.

rocker's picture

But, but, but they have those earnings from last year. Eh.

Whalley World's picture

Seeing as the North American average is 1% I'd say us Canucks and our Mexican Compadres are sitting a little prettier.

bankonzhongguo's picture

It's all part of the Plan.

Thomas Jefferson's picture

Tick.... Tick.... Tick....

macfly's picture

It really does just go from bad to worse, and my shorts were squeezed bad today, but I'm chilling and waiting for a roll over.

rocker's picture

This is what's fueling the market, weak short hands. The rest is just air on No Volume.