"It was over. The guard led me into a room daubed in graffiti, with the faint smell of cigarettes and urine. He allowed me to use the toilet, but it had no door – the days of privacy and dignity were over. A plastic toilet with no seat. I couldn’t really comprehend it."
Banks have finally woken up to the risk their billions in C&I loans issued to fund "financial engineering" are exposed to. The reaction: an unprecedented surge in loan collateralization, with the percent of total loans secured by collateral soaring by nearly 50% in the past quarter to a record 55.9%, the highest ever!
In what appears to be an orderly process, The NY Fed's first Reverse Repo operation since The FOMC 'raised' rates released $105.185 billion of Treasury collateral to 49 banks at a rate 25bps, draining the same amount of system liquidity. This is being greeted as good news by many as no major disprutions appear to have occurred... aside from, of course, a 6bps plunge in long-end bond yields, 250 point drop in The Dow, and notable weakness in high-yield bonds. While some had feared up to $1 trillion would need to be withdrawn to achieve The Fed's goals, the size of this initial RRP suggests there is considerably less excess liquidty in the system than many would believe... indicating a notably more fragile system than we are being led to believe.
Someone forgot to give the banks the memo that the Fed's first rate hike since 2006 was supposed to, at least on paper, benefit the savers of America and not so much the, well, banks.. Because the ink hadn't even dried on the Fed's statement and one after another banks revealed that they would promptly boost their Prime lending rate from the current benchmark of 3.25% to the new Fed Funds-implied prime rate of 3.50%.
The Big Banks manipulate credit default swaps to perpetrate economic terrorism against other nations in the world, where they literally destroy the economies of those victim-nations. It used to be a theory, but now the proof is finally emerging.
Why are the worlds’ most successful investors having so much trouble lately? The short answer is that the markets they used to understand have been replaced by something very different. In this new, post-market world, money managers can’t separate signal from noise and end up on the wrong end of wild swings in commodities, currencies and interest rates. And now their clients are figuring this out.
While the storm clouds continue to build above Trafigura, we now know the fate of Galena and why its CEO Letchford departed the company in a hurry last week: according to a follow up from Bloomberg, Trafigura has decided to close the flagship Galena Metals Fund, the latest hedge fund victim of the rout in raw materials markets from oil to copper.
With the ECB's December meeting just one week away, Mario Draghi and co. are still debating how best to package a new round of easing measures. As Reuters reports, the central bank is considering a tiered system for the application of negative rates in an effort to mitigate the effect on banks. Translation: the ECB may be preparing to "overwhelm" with an even larger cut to the already negative depo rate that analysts were expecting.
Having detailed the "perverted nonsense" that is the collapsing and negative US swap spreads (here, here, here, and here) and noted money manager's concerns that the big question remains whether there is "something bigger brewing under the surface that so far hasn’t been pinpointed yet," it appears Goldman Sachs feels the need to 'explain' the anomaly in what appears an effort to calm fears about the broken money markets. Of course, we don’t have to figure out what the “market” is saying about a negative spread because it isn’t saying anything other than “something” is wrong and even Goldman admits this signals funding and balance sheet strains are worsening since August.