Today, the ECB announced one sole bank was allotted $60 million USD via its Fed-swap facilitated liquidity providing operation. At a comparable operation last week, the ECB announced that just one, almost certainly the same bank, had requested $40 million in dollar-denominated funding from the ECB. What is troubling is not that just one bank requested such a paltry sum of capital to last it for another 168 hours, but that precisely one bank did, indicating that the funding situation is so bad in Europe that a bank is unable to find a token $40 million in the interbank market and via traditional means, that it is forced to beg to the institution of last reserve, the ECB. Furthermore, the fixed-rate on the operation came in at 1.19% (an increase from the prior week). This is nearly 4 times the rate allegedly charged for 3 Month LIBOR, which today came in at around 0.30%. Oddly enough it is just today that the WSJ comes out with an article fanfaring the cheapness of interbank lending with "Libor Falls as Banks Sit on Cash." Judging by today's ECB action, the WSJ's article would be a little more relevant if European banks had at least some access to this abundantly cheap capital, which it appears is available to everyone except those who need it.
Sole European Bank Needs $60 Million USD And Comes Crawling To ECB, Confirming USD-Libor Funding Process Impaired
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