With US dealers no longer using the Fed's repo facilities (this morning we had another "no bid" overnight repo with just $250MM in MBS submitted for a $500 billion op) as the Fed soaks up all securities via its aggressive QE which is still buying $75BN in paper each day, perhaps Powell felt a bit unloved and at 830am this morning the Fed unveiled yet another "temporary" emergency liquidity providing facility, this time to foreign central banks, in the form of a repo facility targeting "foreign and international monetary authorities", i.e. foreign central banks which will be allowed to exchange Treasuries held in custody at the Fed for US dollars.
In other words, just a week after the Fed "enhanced" its swap lines with central banks and included a bunch of non G-5 central banks to the list of counterparties, it has found that this is not working - perhaps due to the prohibitive rates on the facility - and is now handing out dollars outright against US denominated securities. We wonder if the central bank uptake will be any higher than the repo facility aimed at US dealers and which is now redundant. Of course, when that fails the Fed can just offer to buy all central bank securities in what even reputable FX strategists now joke is a Fed on full tilt, and intent on buying out all foreign central banks.
And so, just as the financial situation was starting to stabilize, the Fed reminds everyone just how broken everything still is.
Fed launches ANOTHER temporary facility to provide $USD liquidity to foreign central banks (this time foreign central bank holdings of US Treasury's can be exchanged for dollars).— Viraj Patel (@VPatelFX) March 31, 2020
At this rate, Fed is on course to buy out foreign central banks... and call it an M&A facility pic.twitter.com/iAXRCVoZS9
The full announcement is below.
Federal Reserve announces establishment of a temporary FIMA Repo Facility to help support the smooth functioning of financial markets
The Federal Reserve on Tuesday announced the establishment of a temporary repurchase agreement facility for foreign and international monetary authorities (FIMA Repo Facility) to help support the smooth functioning of financial markets, including the U.S. Treasury market, and thus maintain the supply of credit to U.S. households and businesses. The FIMA Repo Facility will allow FIMA account holders, which consist of central banks and other international monetary authorities with accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, to enter into repurchase agreements with the Federal Reserve. In these transactions, FIMA account holders temporarily exchange their U.S. Treasury securities held with the Federal Reserve for U.S. dollars, which can then be made available to institutions in their jurisdictions. This facility should help support the smooth functioning of the U.S. Treasury market by providing an alternative temporary source of U.S. dollars other than sales of securities in the open market. It should also serve, along with the U.S. dollar liquidity swap lines the Federal Reserve has established with other central banks, to help ease strains in global U.S. dollar funding markets.
The Federal Reserve provides U.S. dollar-denominated banking services to FIMA account holders in support of Federal Reserve objectives and in recognition of the U.S. dollar's predominant role as an international currency. The FIMA Repo Facility, which adds to the range of services the Federal Reserve provides, will be available beginning April 6 and will continue for at least 6 months.