The sum and substance, in a couple of slides:
HQC stands for “High Quality Collateral”, and FTQ is “Flight to Quality”. Click to enlarge.
Financial pundits, academics, fund managers and analysts all have an amazing tendency to over-complicate matters.
Sometimes, however, it takes just one person spelling out the obvious to really get to the root of the problem. Read more
Okay. Negative interest rates have now gone fully mainstream in the UK thanks to this week’s testimony by Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker.
Even the Daily Mail is writing about it.
But a number of major misunderstandings are popping up as a result. So let us try to clear some of them up. Read more
Further dispatches from the Danish Institute for International Studies’ conference in Copenhagen on “Central Banking at a crossroads”.
Today we focus on the new age of collateral-based finance and the presentation given by Manmohan Singh (speaking in an independent capacity rather than as a representative of the IMF). Read more
Quite the rally in T-bills… continuing apace on Friday, now that the Transaction Account Guarantee has become increasingly, quietly, talked about in the past tense ahead of a year-end renewal deadline.
(Chart of the 1-year T-bill, click to enlarge. The yield on a T-bill maturing in January was close to zero at pixel time) Read more
A safe assets-themed argument in three charts, from Barclays’ latest global outlook. (Click to enlarge)
There was a seemingly minor item in the FOMC minutes released yesterday that didn’t get much attention but that, naturally, interested us quite a bit.
The participants noted that the Fed staff had presented an analysis showing “substantial capacity for additional purchases without disrupting market functioning”. But the staff part of the minutes offered no details of this analysis. Read more
In both cases, the authors suggest that bond yields have disconnected from credit derivative valuations — not because the derivatives are incorrectly priced, but because bonds now feature an embedded risk premium. Goodbye risk-free. Read more
This isn’t just gratuitous piling on or a therapeutic exercise or a reflexive defence of our earlier posts. To the extent that others hold what we believe are the note’s misconceptions, it’s best to discuss them out in the open, loudly if need be. Read more
First of all, a big congratulations to Goldman Sachs for jumping on board the safe assets debate approximately 12 months late.
And, in so doing, challenging (but not really challenging) what we still think is the biggest trend of the post-crisis era. Read more
It’s chapter three of the latest Global Financial Stability Report, and it is especially good on the varying roles of safe assets in global financial stability, mispricing before the crisis and the decline in quantity since, and the tricky path ahead for reform.
– From the introduction, how’s this for a strong declarative opening… Read more
Just when you thought no more could be written about collateral, shadow banking and repo, Manmohan Singh and Peter Stella come together to bring us a new paper on the core essence of money and collateral.
The story so far: the world has been plagued by a shortage of safe collateral and an over-dependence on shadow-bank funding, all of which has led to a breakdown in repo markets and secured funding, which is having more of an effect on financial markets than many first anticipated. Read more
Like so many others, FT Alphaville has spent much of the past year thinking about collateral shortages in the shadow banking system and how safe assets function as a kind of currency.
But it’s about time someone actually calculated just how much money these assets might represent. Read more
Marc Faber, publisher of the Gloom, Boom and Doom report, tells Bloomberg TV on Friday (our emphasis):
I wouldn’t say they are particularly attractive but, look, I am in Switzerland at the moment. The 10 Year government bond yields is 0.7% and you can buy quality companies and they have a dividend yield of maybe 3%. Relative to government bonds, equities are attractive. If you really think it through and you are bearish as I am and you think the whole financial system will one day collapse, maybe three years or five years or 10 years, one day there’ll be a reset and everything will be essentially started anew. Then you are better off in equities than in government bonds because a lot of government bonds will either default or they will have to print so much money that the purchasing power of money will depreciate very rapidly. Read more
So, “financial repression” is everywhere — or is it? In Part 1, we gave you a recap of the concept from a recent BIS paper.
At the back of the paper are critiques from Ignazio Visco and from Alan M. Taylor. Both commentators commend the paper while introducing some important caveats that are worth bearing in mind when trying to relate the idea to the current crisis. Read more