Tag Archives: Federal Reserve

Commented on “Bond Squawk”

These are some good points you brought forward. One thing I don’t think is clear is what it means for a country to access the package. Is it a credit event? Is it not? Because this is clearly not market-based financing. It’s almost like DIP financing for sovereigns, if you ask me. I called it a home for wayward debt before, but you get my point.

Watching LIBOR-OIS, the TED spread, etc. I keep getting the feeling all this liquidity is just making volatility in the market worse – not better. I say that because we’re essentially in a global ZIRP environment. With rates being where they are, the volatility of a basis point move (i.e. DV01) is amplified. Most of us know it as convexity, but if folks don’t know about it, it can be very damaging.

The EUR is still in a death spiral at this stage. The ECB can sterilize its bond purchases but that’s just creating the opportunity to sell the EUR, just as BNP suggests.

All in all, there are no good choices at this stage.

Originally posted as a comment
by professorpinch
on Bond Squawk using DISQUS.

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The Real Action Is In The Funding Curves

Real quickly, I want to revisit this post from last week because I compiled some Euribor curves, looking for signs of stress in European banks.  I noted there was no sign of any fear:

Here are updates of EONIA swaps and Euribor:

EONIA has started to flatten out, particularly dramatic in the long end of the curve.  But the front-end remains anchored.

Euribor? Comatose.

And then it hit me…

They don’t matter.

Here’s what matters: the spread between dollar Libor and Euro Libor.  I compiled monthly snapshots of the curve going back to the beginning of the year (I love my readers but I’m not compiling 150+ daily Libor curves by hand):

You see it compressing rather dramatically.  The reason is dollar Libor has been catching up to Euro Libor.  The mad dash for dollars on the European continent is on.  So viewed from that perspective, the Euro curves can be shaped any way they want at whatever levels – nobody is using Euros to fund themselves.

And I also noted the TED spread.  It’s widening again. The chart is from yesterday, but today’s quote is at 31bps – another 6bp increase:

What makes the spread so disconcerting is this: the last time we saw a gigantic blow-out in the TED spread was before this:

TED blew out before some of these data sets existed.  These are all Federal Reserve programs to bolster liquidity in the banking system.  They’ve pulled out all the stops, and Fed funds trade around a range instead of a target.  Everything that could be done has been done to dampen volatility in short-term funding.  And it worked.

Until now…

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