Tag Archives: NY Fed

Repo Madness – An Enormous “Margin Call”

“Central Banks are panicking…the whole system is on the verge of disappearing into a black hole.” – Egon Von Greyerz on USAWatchdog.com

On Wednesday, after Wednesday’s overnight Repo operation had $92 billion in demand for the $75 billion operations, announced that it was increasing overnight Repos to $100 billion and doubling the two-week term Repo operations to $60 billion. Well, that escalated quickly.

The rationalization is “end of quarter liquidity needs” by the banks who have to increase reserves against assets (loans) or face taking earnings write-downs. But this dynamic occurs every quarter and Repo operations have not been required to keep the banking system from seizing up since QE was initiated.

Note that overnight repo operations were not necessary when the Fed flooded the banking system with QE funds.  The banking system requires immediate liquidity for the first time since QE commenced.  Why?  Recall how you go bankrupt: gradually then suddenly.

Typically the repo rate should correlate tightly with the Fed Funds Rate. But last Tuesday it spiked up briefly to 10%. The media and Wall Street analysts did a good job reporting that there was an obvious liquidity squeeze in the banking system but they did nothing to explain the underlying causes. Moreover, there’s still $1.3 trillion remaining from QE sitting in the Fed’s Excess Reserve Account,  which means banks with cash have plenty of cash to lend overnight to banks which need money.

But the banks with cash were unwilling to lend that cash even on an overnight basis.  So why did the Fed have to inject, by last Wednesday, $75 billion in liquidity into the banking system?

Think about what happened as the start of a giant “margin call” on a global financial system that is likely reaching its limit on credit creation. The enormous increase in derivatives magnifies the problem.  One immediate contributing factor may been losses connected with the cliff-dive in the price of the 10yr Treasury bond.  Hedge funds loaded up on Treasuries chasing the momentum higher using margin provided by the banks (prime brokerage loan agreements). The 10yr Treasury price dropped $4 in eight trading days – i.e. the 10yr benchmark yield jumped 55 basis points.

This may not sound like a lot in stock price terms, but losses on speculative Treasury bond and Treasury bond futures positions likely ran into the  billions. Several entities lost a lot of money during that rate rise, which means there had to have been some margin calls and derivatives blow-ups which required cash collateral or faced liquidation.  Banks themselves carry large Treasury positions which fell $10s of millions in value over that 8-day period.

In addition to losses on Treasury bonds, I’m certain there’s been a general erosion of bank assets – primarily debt-based securities and loans, which have led to enormous losses when Credit Default Swap derivatives are factored into the mix. In effect, there likely was a large systemic margin call which has created a cash and collateral squeeze in the banking system with the primary dealers, which is why the overnight funding mechanism required a cash injection by the Fed eight days in a row now. This is similar what happened in 2008.

For now the Fed is going to plug the funding gap at the banks with these Repo operations. But my bet is that the problem is escalating rapidly.  It is much bigger in aggregate globally than anyone can know,  just like in 2008.  In all probability the Fed has no clue how big the potential problem is and these Repo operations will eventually morph into outright money printing.

Fed Governor’s Speech Perfectly Time To Stop Market Plunge Monday

Bill, these markets are frighteningly artificial.  Even though we know they are manipulated on a daily basis, I would bet good money that the effort going on behind the scenes to prop up stock and bond prices and hammer the precious metals sector would shock everyone in the GATA community.  – my comment to Bill Murphy today (His latest podcast LINK)

Although the stock market was closed last Friday, the stock market futures were still trading globally.   When the U.S. Government’s highly questionable employment report hit the tape showing a 50% miss in jobs added in March vs. Wall St. forecasts, the S&P 500 futures plunged 20 points.   It looked like a huge stock market dump was in store for Monday.

But a funny thing “happened on the way to the opera” and the stock market took off like scalded greyhound on amphetamines.  Why?  As it just so “coincidentally” happened, right before the stock market opened on Monday, NY Fed’s Bill Dudley “serendipitously” released the text of his speech he was delivering to some organization of business stooges in New Jersey.

Anytime a President of a regional Fed Bank makes a public statement on the timing of interest rate hikes or the pace of economic activity that influences that timing, it is well established that it moves stock, bond and currency markets.  – Wall Street On Parade  (I highly recommend reading that link)

Several remarks in Dudley’s speech would lead one to conclude that the Fed would not be raising interest rates any time soon and that the pace of rate increases would be “shallow” when they begin.   Let me translate this for you in a way the hedge fund HFT algos would have interpreted the remarks:   “The Fed is not raising interest rates this year so party on by dumping even more pension and institutional money in to the stock market – in fact, borrow as much as you can and throw that at stocks too.”

The Fed knows that it can manipulate the direction of the stock market by issuing remarks designed to imply monetary policy direction.  That was Alan Greenspan’s primary genius – he was the first Fed head to understand the power of the word as a tool to trigger the directional flow of hedge fund money.   The Fed has been methodically and strategically releasing implied policy statements since at least the early 1990’s when hedge fund capital began to explode.

As it so happens, Bill Dudley is the head of the NY Fed, which offices in the same building as the Treasury’s Working Group on Financial Markets.   The NY Fed has one of the most sophisticated trading floors in the world.  I would bet both of my manhood jewels AND my dog’s life that Dudley made sure that the release of his speech was well orchestrated with the Plunge Protection Team’s effort to keep the stock market from plunging and then light a fire which ignited the S&P 500 to soar over 40 points, or 2%, from the Friday’s futures’ low (2,046 to high yesterday of 2,086 on the cash index).

The more blatant the Fed becomes with its market interventions, the stronger the stench of desperation becomes.  No one can say with even a modicum of certainty when the bottom will fall out of this Orwellian Ponzi Joke, but it is going to extract a horrifying enormous amount of wealth from the public when it does.



Was GLD Gold Moved To The Dutch Central Bank?

In a move that is much more significant and relevant than the Chinese interest rate cut news, it was revealed that Netherland’s Central Bank repatriated 120 tonnes of gold this year.   The move was accounted for as a transfer of gold from the NY Fed to De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).   I say “accounted for”  because I believe it is highly likely that the physical transfer took place from the GLD custodial vaults to the DNB.   Here’s the article:   LINK.

I think this also explains the 33 tonnes of gold that the U.S. military airlifted out of Ukraine:  Original SourceTranslated Version. (“Jesse” of Jesse’s Cafe Americain reminded about the Ukraine gold)

Recall that the Fed, together with Germany’s Bundesbank, explained that it would take 7 years to move 300 tonnes of gold from NY to Germany because it was complicated and expensive.   As we know, that was a glaringly transparent cover story for:  “the Fed does not have 300 tonnes to ship back to Germany and it will take 7 years to buy and move that amount of gold without driving up the world price of gold.”

Why do I make this assertion?  This is from the link above:  “In total, 120 tonnes of gold valued at €4bn has been brought back to the Netherlands by ship, Nos television said.”

So, why was the DNB able to move 120 tonnes in a matter of months but it will take 7 years to move 300 tonnes to Germany?

I think we all know the answer to that question, which is why I make the assertion that the bars shipped to the DNB came from GLD (click to enlarge):


On March 21, GLD had 821 tonnes of gold.   Currently it has 720 tonnes.   Given what we know about the failure of the Fed to send Germany any gold other than 5 tonnes of miscellaneous scrap, and given that it appears as if Germany has abandoned its efforts to have any part of 300 tonnes of gold moved from NY to Germany (other than the 5 tonnes of crap), it is highly likely that the 100 tonnes removed from GLD since March has been moved to Amsterdam.  I’m sure the  balance was the gold airlifted by the U.S. from Ukraine.

The ONLY way gold is removed from GLD is if one of the Approved Participant bullion banks accumulated 100,000 share “baskets” and redeems the baskets for bars.  It’s the only way.  Even a big investor must transfer its shares to the bullion bank in order to execute the transaction.   And it says right in the Prospectus that the Trustee can deny the investor’s request for reasons that are not clear.

Whether or not my theory is accurate, I would bet my dog’s life that the 120 tonnes that the DNB received this year into its vaults unequivocally did not come from the NY Fed vaults.