MF Global isn't Lehman for Repo: Reuters

US funding market stays stable as MF Global exits

By Emily Flitter

Nov 1 (Reuters) – Investors fleeing renewed troubles in Europe had one source of comfort: Short-term markets, chiefly the U.S. repo market, remained calm as one of the biggest repo traders, MF Global, collapsed this week.

MF Global’s repo operation was large. The securities firm’s failure pushed repo settlement times back by several hours on Friday and Monday. But on Tuesday, things were back to normal.

Two repo traders at major dealers said the effects of MF Global’s bankruptcy were not being felt in the repo space, with no uptick in the number of failures to deliver on trades.

That’s in sharp contrast to the events that unfolded in 2008 following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, also a major repo player. Lehman’s collapse led to huge disruptions in the repo market.

“The way the Fed has added reserves to banks over the past couple of years, we are just not at a stress level,” said Thomas Simons, money market economist at Jefferies & Co. in New York.

“When Lehman Brothers went out of business, we were significantly more sensitive to it than we are now.”

MF Global filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday after failing to find a buyer. Bets that CEO Jon Corzine made on euro-zone sovereign debt triggered a plunge in the company’s stock last week, and caused agencies to cut MF Global’s credit ratings to junk.

The original article is here.

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