The NY Fed found a rabbit in its hat of tricks – more cash for the commercial banks.
The New York branch of the U.S. Federal Reserve added billions more in liquidity to gummed-up intrabank lending markets Wednesday, following the first intervention in more than a decade only yesterday, as a worrying spike in overnight borrowing costs continues to perplex investors and complicate today’s Fed rate decision.
The New York Fed offered $75 billion in cash to broader markets, in exchange for eligible collateral such as U.S. Treasury bonds or mortgage-backed securities, in order to hold the Fed’s key rate inside its target range of between 2% and 2.25%. It accepted its full allotment, even as bids totaled $80 billion, lowing the range from 2.6% to 3% prior to the operation to 2.25% to 2.6% immediately afterwards.
The New York Fed was forced yesterday to inject $53.2 billion after overnight borrowing costs surged close to 10%, thanks in part to the hefty burden of primary dealers in the Fed system taking down nearly $45 billion each day in gross U.S. Treasury bond issuance, and reducing spare cash — known as excess reserves — at the same time. In fact, excess reserves have fallen by $171 billion so far this year, according to Fed data, and are down $1.4 trillion from 2014 levels.
All in exchange for Fed-enabled Treasurys. A very sickly little rabbit, probably rabid. Today and yesterday… Have you even heard of this cash crisis? Surely this is nothing that negative rates can’t cure!