Monday, February 2, 2009
I told Bloomberg 3 months ago about Fed forex swaps. Just now getting picked up by the clueless media
Back on November 10th in response to an article on Fed transparency that appeared on the Bloomberg website, I emailed Bob Ivry, one of the authors, and informed him that the real story was the enormous uncollateralized forex swaps that the Fed was conducting.
Here's is the text of my email to Bob Ivry:
"Again, it's not a secret. Under the current regulatory structure, banks can only have certain types of assets on their books and those are listed under the Discount Window list of marginable collateral. In other words, anything on that list can be pledged to the Fed for a loan. Until recently, the Fed has actually been tight, requiring Treasuries, but it has moved to accept more of the regulated collateral on that list, which is how it should be.
Your article injects needless concern over what the Fed is doing and could result in actions that hamper their ability to aid the financial markets.
If you want to do some good why don't you write an article and show that list of collateral and explain the current regulatory structure.
Even better, why don't you talk about the $600 billion in dollar loans that the Fed has given to foreign central banks to be used as loans for banks and other institutions in those respective countries? Those are uncollateralized and non-recourse. Ultimately, there is no U.S. oversight on those loans. It potentially puts the U.S. taxpayer on the hook. It has been totally secretive and it has caused the dollar to weaken, which is an indirect tax on U.S. households in that it reduces purchasing power."
My suggestion to Mr. Ivry got no response.
Seems Barrons is now picking up on this--3 months after I sounded the alarm!!
Barrons story here.