Why liquidity should not be banks’ poison (alone)!

Central Banks worldwide, our RBI included are busy providing Reserve Requirement cuts and Emergency liquidity mop ups to ensure inter bank market fluidity and avoid a situation like for Italy and Belgium, Spain and others last November in Europe.

The ongoing Euro crisis is not just the cause of this drying up, but in fact few would probably bother to

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remember that 2008 was a result of this extreme loss of liquidity. why that happened and why banks are wrongly considering themselves only for the liquidity charter or seedings is that inordinate rush to fund the entire banking assets with inter bank overnighters. RBS included 70% of Capital from short term sources when it went down in 2007, Lehman did not get a Fed licence to add liquidity as Capital for its next balance sheet when it ran out of collateral in September 2008.

Deutsche Bank and BofA are still selling assets to add capital back not because the bar was raised by the governments to Tier I capital but in these cases just because they relied entirely on overnight markets ( BofA means the investment bank with a banking licence in Merrill Lynch too) and after sales of $50 bln in assets, the bank still needs another equal amount from non available Capital to survive.

Deleveraging thus is as much a response to clampdowns on use of inter bank notes as long term capital for Basel 3 requirements as anything else. Above all behind a well regulated bank, pointed out by Menaka here, is the new realisation that you can’t leave on the neighbour’s bread all year and need to absolve yourself of the charter to provide continuous liquidity to markets. Banks should focus on long term lending and matching sources of funding to the tenure of the funding they do than just sit on liquidity windows pressuring themselves and the banking system.

Also as we mentioned in our popular series in October and by Simon on WSJ

 Banks currently hold capital well in excess of regulatory standards, but that is due to pressure from markets, not regulators, who gave banks until 2019 to meet the new Basel III rules. There isn’t much point in regulators extending this deadline, and it would probably undermine confidence if they did. Reducing capital weights on business lending might help but is currently illegal under European law.

Why liquidity should not be banks’ poison (alone)!

Central Banks worldwide, our RBI included are busy providing Reserve Requirement cuts and Emergency liquidity mop ups to ensure inter bank market fluidity and avoid a situation like for Italy and Belgium, Spain and others last November in Europe. 

The ongoing Euro crisis is not just the cause of this drying up, but in fact few would probably bother to remember that 2008 was a result of this extreme loss of liquidity. why that happened and why banks are wrongly considering themselves only for the liquidity charter or seedings is that inordinate rush to fund the entire banking assets with inter bank overnighters. RBs included 70% of Capital from short term sources when it went down in 2007, Lehman did not get a Fed licence to add liquidity as Capital for its next balance sheet when it ran out of collateral in September 2008.

Deutsche Bank and BofA are still selling assets to add capital back not because the bar wad raised by the governments to Tier I capital but in these cases just because they relied entirely on overnight markets ( BofA means the investment bank with a banking licence in Merrill Lynch too) and after sales of $50 bln in assets, the bank still needs another equal amount from non available Capital to survive.

Deleveraging thus is as much a response to clampdowns on use of inter bank notes as long term capital for Bassel 3 requirements as anything else. Above all behind a well regulated bank, pointed out by Menaka here, is the new realisation that you can’t leave on the neighbour’s bread all year and need to absolve yourself of the charter to provide continuous liquidity to markets. Banks should focus on long term lenbding and matching sources of funding to the tenure of the funding they do than just sit on liquidity windows pressuring themselves and the banking system

More to come..in this ‘short bout of volatility’

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There are miles to go for India to even try a fair chance for GST, DTC and Infrastructure investments to name just three seering gaps. CLSA downgrade of India – biting for Sensex levels of 25% lower near 11000-12000 could be the ‘tru dat’ of a sinking European bank season as it hits Asia at a very vulnerable time. No one should deny the loss of purchasing power of the rupee at a rate of 60 to the dollar . PPP terms should thus become wider from the current rates again

However, Banks are being targeted somewhat unfairly raising old concerns of it being because they are our only liquid stocks that run on financial assets that can be willingly spiralled into submission. And that is perhaps precisely the reason they could be targeted. One could see India testing hyperinflation and other denigrated “IMF tenets” of deficit economics being raise by this hot money tail. As funds lose close to 20% and a s flight of capital also ensures lower than 80% availability of locked capital, it is unlikely that anyone can defend against the shorts that are required by traders to recover income in this cycle for their investors and clients.

Global fundamentals demand perhaps that India understand the downward spiral like the other sovereigns. Of course that still does not deny that we were at least 5-6 notches better than Italy and Spain, whereas we have been alooof to the crisis because the “developed world” of the med had a lot of downward catching up of ratings to do with the emerging stars like India and China. Unfortunately though, we have lost the chance to be an equal with China, irrespective of how proud we are of our distinctive identity

China's FIRST McDonald'sWith the dip in stocks on non conformation by the RBI ignored for a late afternoon sell off, Nifty could well do another 250 points till Thursday. I would suggest waiting and watchin gon bargains with a holding capacity of 10-15% of paper losses at 4200-400 levels

India Bond Impact: Inverted yield Curve, inflation turns nose down

With inflation falling, the inverted yield curve ( 10 year yield a point below the short term 8.7% yield) could well be a good thing for india. the rupee depreciation could however keep imported inflation hot for India’s traders and manufacturers, esp as the Fuel basket is still up on the high ledge at 15.5% . The livemint Friday report has good data to back its inferences too, but even if we do not follow the RBI copybook ( playbook elsewhere 🙂 )  and set our own inflation target it could well go under 6% as and when Fuel also tackles the base effect. Prices have stabilised and bond market liquidity healthier as seen in the 8.7% yields at the short and long end a good 25 basis points below the yonder peak of two weeks ago.

For investors yields coming down on the inflation ride mean large inflows into bond and then gilt funds to shore up the neglected funds industry where AUM has dropped from 7.5 Tln in 2009 /2010 to 6.75 Tln this year a slow deterioration as all the bank rolled money for money market mutual funds was exited. For banks and large treasuries however, with the money market fund closed and RBI auctions likely to be discontinued, there would be a limbo while they decide where to deploy their idle cash for quick gains, perhaps in longer term Floating funds eventually

Rate cuts could come sooner, therefore the talk of recession as Capital4 author Deepak Shenoy highlights back in June could well be baloney. In our case inverted curves mean that banks can use that extra tey keep with RBI even if CRR cuts are not effected and bring back the short rate as and when IIP improves based on lower inflation. Believe me, no one else has the luxury of 40% of the banking system’s funds lying with the Central Bank anywhere int he world even if you could go back a hundred years thru the hyperinflation cycles in Germany and LatAm or the recession cycles in Brazil and Venezuela and Russia

China has a more well defined shadow banking system, our own professionals torn between the brand of organised businesses and stock markets and the penny pinching savings they need to build a home nest. We still have a cash based economy like Italy’s south which will apparently keep adding to our tax basket at its own pace regardless of how many investigative journaliusts or how many amnesty schemes are created and expired 56 new tax treaties later there is no inflow from that system into the economy and our taxed remain the lower percent population of the country. Typically, these factors influence the fixed income market which moves on the supply and demand of money, but that shadow cushion in China and elsewhere ( incl in Europe where it has yielded  a15% tax on Swiss deposits) is much more in control

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