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[QUOTE]Originally posted by glassman: [QB] here's the reason banks won't "loan" to each other anymore. they used REPOS to loan each other money, and nobody wants to be the bag-holder... [i]Repurchase agreements (RPs or repos) are financial instruments used in the money markets and capital markets. A more accurate and descriptive term is Sale and Repurchase Agreement, since what occurs is that the cash receiver (borrower/seller) sells securities to the cash provider (lender/buyer) now in return for cash, and agrees to repurchase those securities from the buyer for a greater sum of cash at some later date, that greater sum being all of the cash lent and some extra cash (constituting interest, known as the repo rate). A repo is economically similar to a secured loan, with the buyer receiving securities as collateral to protect against default. There is little that prevents any security from being employed in a repo; so, Treasury or Government bills, corporate and Treasury / Government bonds, and stocks / shares, may all be used as securities involved in a repo. However, the legal title to the securities clearly passes from the seller to the buyer, or "investor". Coupons (installment payments that are payable to the owner of the securities) which are paid while the repo buyer owns the securities are, in fact, usually passed directly onto the repo seller which might seem counterintuitive, as the ownership of the collateral technically rests with the buyer during the repo agreement. It is possible to instead pass on the coupon by altering the cash paid at the end of the agreement, though this is more typical of Sell/Buy Backs. While classic repos are generally credit-risk mitigated instruments, there are residual credit risks. Though it is essentially a collateralized transaction,[b] the seller may fail to repurchase the securities sold at the maturity date. In other words, the repo seller defaults on his obligation.[/b] Consequently, the buyer may keep the security, and liquidate the security in order to recover the cash lent. The security, however, may have lost value since the outset of the transaction as the security is subject to market movements. To mitigate this credit risk, repos often are overcollateralized as well as being subject to daily mark-to-market margining. Credit risk associated with repo is subject to many factors: term of repo, liquidity of security, the strength of the counterparties involved, etc. Repo transactions came into focus within the financial press due to the technicalities of settlements following the collapse of Refco. Occasionally, a party involved in a repo transaction may not have a specific bond at the end of the repo contract. This may cause a string of failures from one party to the next, for as long as different parties have transacted for the same underlying instrument. The focus of the media attention centers on attempts to mitigate these failures.[/i] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repurchase_agreement [/QB][/QUOTE]
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