Thursday, March 8, 2012

ECB Liquidity - How Large is the Subsidy?

The ECB's LTRO can be compared to market repo to estimate the subsidy the ECB is providing to banks.  For example, a 7-10 year Italian bond gets haircut 4% at the ECB vs 8% at LCH. 

But a bigger subsidy exists for Portuguese bonds (normally the ECB does not permit sub investment grade collateral, but they waived this requirement for Portugal in July: At LCH those are haircut 80%; at the ECB the haircuts depend on the length, but at the ECB a 2 year Portuguese bond has a haircut of just 6.5%

LCH Source:

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