The Fed announced a series of three “expedited procedure, closed” meetings Monday thru Wednesday this week: FRB Board Meetings. The Monday meeting was allegedly “a review and determination by the Board of Governors” of the advance and discount rates charged by the Fed. This is somewhat an absurd waste of time as both of those bank funding mechanisms have become antiquated and rarely used. The discount window collects dust until a specific bank’s credit profile has collapsed to an extent that prevents it from accessing the interbank-lending market. It’s seen as an act of desperation. It’s doubtful that the meeting was convened to discuss the discount rate.
The announced subject matter of the two subsequent meetings are perhaps of more interest: “bank supervisory matter” (Tuesday) and “periodic briefing and discussion on financial markets, institutions, and infrastructure” (Wednesday).
I find the latter two topics in the context of the fact that it appears that the European banking system – to which the U.S. Too Big To Fail Banks are inextricably tied – appears to be melting down.
For me the “tell tale” for the western financial system is Deutsche Bank. Deutsche Bank has emerged as a “rogue” bank of sorts that had taken on a catastrophic amount of
reckless credit market risks. Nothwithstanding its literal financial nuclear portfolio of derivatives, DB thrust its balance sheet into every sector of the global economic system that has been melting down over the past 12-24 months including energy, commodities, “Club Med” European banks and junk bonds. It also began to choke to death on bank debt loans to companies like Glencore and Volkswagen.
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