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When the back office moved to the front burner: settlement fails in the treasury market after 9/11

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  • Michael J. Fleming
  • Kenneth D. Garbade

Abstract

Settlement fails, which occur when securities are not delivered and paid for on the date scheduled by the buyer and seller, can expose market participants to the risk of loss due to counterparty insolvency. This article examines the institutional and economic setting of the fails problem that affected the Treasury market following September 11 and describes how the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury responded. The authors explain that fails rose initially because of the physical destruction of trade records and communication facilities. Fails remained high because a relatively low federal funds rate and investor reluctance to lend securities kept the cost of borrowing securities to avert or remedy a fail comparable to the cost of continuing to fail. The fails problem was ultimately resolved when the Treasury increased the outstanding supply of the on-the-run ten-year note through an unprecedented "snap" reopening. The article also suggests other ways to alleviate chronic fails, such as the introduction of a securities lending facility run by the Treasury and the institution of a penalty fee for fails.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael J. Fleming & Kenneth D. Garbade, 2002. "When the back office moved to the front burner: settlement fails in the treasury market after 9/11," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Nov, pages 35-57.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednep:y:2002:i:nov:p:35-57:n:v.8no.2
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Operational Risk and Financial Stability
      by Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz in Money, Banking and Financial Markets on 2017-09-18 16:56:01

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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    Cited by:

    1. Devriese, Johan & Mitchell, Janet, 2006. "Liquidity risk in securities settlement," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1807-1834, June.
    2. Michael J. Fleming & Kenneth D. Garbade, 2005. "Explaining settlement fails," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 11(Sep).
    3. Fleming, Michael J. & Garbade, Kenneth D., 2007. "Dealer behavior in the specials market for US Treasury securities," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 204-228, April.
    4. Boni, Leslie & Leach, Chris, 2004. "Expandable limit order markets," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 145-185, February.
    5. Cyril Monnet & Thomas Nellen, 2014. "The Collateral Costs of Clearing," Working Papers 2014-04, Swiss National Bank.
    6. Iori, Giulia, 2004. "An analysis of systemic risk in alternative securities settlement architectures," Working Paper Series 404, European Central Bank.
    7. Edgardo Barandiarán, 2003. "El Prestamista de Última Instancia en la Nueva Industria Bancaria," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 40(120), pages 337-358.
    8. José Ramón Martínez-Resano, 2005. "Size and heterogeneity matter. A microstructure-based analysis of regulation of secondary markets for governments bonds," Occasional Papers 0501, Banco de España;Occasional Papers Homepage.
    9. Kenneth D. Garbade, 2004. "Origins of the Federal Reserve book-entry system," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Dec, pages 33-50.
    10. Koeppl, Thorsten & Monnet, Cyril & Temzelides, Ted, 2012. "Optimal clearing arrangements for financial trades," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 189-203.
    11. Christopher J. Neely, 2004. "The Federal Reserve responds to crises: September 11th was not the first," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 27-42.
    12. Michael J. Fleming & Kenneth D. Garbade & Frank Keane, 2005. "Anomalous Bidding In Short-Term Treasury Bill Auctions," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 28(2), pages 165-176.
    13. Lacker, Jeffrey M., 2004. "Payment system disruptions and the federal reserve following September 11, 2001," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 935-965, July.
    14. Torben G. Andersen & Luca Benzoni, 2010. "Do Bonds Span Volatility Risk in the U.S. Treasury Market? A Specification Test for Affine Term Structure Models," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(2), pages 603-653, April.
    15. Kenneth D. Garbade & John Kambhu, 2005. "Why is the U.S. Treasury contemplating becoming a lender of last resort for Treasury securities?," Staff Reports 223, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    16. Michael J. Fleming & Kenneth D. Garbade, 2004. "Repurchase agreements with negative interest rates," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 10(Apr).
    17. Bank for International Settlements, 2015. "Central bank operating frameworks and collateral markets," CGFS Papers, Bank for International Settlements, number 53.
    18. Kenneth D. Garbade & Matthew Rutherford, 2007. "Buybacks in Treasury cash and debt management," Staff Reports 304, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    19. Boni, Leslie, 2006. "Strategic delivery failures in U.S. equity markets," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-26, February.
    20. Jagannathan, Ravi & Jirnyi, Andrei & Sherman, Ann Guenther, 2015. "Share auctions of initial public offerings: Global evidence," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 283-311.
    21. Stratmann, Thomas & Welborn, John W., 2013. "The options market maker exception to SEC Regulation SHO," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 195-226.
    22. Silber, William L., 2005. "What happened to liquidity when world war I shut the NYSE?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 685-701, December.

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