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Stress emerges again in Treasuries market

Section: Daily Dispatches

By John Dizard
Financial Times, London
Saturday, April 30, 2022

When the world's biggest and most liquid market shows signs of stress, investors should take note.

At the beginning of this month, major financial market participants trading in the U.S. Treasury bond market had difficulty meeting the demands for collateral made by their counterparties.

... Dispatch continues below ...


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The alarm bell was reported in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Primary Dealer Statistics, in the weekly report for "fails" for U.S. Treasury securities. A "fail" occurs when a market participant breaks a promise to receive or deliver securities when they are obliged to do so.

In the week ended April 6, there were a total of $507 billion in fails reported by the primary dealers, a sharp rise from $358 billion in the previous week ended March 30. The level fell back down again to $275 billion in the subsequent week and was far below the $5.3 trillion peak of fails seen in one October week in the 2008 financial crisis. 

But the jump this month was notable -- the highest level of fails since March 2020.

During that March, you will recall, financial markets very publicly ground to a halt due to Covid-19 lockdowns. This time, though, there was no particular, visible trigger event.  ...

... For the remainder of the analysis:

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