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The U.S. should create a standing repo facility and consider central clearing of Treasury trades to avoid any repeat of the "dash for cash" that amplified market instability as the Covid-19 pandemic first struck, former Secretary Tim Geithner and former Fed Governor Jeremy Stein said Wednesday.
The two led a report for the G30 that is one of the most influential calls yet for reform after the March 2020 squeeze that pushed the Federal Reserve into uncharted areas of liquidity provision. Stein backed a broad repo facility and said restrictive bank leverage ratios have discouraged some firms from supporting Treasury market trading and backing repo trades.
Fed officials are still studying last year's market squeeze, with a standing repo mechanism, under discussion even before the pandemic, one possible outcome -- although, as MNI has reported, there is acknowledgement of the stigma that could be attached to its use.