For general media inquiries (members of the media only) please call (816) 340-7033 or email us.
We're always looking for exceptional team members.
A superior benefits and rewards program is an essential part of our commitment to our employees.
By Cleo Chang
For a $3+ trillion market, “repos” generally don’t get much attention from investors—even from those who are familiar with the term.
Repos, short for repurchase agreements, are a form of short-term borrowing. These deals allow one party to lend cash in exchange for debt instruments, such as Treasury bills and other government securities, often overnight. The borrower can then repurchase the securities, and the small difference in price is known as the repo rate.
Most of the time, this process happens behind the scenes. But what happens when the repo market doesn’t work as intended? Watch my latest video to hear more on the important role repurchase agreements have recently played in investment markets.
Investor typically don’t pay close attention to repo, unless the repo rate makes a sharp jump that is outside of the expectation. And sometimes gets the Fed to come in and reassess the liquidity needs and may decide to either inject or pull out cash from the market to allow the repo market to return to normal.
Repo market is the short term for repurchase agreement market. And what this really is, particularly in the U.S., is an overnight cash and collateralized asset exchange facility. As an example, there’s a lot of U.S. money market funds that hold a lot of cash as investors put money into the fund. And there are a lot of banks that hold short-term debt instruments like the Treasury bill.
But because banks are under certain regulations and need to have certain cash reserves requirements overnight, they would need to seek out a cash facility to lend them the cash where they can collateralize their short-term Treasury bills as collateral. So that’s what happens in the general in the repo market overnight.
What is a surprising fact for many investors might be that the amount of dollars that exchange hands in the repo market and the reverse repo market on a daily basis is typically north of $3 trillion. So, it’s a very active market; it’s a very important component of our capital markets that provides a lot of short-term liquidity that allows other things to work the way they’re supposed to.
When the repo market doesn’t work as it’s intended to, the first sign usually is that the repo rate—which is the rate that the bank who has the asset, the debt asset, and the mutual fund or other financial entity that has the cash, the interest rate that they use to exchange that transaction—will start to rise.
That does happen on a regular basis; there are certain market events that will typically create more demand for that overnight cash than others. So, it does happen from time to time.
Get additional insights in our latest Investment Outlook.
The innovative companies driving these changes may offer opportunities for investors to reduce concentration risk in portfolios that may be overloaded with big-name technology companies.
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives will likely echo Biden's stance on climate change, resulting in a strengthening of the federal government's role in energy and environmental policy.
Biden has pledged to work with Republicans on Capitol Hill. Failing that, he won’t be powerless to pursue his agenda.
The Federal Reserve surprised markets with an emergency 0.50% rate cut on March 3. Our investment managers explore the move and potential market responses.
Providing a concise, easy-to-scan overview of current opportunities and risks in today's global markets.
The opinions expressed are those of American Century Investments (or the portfolio manager) and are no guarantee of the future performance of any American Century Investments' portfolio. This material has been prepared for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, investment, accounting, legal or tax advice.
American Century Investments is not responsible for and does not endorse any comments, content, advertising, products, advice, opinions, recommendations or other materials on or available directly or via hyperlinks from Facebook, Twitter or any third-party website. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are registered trademarks of their respective owners.