Bank cost of funds versus mortgage prices

Eurodollar or LIBOR cost of funds is a common phrase in banking, what does it mean or do though?

Banks borrow short term and lend out long term, they call it ‘maturity transformation’ and in doing so they aim to make a mark up on the money, it’s the same concept that a shop uses in selling cartons of milk, fundamentally the idea is the same.

The LIBOR rate is ‘London interbank offer rate’ and represents the cost of funds for a high quality non-governmental institutional borrower.

To get an idea of the cost of funds (and this is currently speculative because Irish banks don’t get offered funds at Euribor [euro equivalent of Libor]) all you have to do is a simple calculation.

We know that banks tend to use three month money and that means that any calculation will always have the interest rate reduced by multiplying it by 90/360 (3 months = 90 days, and 360 = 1 year [I know that in real life 1 year is 365 days but that small change of 5 days gives …

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The yield curve on US Treasuries

Tom Keene from Bloomberg talks about the yield curve and some of the spreads that we are seeing in the current market, as well as that there are the seeds of the inflation story that we have been warning about since 2008.

Separately there are Harvard economists saying we need to see some inflation as it would prevent people from holding off on spending (look up the paradox of thrift and of deleveraging).

One final video worth looking at is the last one in this post, it poses the question ‘what will happen when the Chinese stop saving’.

One of the major oversights in this clip is that the Asian tendency towards savings is embedded in their culture, that means you can’t provide healthcare or anything else and expect the trend to end, it will probably take more than a decade for such a transition to occur because habits don’t change overnight, the ‘Chinese Way’ is not a movement that can turn on a dime.

The focus on trade links however is really interesting and the big …

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