Monday, December 22, 2008

Need a New Prime Broker? Call the Fed

On Friday, the Fed announced that it would offer low-cost three-year funding to any US company investing in securitized consumer loans under the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF.)  As a consequence, hedge funds will be encouraged to purchase ABS since they will have a convenient, cheap and stable financing source.  The Fed will in essence be taking on the role of a prime broker, by granting hedge funds access to leverage.  Prime brokers have been ratcheting back on the amount of leverage provided to hedge funds which has contributed to the seizing of the ABS market.  Apparently the outgoing Bush administration, in a last ditch effort to do even more damage than possibly conceivable by any twisted human being's imagination, is also considering including new CMBS (please see previous post) and RMBS.  But really, this is all fabulous news.  You see, I've been looking for a new prime broker because my current broker, for some crazy reason, will no longer lend to me at 0% without any haircut, allowing a 100-to-one leverage ratio so I can generate a 5% "risk-free" return before my two and twenty in fees.  It's just so unfair.  Thankfully, the Fed has taken my lousy prime broker's place, so my "business model" has been salvaged for now.  Can someone point me in the direction of the next bubble please?         

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