Login | Help

banner ad

The repurchase market and shadow banking: Resources

Financial statements

Use these resources to begin reporting on the repo industry.

By Mary Fricker

How do you make sense of the complicated nature of the repo industry? What are some basic resources reporters on this topic should start with? Use the list below to get started.


Check out these visual presentations.

* The Financial Times, “How the repo market works,” April 15, 2009.
* American Public Media, “The ‘Repo’ Market,” 2009.


Have repo news and information flowing into your in-box.

*Set up “repo,” “repurchase market,” “repurchase agreement” and “shadow banking” searches with Google and the Financial Times.
* Subscribe to Securities Finance Monitor and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.


Reach out to me.

* Check out my web site, RepoWatch.org. Contact me: (707) 823-4411 or mfricker@sonic.net.

* Shadow banking primer: One important reason for reporters to understand the repurchase market is that it’s a simple portal into understanding shadow banking. The financial crisis of 2007-2008 happened mainly in shadow banking, not traditional banking, and all business reporters need to understand it. When you’re ready, check out “An overview of shadow banking for journalists” and Shadow Banking: Part 1.


An introduction
Story ideas
Tips for localizing


Talk to financial and credit market officers at the organizations on your beat.

* Don’t be deterred by blank stares. Sometimes even financial and credit officers don’t understand repos very well.


Here’s the best repo data

* Weekly Release of Primary Dealer Positions, Transactions, and Financing.

Click on Excel.
Click on sheet “pressrelc4.”
See “Repurchase Agreements” at the bottom.
These are totals for the Primary Dealers authorized to trade with the Federal Reserve. These dealers do at least half of the repo trading in the U.S., maybe much more, and they’re the best repo data we have.

* International Capital Markets Association – European repo.


* Securitization is an organization that wants to get a repo loan must have securities to use as collateral. Often these securities are U.S. Treasuries, but often they’re securities backed by pools of consumer and business loans (like mortgages) through a process called securitization. Here’s a trade association that has information and data for securitization: Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.


* Securities lending are organizations that have securities can also make money by lending them. Securities lending is a close cousin to repo.


About the Author

The Reynolds Center, created through generous grants from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation of Las Vegas and operated by ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is dedicated to improving the quality of business and economics coverage through training programs for business reporters and editors.

Leave a Comment

1) Register to join the community & comment or 2) Quick comment
Username: Username:
Email: Email:
Verify Password:
or 3) Login if you already have an account