Last week, amid the fire and brimstone surrounding the market's shocked response to the Fed's unexpected hawkish pivot, we noted that there were two tangible, if less noted changes: the Fed adjusted the two key "administered" rates, raising both the IOER and RRP rates by 5 basis points (as correctly predicted by Bank of America, JPMorgan, Wrightson, Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo while Citi, Oxford Economics, Jefferies, Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered, BMO were wrong in predicting no rate change), in an effort to push the Effective Fed Funds rate higher and away from its imminent rendezvous with 0%.
What does this mean? As Curvature Securities repo guru, Scott Skyrm wrote last week, "clearly the Fed intends to move overnight rates above zero and drain the RRP facility of cash." Unfortunately, the end result would be precisely the opposite of what the Fed had wanted to achieve.
But what does this really mean for overnight rates and RRP volume? As Skyrm further noted, the increase in the IOER should pull the daily fed funds rate 5 basis points higher and, in turn, put upward pressure on Repo GC. Combined with the 5 basis point increase in RRP, GC should move a solid 5 basis points higher, which it has.
The problem, as Skyrm warned, is that the Fed's technical adjustment would do nothing to ease the RRP volume:
When market Repo rates were at 0% and the RRP rate was at zero, ~$500 billion went into the RRP. Well, if both market Repo rates and the RRP rate are 5 basis points higher, there's no reason to pull cash out of the RRP. For example, if GC rates moved to .05% and the RRP rate stayed at zero, investor preferences to invest at a higher rate would remove cash from the RRP.