Banks as currency agents …

Banks should think of themselves as the private sector currency agents of the State.  The currency encapsulates the economic, commercial, and social value of a political economy.  A State-issued currency ties the State’s citizens to a particular value system while providing a mechanism that accounts for a citizen’s wealth and serves the citizen as a medium of exchange for goods and services, including the payment of taxes to the State.

Banks help distribute State-issued currency primarily through the creation of credit.  Banks are a “port of call” for currency; receiving deposits from its customers, capital from its investors, and placing State-issued Treasurys, underwritten by the central bank, into its investment portfolio.  Banks issue loans to their customers creating money in the process.  This money can be deposited at other banks or used by consumers or businesses for purchases.  The fees for financial services provided to consumers and the interest earned from lending to end users and producers provide the banks with income that, along with the income generated by businesses financed by banks, can be taxed by the State.

The fallout from the 2007-2008 financial meltdown has created a narrative that banks are entities separate from the State; private sector “bad boys” whose reckless behavior from creating financial instruments doomed to perform poorly caused people to lose jobs and credit to freeze.  The narrative had citizens questioning why these misbehaving banks received bailouts from the U.S. government while ordinary citizens had to bear the brunt of the rippling effects throughout the economy. 

The answer is simple.  Selling debt instruments and earning fees for placing these instruments into the hands of investors part of the implicit agreement between the State and the banks as currency agents.  Even as elected officials such as Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts and Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, argue for increased regulation of America’s larger banks, the truth of the matter is that dismantling the mechanisms of banking would be too costly to the State’s currency distribution system.  The State would have to re-write its laws to support an alternative system and for all the noise against the current system, seems to be in no rush to replace it.     

Interbank Market News Scan: Federal Reserve, foreign exchange, central banks …

28 June 2021

Links to follow ….

Interbank. China is taking another step to loosen its capital controls and in the process is giving onshore investors greater access to a previously hard-to-reach bond market.  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-27/how-china-is-cracking-a-window-for-its-bond-investors-quicktake?sref=oriheOus

Interbank. Only half of loan investors believe their instruments have robust fallback language designed to ensure a smooth transition from the London interbank offered rate, according to a recent survey from Barclays Plc. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-25/libor-fears-persist-for-loan-market-with-six-months-to-deadline?sref=oriheOus

Foreign exchange. Deutsche Bank AG compensated a Spanish company for losses the firm made after purchasing foreign-exchange derivatives from the German lender, people familiar with the matter said. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-28/deutsche-bank-compensates-firm-over-fx-derivatives-mis-sales?sref=oriheOus

Central banks. They spent 2020 uniting to fend off a historic recession, but central banks are slowly starting to take different paths in 2021. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2021-06-28/what-s-happening-in-the-world-economy-peak-central-bank-stimulus?sref=oriheOus

Central banks. Inflation is now an “influencer” of the Fed and the other central banks, but no more than that. The real question is how the central banks will respond to it, if at all, past their public comments. https://seekingalpha.com/article/4436858-central-banks-claim-check

Central banks, Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve Board on Friday announced it will extend for a final time its Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility, or PPPLF, by an additional month to July 30, 2021. The extension is being made as an operational accommodation to allow additional processing time for banks, community development financial institutions, and other financial institutions to pledge to the facility any Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, loans approved by the Small Business Administration through the June 30 expiration of the PPP program. https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/monetary20210625a.htm

U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) applauded the bipartisan House passage of their resolution to repeal the Trump Administration’s so-called True Lender Rule through the use of the Congressional Review Act. This regulation, finalized in the last months of the prior Administration, allows predatory lenders to skirt state laws meant to curb interest rates on loans and opens the doors for these lenders to prey on vulnerable consumers. The legislation now heads to the President’s desk for signature.  https://www.banking.senate.gov/newsroom/majority/house-passes-van-hollen-brown-legislation-to-strike-down-trump-era-rent-a-bank-rule-sending-it-to-the-presidents-desk

U.S. House Committee on Financial Services.  This week, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, gave the following statement on the House floor urging the passage of Senate Joint Resolution 15, a resolution that invalidates the Trump Administration’s “True Lender” rule. https://financialservices.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=408055

Interbank Market News Scan: The Caribbean, foreign exchange …

25 June 2021

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank-interest rates

ECCB Fixed Deposit Rate-1 month0%
ECCB Fixed Deposit Rate-2 months0%
ECCB Fixed Deposit Rate-3 months0%
*ECCU Minimum Savings Deposit Rate2%
ECCB Discount Rate2%
Source: Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

*Eastern Caribbean Currency Union

Foreign exchange rates of interest

Where base currency is XCDRates as of 1:03 am AST 25 June 2021Where term currency is XCDRates as of 1:03 am AST 25 June 2021
XCD/EUR0.3104EUR/XCD3.2216
XCD/GBP0.2657GBP/XCD3.7634
XCD/USD0.3704USD/XCD2.7000
XCD/CAD0.4559CAD/XCD2.1932
XCD/NGN152.1620NGN/XCD0.0066
XCD/CNY2.3963CNY/XCD0.4169
XCD/PLN1.4038PLN/XCD0.7118
XCD/PEN1.4613PEN/XCD0.6723
Source: OANDA

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.  The Eastern Caribbean Partial Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECPCGC) announces two new products aimed at helping regional Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) rebound and grow their businesses. https://www.eccb-centralbank.org/news/view/ecpcgc-offers-additional-products-to-help-small-businesses

Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday released the results of its annual bank stress tests, which showed that large banks continue to have strong capital levels and could continue lending to households and businesses during a severe recession. https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/bcreg20210624a.htm

Foreign exchange. Chinese banks’ stockpile of foreign-currency deposits has surpassed $1 trillion for the first time, creating an opportunity for Beijing to allow greater freedom for capital to flow out of the country. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-24/chinese-banks-stockpile-record-1-trillion-of-foreign-currencies?sref=oriheOus

Foreign exchange. The EU is unlikely to grant U.K.-based financial firms automatic market access in all areas post-Brexit, according to a top British minister. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-24/u-k-says-equivalence-with-eu-unlikely-in-all-areas-of-finance?sref=oriheOus

Interbank. China’s interbank treasury bond index in net price opened at 985.08 points Friday, higher than the previous close of 984.84 points, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System. http://www.china.org.cn/china/Off_the_Wire/2021-06/25/content_77586945.htm

Interbank Market News Scan: Eastern Caribbean, foreign exchange …

24 June 2021

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank-interest rates

ECCB Fixed Deposit Rate-1 month0%
ECCB Fixed Deposit Rate-2 months0%
ECCB Fixed Deposit Rate-3 months0%
ECCU (1) Minimum Savings Deposit Rate2%
ECCB Discount Rate2%
Source: Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
  • (1) Eastern Caribbean Currency Union

Foreign exchange rates of interest

Where base currency is XCDRates as of 1:15 am AST 24 June 2021Where term currency is XCDRates as of 1:30 am AST 24 June 2021
XCD/EUR0.3103EUR/XCD3.2222
XCD/GBP0.2653GBP/XCD3.7689
XCD/USD0.3704USD/XCD2.7000
XCD/CAD0.4556CAD/XCD2.1946
XCD/NGN151.8860NGN/XCD0.0066
XCD/CNY2.3986CNY/XCD0.4168
XCD/PLN1.4026PLN/XCD0.7122
XCD/PEN1.4509PEN/XCD0.6771
Source: OANDA

Foreign exchange. On 26 May 2021, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted the Resolution adopted a Resolution setting out the procedure the tax authority should use to fine legal entities for violating currency legislation. https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=b6a6e9df-ddaa-49c7-821a-355d5b0cf097

Foreign exchange. The U.S. dollar vacillated below an 11-week high versus major peers on Thursday as traders attempted to navigate conflicting signals from Federal Reserve officials on the timing of a withdrawal of monetary stimulus. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/24/forex-markets-dollar-us-federal-reserve.html

Interbank. Flour millers in Nigeria are turning to the street market for dollars to buy wheat after the central bank restricted the use of the U.S. currency to buy grain imports, according to the country’s third-largest operator. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-23/nigeria-flour-millers-squeezed-by-central-bank-ban-on-imports?sref=oriheOus

Interbank. The overnight Shanghai Interbank Offered Rate (Shibor), which measures the borrowing cost of China‘s interbank market, decreased 9.3 basis points to 2.208 percent Wednesday. http://www.china.org.cn/china/Off_the_Wire/2021-06/23/content_77581796.htm Interbank. China’s central bank boosted its short-term cash injection for the first time since March as it sought to cater to a growing demand for liquidity while keeping leverage in check. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-24/china-lifts-short-term-cash-injection-for-first-time-since-march?sref=oriheOus

Interbank Market News Scan: Eastern Caribbean, foreign exchange, banks …

Links to follow …

Banks. The stock market has been volatile, but it’s been a very solid year on -— and for — Wall Street. https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/21/investing/bank-stocks-economy/index.html

Banks.  Bitcoin has fallen below $30,000 for the first time in more than five months, hit by China’s crackdown on the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. https://news.yahoo.com/china-tells-banks-stop-supporting-044021987.html

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank-interest rates

ECCB Fixed Deposit Rate-1 month0%
ECCB Fixed Deposit Rate-2 months0%
ECCB Fixed Deposit Rate-3 months0%
ECCU (1) Minimum Savings Deposit Rate2%
ECCB Discount Rate2%
Source: Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
  • (1) Eastern Caribbean Currency Union

Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange

Bank share prices as of 22 June 2021

The Bank of Nevis Ltd.$3.75
Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines$6.70
East Caribbean Financial Holding Company Ltd$4.00
Grenada Co-operative Bank Ltd.$8.88
Republic Bank (Grenada) Ltd.$45.00
St. Kitts Nevis Anguilla National Bank Ltd.$2.80
Source: Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange

Foreign exchange rates of interest

Currency PairsRates as of 1:15 am AST 23 June 2021
XCD/EUR0.3109
XCD/GBP0.2662
XCD/USD0.3704
XCD/CAD0.4577
XCD/NGN152.0730
XCD/CNY2.3974
XCD/PLN1.4063
XCD/PEN1.4522
Source: OANDA

Interbank Market News Scan: Eastern Caribbean

Links to follow …

Banks. When the European Union launched the euro two decades ago, economists wondered if this novel currency might pull off a feat none other had managed in the post-war period: to challenge the mighty American dollar. https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2021/06/21/the-international-role-of-the-euro

Banks.  Online-only assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum have become a lucrative opportunity for millions of savvy amateur investors, but now Russia’s central bank is warning people to steer clear of what could end up being a very risky buy. https://www.rt.com/russia/527147-crypto-central-bank-warning/

Banks. London Offered Interbank Rates (LIBOR). https://www.brecorder.com/news/40101846/libor-interbank-offered-rates

Banks. Wall Street regulators delivered a uniform message to President Joe Biden Monday: the huge capital buffers that banks built up over the pandemic are protecting the financial system from looming threats. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-21/banks-robust-capital-mitigates-risks-regulators-tell-biden?srnd=premium&sref=oriheOus

Banks. Banks looking to expand into the wild world of crypto are getting a pointed reminder from regulators of the risks involved. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-21/banks-chart-cautious-crypto-policy-with-regulators-taking-aim?sref=oriheOus

Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange

Bank share prices as of 21 June 2021

The Bank of Nevis Ltd.$3.75
Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines$6.70
East Caribbean Financial Holding Company Ltd$4.00
Grenada Co-operative Bank Ltd.$8.88
Republic Bank (Grenada) Ltd.$45.00
St. Kitts Nevis Anguilla National Bank Ltd.$2.80
Source: Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank-interest rates

ECCB Fixed Deposit Rate-1 month0%
ECCB Fixed Deposit Rate-2 months0%
ECCB Fixed Deposit Rate-3 months0%
ECCU (1) Minimum Savings Deposit Rate2%
ECCB Discount Rate2%
Source: Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
  • (1) Eastern Caribbean Currency Union

Foreign exchange rates of interest

Currency PairsRates as of 1:15 am AST 22 June 2021
XCD/EUR0.3114
XCD/GBP0.2670
XCD/USD0.3704
XCD/CAD0.4597
XCD/NGN151.9260
XCD/CNY2.3940
XCD/PLN1.4125
XCD/PEN1.4578
Source: OANDA

22 June 2021

Interbank Market News Scan: Eastern Caribbean; foreign exchange, Caribbean development …

18 June 2021

Links to follow …

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. The ECCB two-month and three-month fixed deposit rates remained at 0%.  The ECCB discount rate remained at 2%.

Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange. No securities trades or bond issues to report.

Interbank. The pound’s popularity in cross-border payments tumbled to its lowest level in more than a decade as the U.K. navigates the post-Brexit landscape, while the euro edged out the dollar for the top spot last month. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-17/pound-falters-in-global-payments-while-euro-climbs-to-top-spot?sref=oriheOus

Banks. The European Central Bank said it will grant lenders about 70 billion euros ($83 billion) of capital relief by extending a measure designed to help them keep supplying credit to the pandemic-struck economy. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-18/ecb-to-extend-leverage-ratio-relief-for-banks-by-nine-months?sref=oriheOus

Banks. Most major banks will remain open Friday despite Juneteenth becoming a new federal holiday signed into law by President Joe Biden. Many remain open as they await direction and grapple with how to proceed after the law was quickly passed this week. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2021/06/18/juneteenth-2021-banks-open-federal-holiday/7740103002/

Foreign exchange. The pound dropped to the lowest level against the dollar in more than a month as a surge in coronavirus cases dented mounting confidence in the U.K.’s recovery. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-18/pound-tumbles-as-virus-resurgence-clouds-hope-for-u-k-recovery?sref=oriheOus

Caribbean development. The findings of the 2020 Annual Economic and Financial Review reveal that the economies of the ECCU countries suffered significant setback in 2020, mainly because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. https://www.eccb-centralbank.org/news/view/2020-annual-economic-and-financial-review-highlights-setback-in-eccu-economies

Caribbean development. A new cooperation is emerging between the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Diaspora and their home countries! https://pressroom.oecs.org/strengthening-ties-with-the-oecs-diaspora

Caribbean development.  Highlighting the importance of restructuring Caribbean economies, the Director of Economics at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Ian Durant says increasing competitiveness has to be the top priority for inducing strong and inclusive growth and overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. https://www.caribank.org/newsroom/news-and-events/cdb-calls-improving-competitiveness-strong-inclusive-growth-after-covid-19

Foreign exchange rates of interest

Currency PairsRates as of 9:18 am AST 18 June 2021
XCD/EUR0.3100
XCD/GBP0.2654
XCD/USD0.3704
XCD/CAD0.4562
XCD/NGN151.6950
XCD/CNY2.3822
XCD/PLN1.4076
XCD/PEN1.4377
Source: OANDA

Interbank Market News Scan: Eastern Caribbean

16 June 2021

Links to follow ….

Interbank. China’s benchmark prices for spot interbank gold transactions were lower on Wednesday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System.  http://www.china.org.cn/china/Off_the_Wire/2021-06/16/content_77571092.htm

Interbank. Many of the issues thrown up in the transition away from sterling Libor appear to have been addressed, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said Monday, delivering a confident assessment of the U.K.’s exit from the discredited benchmark.  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-14/boe-s-bailey-says-sterling-libor-switch-is-pretty-much-there?sref=oriheOus

Interbank. Cuba, the island country located where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean meet, said this week U.S. dollars will be suspended in the country. The mandate comes from the country’s central bank and foreign tourists have been told to leave U.S. dollars at home when visiting. https://news.bitcoin.com/cubas-central-bank-suspends-us-dollar-deposits-nationwide-officials-cite-embargo/

Interbank. The Cayman Islands, U.S. and Gibraltar are the top locations where crypto hedge funds are domiciled, according to a report by PwC and Elwood Asset Management. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cayman-islands-u-gibraltar-top-123005084.html

Interbank. St Kitts and Nevis formalises diplomatic relations with Cameroon, deepening relations with the African continent.  https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/st-kitts-and-nevis-formalises-diplomatic-relations-with-cameroon-deepening-relations-with-african-continent-301313009.html

Foreign Exchange rates of interest ….

Currency PairsRates as of 10:32 am AST 16 June 2021
XCD/EUR0.3055
XCD/GBP0.2628
XCD/USD0.3704
XCD/CAD0.4507
XCD/NGN152.4750
XCD/CNY2.3707
XCD/PLN1.3822
XCD/PEN1.4302
Source: OANDA

Interbank Market News Scan: How will G7, NATO impact China-Caribbean trade relationship; foreign exchange …

15 June 2021

News from the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange

On 28 June 2021, the Government of St. Lucia will auction a 180-day Treasury bill estimated to raise ECS$10 million.  The Bank of St. Lucia and First Citizens Investment Services are the broker firms.

Food for Thought: On China and the Caribbean

The NATO and G7 meetings held one thing in common other than the membership of a number of rich industrialized countries: China.  While the NATO meeting fell short of calling China an “adversary”, the consensus, especially among the leading industrialized nations, is that China, at a minimum, is a competitive economic threat.

One example of its economic threat is Huawei, a Chinese telecom equipment provider accused of ties to the Chinese military.  Huawei provided less expensive telecom equipment to Europe in direct competition with American telecom equipment providers.  The United States, which banned use of Huawei equipment from its telecom networks, chided its European allies for allowing a threat to privacy via Huawei equipment.  Turning a back on Huawei expectedly gives US companies a wider door to enter through into European markets.

It may be too early to determine the impact on the Caribbean a widening rift between China and the US may present.  By our estimate, using CIA data, at least 12 Caribbean countries have a trading relationship (import only, export only, or both) with China.  Whether the Caribbean will tack away from a relationship with China as a result of moves made by the G7 or NATO remains to be seen.

 Import-Export relationship between CARICOM nations and China

Source: CIA World Factbook

CountryImport from ChinaExport to China
St. LuciaNoNo
Trinidad and TobagoYes (USD366 million)Yes (USD595 million)
SurinameYes (USD168 million)No
St. Vincent and the GrenadinesYes (USD23.7 million)No
MontserratNoNo
GuyanaYes (USD8 million)No
GrenadaYes (USD16 million)No
DominicaYes (USD12 million)No
BelizeYes (USD11 million)No
BarbadosYes (USD136 million)No
Antigua and BarbudaYes (USD39 million)No
The BahamasNoYes (USD33 million)
Cayman IslandsNoNo
HaitiYes (USD795 million)No
St. Kitts and NevisNoNo
JamaicaYes (USD804 million)No
British Virgin IslandsNoNo
Turks and CaicosNoNo
BermudaNoNo
AnguillaNoNo

Foreign exchange rates of interest

Source: OANDA

Currency PairsRates as of 11:15 am AST 15 June 2021
XCD/EUR0.3057
XCD/GBP0.2625
XCD/USD0.3704
XCD/CAD0.4500
XCD/NGN152.3900
XCD/CNY2.3692
XCD/PLN1.3776
XCD/PEN1.43619

Links to follow ….

Caribbean Development. A high-level panel of government and business leaders will explore the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Caribbean in the opening seminar of the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) 51st Annual Meeting. https://www.caribank.org/newsroom/news-and-events/cdb-annual-meeting-seminar-discuss-policies-economic-recovery-covid-19-and-more-resilient-caribbean

Interbank. China’s interbank treasury bond index in net price opened at 982.99 points Tuesday, lower than the previous close of 983.65 points, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System. http://www.china.org.cn/china/Off_the_Wire/2021-06/15/content_77568539.htm

Interbank. The Korea Interbank Offered Rates (KORIBOR) as posted by Yonhap Infomax, the financial news and information arm of Yonhap News Agency, at 11:00 a.m. https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20210615004100320

Banks. Billionaire investor Mark Cuban is very bullish on the future of DeFi, or decentralized finance, and DAOs, or decentralized autonomous organizations. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/14/mark-cuban-banks-should-be-scared-of-defi.html

Interbank Market News Scan: Eastern Caribbean; Dominica issues 91-day T-bill …

Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange

Yesterday, on the Regional Government Securities Market, the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica issued a 91-day Treasury bill raising $20 million.  The pricing methodology used in the issue resulted in a discount rate of 3.96050%.

Today, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda is expected to auction a 180-day Treasury bill at EC$10 million at a maximum rate of 4%.

There were no trades yesterday on the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange.

Links to follow …

Banks. “US macro policy and, indeed, the very role of government in the economy, is undergoing its biggest shift in direction in 40 years. In turn we are concerned that it will bring about uncomfortable levels of inflation.” — Deutsche Bank. https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/557743-deutsche-bank-issues-dire-economic-warning-for-america

Banks. Overdraft fees remain a money-making machine for banks and a devastating financial gotcha for poor families and communities of color. https://www.freep.com/story/money/personal-finance/susan-tompor/2021/06/11/ally-bank-pnc-huntington-launch-overdraft-ideas-industry-criticized/7581786002/

Banks. Today the Swiss National Bank announced it’s participating in a wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) trial with the Banque de France, and the BIS Innovation Hub. The solution aims to use the digital Swiss Franc and digital Euro to settle cross border trades for financial instruments such as stock or bonds on a blockchain. The central banks don’t want the tests to be interpreted as a decision to launch a CBDC. https://www.ledgerinsights.com/central-banks-of-switzerland-france-in-wholesale-cbdc-trial/

Currency PairsRates as of 11:30 am AST 11 June 2021Rates as of 11 June 2020Change in rates
XCD/EUR0.30430.3259(6.6%)
XCD/GBP0.26200.2904(9.8%)
XCD/USD0.37040.3704flat
XCD/CAD0.44830.4961(9.6%)
XCD/NGN152.3700142.94006.6%
XCD/CNY2.36572.6164(9.6%)
XCD/PLN1.36081.4502(6.2%)
XCD/PEN1.429131.262313.2%

Source: OANDA