“Important risks remain in the short-term wholesale funding markets,” Bernanke said today in a speech at a Chicago Fed banking conference. “One of the key risks is how the system would respond to the failure of a broker-dealer or other major borrower.”
“More work is needed to better prepare investors and other market participants to deal with the potential consequences of a default by a large participant in the repo market,” Bernanke said. He said that the “possibility of a run” on money-market funds remains.
Bernanke said the financial crisis revealed that the market for repurchase agreement funding -- where a securities dealer uses collateral for short-term loans with an agreement to reverse the transaction later -- was “quite fragile.”
“As questions emerged about the nature and value of collateral” during the crisis, “worried lenders either greatly increased margin requirements or, more commonly, pulled back entirely,” the Fed chairman said. “Borrowers unable to meet margin calls and finance their asset holdings were forced to sell, driving down asset prices further and setting off a cycle of deleveraging and further asset liquidation.”
I hate to be a cynic but nothing has been overhauled, the whole system is still broken.