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Repo Rates Surge to Post-Crisis High as Bank Dealers Pare Back

  • Money funds turn to bills, Fed RRPs as quarter-end alternative
  • Treasury repo rate jumps to 1.1 percent at 12 p.m. in New York

The rate for borrowing and lending government debt surged Thursday to the highest since the financial crisis as banks reined in collateral lending to shore up balance sheets ahead of the quarter-end.

With fewer dealers borrowing cash and posting government debt as collateral, money funds -- the key lenders of cash in the repurchase agreement market -- gravitated to buying Treasury bills and parking cash with the Fed via their RRPs during quarter-end, driving overnight rates higher.