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Powell Faces Doubt That Fed Really Has Repo Under Control

  • Year-end repo rates are high even after Fed chief’s comments
  • The central bank needs a long-term plan for repo, BofA says
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Fed's Powell Says New Normal Is Lower Rates, Lower Inflation, Lower Growth
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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says short-term interest rates are back under control. Not everyone’s convinced.

There’s evidence traders expect pressure to build in the weeks ahead. Brokers on Thursday are quoting repurchase-agreement rates for year-end around 3.25%, or roughly one-and-a-half percentage points higher than today’s levels, and they’ve mostly been above 3% for months. That’s even after Powell’s attempt to reassure markets on Wednesday and the central bank’s announcement Thursday of its latest round of liquidity injections, some of which will span the end of the year.