Submitted by Jacques Simon,
In our last post we touted a too-big too fail return in the commodity-sector (a name nobody dare to pronounced. Today prices are down but market volatility is up (VaR is up, prices are down). Capital one, a FDIC-insured bank is allowed to skip a $1B margin call related to energy exposure of an undisclosed nature.
Zero Hedge suggested that the CFTC (Fed by extension) was quietly bailing out Capital One.
`As part of that business, Capital One enters into commodity swaps with its commercial oil and gas clients to help them mitigate the risk of energy price swings and the related borrowing risks. Typically, those trades do not bring Capital One’s swaps exposure anywhere close to the CFTC’s registration threshold, according to the CFTC’s Friday notice“.
But the 50% plunge in crude oil prices caused by the coronavirus and a flood of supply by top producers has seen its exposure on those swaps balloon, putting it on course to hit the threshold by the end of this month, the CFTC said.
As Reuters details, the threshold kicks in if a bank has $1 billion in daily average aggregate commodity swap exposure that is not secured by collateral, such as cash margin. Which, it appears, was the case with CapitalOne.
“Why was Capital one spec-ing long crude anyway” asked a trader?
He noted that they cannot really call it a “hedge“ as they are directly hurt by falling prices…
– Capital One is not registered as a swap dealer, nor is a major swap participant with the CFTC. -How in the course of normal lending can they be long the equivalent...