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IPFS News Link • Federal Reserve

The Fed's Game of "Make Believe" Comes to an End

•, By James Hickman

At the time, I wrote that the bank failures weren't over, and that there would be more.

But it's been quiet for most of the last year; the banking system has been pretty calm thanks in large part to an emergency program that the Federal Reserve created to bail out other troubled banks.

They called the Bank Term Funding Program (BTFP), and it essentially expired a few weeks ago. In other words, no more emergency lending to troubled banks.

Barely a month later, we have already witnessed our first casualty: Pennsylvania-based Republic First (not to be confused with First Republic, which failed last year) was shut down by regulators on Friday afternoon.

Republic First had the same issues as the others that failed last year — too many 'unrealized bond losses' on their balance sheet.

Just like Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, etc. last year, Republic First had used their customers' deposits to buy US Treasury bonds in 2021 and 2022, back when bond prices were at all-time highs.

By early 2023, the situation had reversed. Bond prices had plummeted; even supposedly 'safe' and 'stable' US Treasury bonds had fallen substantially in price, and banks were sitting on huge losses.