The Federal Reserve Bank of New York works to promote sound and well-functioning financial systems and markets through its provision of industry and payment services, advancement of infrastructure reform in key markets and training and educational support to international institutions.
The Outreach & Education function engages, empowers and educates the public in the Second District. Our outreach mission furthers the Bank’s commitment to the region by listening to the communities we serve and developing programs, analysis and sponsored conferences and clinics to help meet their needs. Our education mission aims to advance public knowledge about the Federal Reserve System and its role in the economy.
Settlement fails, which occur when securities are not delivered and paid for on the date scheduled by the buyer and seller, can expose market participants to the risk of loss due to counterparty insolvency. This article examines the institutional and economic setting of the fails problem that affected the Treasury market following September 11 and describes how the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury responded. The authors explain that fails rose initially because of the physical destruction of trade records and communication facilities. Fails remained high because a relatively low federal funds rate and investor reluctance to lend securities kept the cost of borrowing securities to avert or remedy a fail comparable to the cost of continuing to fail. The fails problem was ultimately resolved when the Treasury increased the outstanding supply of the on-the-run ten-year note through an unprecedented "snap" reopening. The article also suggests other ways to alleviate chronic fails, such as the introduction of a securities lending facility run by the Treasury and the institution of a penalty fee for fails.