CNBC: Address problems of bond market liquidity

April 22nd, 2015

Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said regulators should make a priority of addressing the problems of bond market liquidity, brought on by their very efforts to make institutions safer after the financial crisis.

Summers, speaking Thursday on “Squawk Box,” responded to comments made by JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon who said recent volatility in the currency and Treasury markets was a “warning shot across the bow.”

The drumbeat about liquidity questions in the corporate bond market but also Treasury market has gotten louder, and Dimon used his annual letter to shareholders as soap box to warn about the issue.

Bond market participants blame post-financial crisis regulations aimed at making the activities of financial institutions safer by restricting capital use. In the Treasury market, they point to the fact that the Fed holds a massive amount of Treasury supply on its more-than-$4 trillion balance sheet, keeping it off the market. Another issue often discussed by traders is the reduced head count at Wall Street’s primary dealers.

Watch the full interview here.