The market for borrowing and lending U.S. government debt, after shrinking 31 percent in the past five years, risks contracting further as global regulators consider raising capital and leverage standards for banks.
Money market rates, which surged during the debate to raise the federal borrowing cap, dropped below zero percent as Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis bolstered U.S. government securities’ appeal as the world’s safest assets.
The rate to borrow and lend U.S. government securities rose to an almost two-week high as demand for repurchase agreements declined after MF Global Holdings Ltd. declared bankruptcy and more securities entered the marketplace following auction settlements.
Clients of the largest U.S. banks withdrew funds this month at the fastest weekly pace since the Sept. 11 attacks as a deposit-insurance program ended and customers tapped into their year-end cash hoards.
Treasury 10-year notes will become less coveted in the short-term market for borrowing and lending the securities by next week as the government sells more of the debt, according to Bank of America Corp. and Barclays Plc.