ORIGINAL POST, SEE UPDATES BELOW: The story of the day: The results of the ECB’s LTRO.The LTRO basically is this: The ECB has made it so that stressed Eurozone banks can pledge a wide range of capital in exchange for super-cheap funding that lasts three years.
The goal is to insulate the banks from the viciousness of the market for a while. As an added benefit, some banks are able to take advantage of the cheap funding to buy peripheral sovereign debt, which carries some juicy yields, making a lot of money on the carry.
The first operation in December was big, and since then Europe has rallied strongly. That includes general stock markets, government bonds, and of course, banks. That initially led to the assumption that this second (and possibly last) LTRO would be even bigger, but now expectations are more tempered.
Consensus is for a take-up somewhere in the neighbourhood of 500 billion EUR.
Official numbers will be out around 5:15 AM ET.
UPDATE: Pretty much in line with consensus…
529 billion Euros is a touch higher than the first one, and maybe a hair above the midpoint of expectations.
Apparently 800 banks asked for money, which is up from just over 500 last time. That might be the bigger news.
Here’s the full results table form the ECB: