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This might be a basic question. But I am still confused about the terms. Please kindly suggest about my understanding of repo vs reverse repo and repo rate vs reverse repo rate with their applications for money supply.

Here is my understanding:

  1. Repurchase Agreement is when Banks sell securities to Fed in order to buy back at a higher price.

  2. Reverse Agreement is when Fed buys securities from Banks and resell them to Banks at a higher price.

  3. Repo rate is the rate applied from the Bank’s perspective when the Bank has to pay Fed when buying back securities. (In this case, the Bank is on the Repurchase agreement and Fed is on the Reverse repurchase agreement)

  4. Reverse repo rate is the rate applied from the Bank’s perspective when the Bank buys securities from Fed in order to get paid by Fed when the Bank resell securities to Fed at a later date. (In this case, the Bank is on the Reverse repurchase agreement and Fed is on the Repurchase agreement)

When Fed wants to increase money supply, it will lower repo rate. On the other hands, if Fed wants to decrease money supply, it will increase repo rate.

When Fed wants to decrease money supply, it will increase reverse repo rate. On the other hands, if Fed wants to increase money supply, it will decrease reverse repo rate.

Q: Is my understanding correct?

I’ve been reading on articles and internet resources but still can’t wrap my head around. Please kindly suggest. Thank you in advance.

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  • $\begingroup$ The discussion in your post about the "repo rate" and the "reverse repo rate" seems to be based on the operations of the Reserve Bank of India and not the US Federal Reserve. $\endgroup$
    – noob2
    Mar 2 '20 at 23:45
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the suggestion. So, that means in US they only refer to ‘Repo rate’ right? $\endgroup$
    – user506602
    Mar 2 '20 at 23:50
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, in US the two parties mutually agree to a rate that one party will pay and the other party will receive: the Repo Rate. $\endgroup$
    – noob2
    Mar 3 '20 at 11:02
  • $\begingroup$ @noob2 Thank you for the answer. Appreciated!! $\endgroup$
    – user506602
    Mar 3 '20 at 11:06
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A repo transaction and a reverse repo transaction are opposite sides of the same transaction.

A capital market participant enters into a "repo" with a counterparty, who is in a "reverse repo". A repo is repurchase agreement. The counterparty (liquidity taker) is effectively borrowing funds from the capital market participant (liquidity provider) on a secured basis. They sell the security to the capital market participant and simultaneously agrees to repurchase the same security. The difference between the price sold (lower) and the agree upon price to repurchase the same security represents the interest paid on the secured loan.

Higher interest rates discourage borrowing (lower interest rates encourage borrowing) in that higher interest rates increase the cost of borrowing money.

While the Fed and Banks are major participants in the repo market, the repo market has many participants (money market funds, mutual funds, institutional investors, etc). The consistency is that the borrower or liquidity taker enters into a "repo", and the lender or liquidity provider enters the same trade as a "reverse repo".

When the Fed is looking to inject liquidity (increase funds or money supply) into the market, they are engaging in a "reverse repo" transaction. When the Fed is looking to take liquidity out of the market (reduce funds or money supply), they are engaging in a "repo" transaction.

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  • $\begingroup$ When the Fed is engaging in a Reverse repo to inject liquidity, is this from the Fed’s perspective right? If so, is this transaction using a reverse repo rate? Thanks $\endgroup$
    – user506602
    Mar 2 '20 at 23:32
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    $\begingroup$ @user506602 Yes re: Fed using Reverse Repo to inject liquidity. If you are looking at Rev Repo rates, there is a bid/ask. The bid rate is higher than the ask rate. The higher bid rate implies a higher charge to provide liquidity, and the lower offer rate is the lower return to the liquidity provider (take liquidity). $\endgroup$
    – AlRacoon
    Mar 3 '20 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. That makes sense now. 🙏🏻 $\endgroup$
    – user506602
    Mar 3 '20 at 18:51

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