In Part 1 of this report, I covered dealer positions, financing, and hedging. Dealers have mitigated a significant amount of risk by selling paper to the Fed, reducing their inventories, and increasing their hedges. They’ve also benefitted from the rally in prices over the past few weeks. That rally has largely been driven by the Treasury paying down T-bills.
This report looks at several large bank measures, including net unrealized profits or losses of large banks on trading positions, and week to week changes in total bank capital. Those changes indicate the profits of the entire banking system, or in this case, the 25 largest US banks.
The data suggests that the big banks who are largely the parent firms of the primary dealers, haven’t been as profitable as their earnings report suggest, or that at least they have not increased their capital at all.
They aren’t required to mark their investment portfolios of long term bonds to market. If they need to liquidate any of that, then those losses will be recognized. There’s some chance that they will need to liquidate later in the year, as Treasury supply increases, putting downward pressure on bond prices.
Meanwhile, Treasury paydowns will continue to support a bid for both bonds and stocks, for as long as they continue. Rip roaring tax collections have slowed the drawdown in the Treasury balance, so the paydowns will probably continue at their current pace, if not more, until xxxx (see subscriber report)
Despite the weakness in stocks and bonds in the wake of today’s FOMC announcement, these conditions argue for the churning slight uptrends in stock and bond prices to continue until xxxx. Conditons will then turn more bearish. I tell you when that will be, and what my strategy is.
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