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Category: US Treasury Market and Tax Revenue Trends

Analysis of new Treasury supply and major demand market segments to estimate market liquidity impacts for bonds and stocks. Click here to subscribe. 90 day risk free trial!

The Stimulus “Magic Bullet” Is Bearish

Withholding tax collections were relatively stable through November. But the 5 day average ticked a hair below November’s low here in early December. New lows would suggest that December’s jobs data will be awful, which will add to the likelihood of more stimulus, both fiscal and monetary. Whether that’s bullish or not depends on the Fed. The wrong fiscal/monetary balance could ignite a conflagration.

The Wall Street captured media constantly feeds us the BS that the vaccine is the Magic Bullet that will save us. But while we wait for that shot, the talk about more, more, more stimulus will continue to be the narrative that drives the pundit excuses for why the markets are doing what they’re doing. “Market Rises on Stimulus Hopes” will be the near daily headline.

This is mindless nonsense designed to divert us from paying attention to the financial markets’ real problems.

We have become inured to these $200 billion monthly budget deficits. But this data has catastrophic implications which I get into in this report.

And this is BEFORE any new stimulus.

As more and more Americans get the virus, and more people know someone who has gotten it, or worse, died, the economy sinks.

The eConomic establishment sees the vaccine as the magic bullet. But we now know that it won’t be available for widespread distribution until next summer, thanks to the Don Trump waving off a bigger, sooner deal with Pfizer.

That means that the US will be dependent on social consciousness to reduce the spread of the virus for at least the next 7 months. Good luck with that. 74 million people believe that the election was stolen, and the virus is a hoax. Consequently they refuse to wear masks and proudly engage in superspreader behavior. That won’t change after January 20. So we face months of worsening economic conditions and ever bigger deficits.

Until then, the only magic bullet is more stimulus. It may or may not cushion the catastrophe besetting many American households. And its consequences for the financial markets will only be guessable when we know the size of the package and the size and shape of the Fed’s response. We know what the Fed needs to do at a minimum, and we know what will happen if it doesn’t do it.

Here’s what to look for.

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Available at this link for legacy Treasury subscribers.

KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW, before the Street does, read Lee Adler’s Liquidity Trader risk free for 90 days!

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The Passion of Jaysus

Jay Powell’s first order of business is to keep the bond market from breaking down. When the 10 year yield hit 0.975 last week before backing off, the market was at the edge of the abyss. Leveraged dealer bond portfolios were on the brink of disaster.

Signs of a weakening non-recovery rescued them. Traders sold stocks, which freed up enough cash at the margin to bring bonds back from the brink.

Because of that, the Fed is ok with the weaker economy narrative for the time being.

Jaysus saves the bond market first. Stocks are just the saints of this religion. They get their share of worship. But the bond market is the Cross, the Torah, and the Koran all rolled into one. It is the focus of the worshippers. It is the altar upon which the really big money acolytes pray.

So the Fed looks at signs of weakness with relief now, because it sends the big donors in the pews. And the small part of the collection plate that the Fed doesn’t fill, those donors keep filling. And Jaysus keeps saving. Or so it appears.

But this seeming miracle is an Act that won’t work for long. Because if too many worshippers reject the saints of stocks, Jaysus himself runs a similar risk. If the flock loses faith in Him, the Church of the Fed will collapse. The bulls will all die and burn in the fires of financial market hell.

As for the bears, it’s too late. They’re so dead, they’re beyond resurrection. Nobody is short the market.

In the end, only liquidity matters. The Fed can create liquidity, but an economic narrative that leads to selling of any asset class can destroy that liquidity just as fast, or faster, than the Fed creates it.

So for that purpose we keep an eye on a few real time economic indicators that few others are watching, to keep us abreast of how the Wall Street economic narrative is going to play.

We’ve known for a couple of months that the “recovery” was a non-recovery. The Wall Street mainstream is starting to catch up with that.

This report updates us on what’s happening now in Federal tax collections, and therefore what the narrative is likely to sound like in the weeks ahead. It prepares us to be ready to act ahead of the most likely scenarios in the financial markets.

Here’s the bottom line.

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Available at this link for legacy Treasury subscribers.

KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW, before the Street does, read Lee Adler’s Liquidity Trader risk free for 90 days!

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Real Time Tax Collection Data Supports Jobs Report

Tax collections improved in October, but are still well below pre-pandemic levels. The US may look like it’s recovering, but it’s still in the hole it dug when Covid19 first hit. That means that Fed policy isn’t likely to change any time soon.

And it also means that we should expect a stimulus package of some kind, at some point. With the uncertainties surrounding a divided government regardless of whether a new Administration takes over, guessing how much stimulus there will be, and its timing, is a fool’s errand. The one thing that we do know is that whenever it comes, the bigger it is, the more bearish it will be.

And if they spend the $1.7 trillion on hand mostly to pay down debt, that would be very bullish.

Meanwhile, economic data is useful for guessing what Fed policy will be, and under normal circumstances might be useful for making an educated guess about fiscal policy. It’s not possible to translate this data directly into an expected market outcome. It always comes down to measuring the strength and persistence of the trend through technical analysis, and more direct liquidity inputs, such as the PONTs. That’s essentially the difference between the quantity of Fed QE versus the amount of new Treasury issuance.

This data gives us an outline of where the economy really stands, and what it means for the outlook for stocks and bonds.

Subscribers, click here to download the report.`

Available at this link for legacy Treasury subscribers.

KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW, before the Street does, read Lee Adler’s Liquidity Trader risk free for 90 days!

Act on real-time reality!

Disjointed Economy Points To Bad Things

Last week I was surprised when the US Government’s retail sales data hit a new high. No way, I said.

Well, Way!

Yes, some retailers are seeing booming sales, particularly online, and … wait for it…

Grocery stores. Even after pulling back from the lockdown spike, they’re still up more than 7% year to year.

Now there’s a basis for a thriving, growing US economy.

Not.

And of course, there’s the surging growth in e-commerce. I’ve put it on a chart along with grocery sales going back 5 years for perspective. The average growth rate, which was already a sizzling 10-15% per year, has roughly doubled in e-commerce. The average growth rate for groceries has tripled. Apparently pandemics are good for some businesses.

Something struck me about this chart, apart from the COVID driven surge. Over the past few months, the annual growth rates in both series have been plummeting. “Growth” ain’t what it used to be. This drop implies contraction since July.

But my purpose here is not to pretend to be an eConomist. I just wanted to point out the government statistics, particularly those that the financial news headline writers feature, don’t tell the whole story.

Furthermore, we know that these sales are just coming out of the hides of other businesses. Lodging, travel, recreation, and transportation sales have collapsed. Gross tax collections show us the truth. The US economy is dead in the water, not growing at all, while remaining at a level a few percent below what it was last year at this time. It’s hard to gauge just how much in real terms, because we really have no clue how high inflation really is. But the nominal actual totals are lower and flat.

That’s what this report focuses on.

The issues then facing us are whether this will be the basis for more stimulus. That would mean more spending, more debt issuance, more pressure on the financial markets, and a need for more Fed support to prevent a market meltdown.

Here’s what the current Federal tax collections data tells us about what the real condition of the economy is, and what to expect as a result.

Subscribers, click here to download the report.`

Available at this link for legacy Treasury subscribers.

KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW, before the Street does, read Lee Adler’s Liquidity Trader risk free for 90 days!

Act on real-time reality!

Federal Tax Collections Now Say Damned If They Do, or if They Don’t

Tax collections have leveled off at a negative year to year rate. The Fed has gone to Congress begging for fiscal support for the US economy, as a result.  Without a deal to raise spending, the economy will continue to languish, and the Fed will continue to print money to support the markets.

Ironically, if and when a new pandemic relief spending program is enacted, that would be bearish.

Subscribers, click here to download the report.`

Available at this link for legacy Treasury subscribers.

KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW, before the Street does, read Lee Adler’s Liquidity Trader risk free for 90 days!

Act on real-time reality!

Why No More Pandemic Spending Is Bullish

The economic rebound from the depths of the pandemic panic in April and May has ended. The economy may be rolling over again. Bad news for workers and consumers, but not necessarily for investors.

The US Government did no pandemic relief spending in August, and none is on the immediate horizon. Despite that, the monthly budget deficits are freaking enormous and frightening.

Tax receipts are weak and they will provide no relief from those deficits. The US Treasury will continue to borrow massive amounts of money in the markets.

Sounds like bad news for the stock market, right?

Eh, not quite.  Here’s why.

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KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW, before the Street does, read Lee Adler’s Liquidity Trader risk free for 90 days!

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August Federal Deficit Decline is Worse Than It Looks

Tax collections have leveled off at a negative year to year rate. That will allow the Fed to continue to paper things over at the current level of support it is providing. Here’s what it means for stocks and bonds, not to mention the US economy.

Subscribers, click here to download the report.`

Available at this link for legacy Treasury subscribers.

KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW, before the Street does, read Lee Adler’s Liquidity Trader risk free for 90 days!

Act on real-time reality!

What If Primary Dealers Are Wrong on Their Bullish Treasury Bet?

No news isn’t no news. The Primary Dealers are in the same posture they’ve been in. They’re still bullish on bonds and that’s an extremely dangerous situation.

It’s like that warehouse packed with explosives in Beirut. One small fire could ignite a conflagration of biblical proportions.

The dealers continue to maintain historically large fixed income positions. Those positions hit record high prices. They’ve accumulated a good bit of inventory near the highs. They remain highly leveraged. Worse, they’ve reduced their futures hedges significantly. They are positioned for even more or a bullish environment in bonds.

This report gives you the keys to look for.

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