Menu Close

Mr. Minus-chin Conspires With QE for September Happy Ending


The selloff that we expected as a result of the scheduled month end liquidity shortage happened.

Just one problem.

It came a week later than expected. Unfortunately, in a business where timing is everything, that matters. When the selloff didn’t happen right away, I stopped expecting it. Ooops. Apparently we need to build into our forecasts an allowance for a one week lag between money injections and market reactions.

So this week, the market had a little Wile E. Coyote moment, looked down, and plunged. But suddenly yesterday, it sprang back to life.

Why? The Fed didn’t step in. It is maintaining its schedule of about $18 billion per week in Treasury purchases, and a similar or slightly larger amount of MBS purchases which varies according to the amount of MBS prepaid off the Fed’s balance sheet the prior month. No change there.

As we know, those are forward contracts which only settle in the third week of the month. The September settlements start Monday, September 14. We need to watch out for that.

In the meantime, Dr. Evil’s sidekick, Mr. Minus-chin, the keeper of the US Treasury cash hoard, rode to the rescue yesterday.

Should we expect more of the same?

Subscribers, click here to download the report

Not a subscriber yet?

Get this report and access to all past and future reports risk free for 90 days! 

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!

Status Quo Antisellem

The Fed’s balance sheet resumed its growth in August after a bit of a stall in July when dealers paid off Fed repos. That program has been at zero since then. Dealers don’t need to borrow from the Fed when the Fed is cashing them out every week with QE.

And there’s the rub for bears. There’s still enough QE to keep this farce going, short term factors notwithstanding.

Last week was MBS settlement week (see last week’s QE update). That pumped $100 billion into dealer accounts. Not all of that showed up on the Fed’s balance sheet total assets because other assets were paid down in the. MBS get paid off in the normal course of business during the month. Some of the Fed’s superfluous alphabet soup programs have also had reductions.

But that stuff doesn’t really matter to the stock and bond markets.

Our focus is on the Fed’s securities holdings, in what’s called the System Open Market Account (SOMA). That’s where the action shows up. It’s the money that the Fed pumps into the financial markets through its straw men, the Primary Dealers. And that is still steadily growing.

Here’s what that means for the outlook and strategy.

Subscribers, click here to download the report

Not a subscriber yet?

Get this report and access to all past and future reports risk free for 90 days!