201712.11 3

Bonds vs. Economists; The Means to the End

As part of its effort to stress its own self-importance, the Federal Reserve conducts a survey of the Primary Dealer members through its New York branch. A written questionnaire is sent out to each bank in advance of every monetary policy meeting. The purpose is for monetary policymakers to make sure that there aren’t any…

201712.04
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Three Years Ago QE, Last Year It Was China, Now It’s Taxes

China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported last week that the official manufacturing PMI for that country rose from 51.6 in October to 51.8 in November. Since “analysts” were expecting 51.4 (Reuters poll of Economists) it was taken as a positive sign. The same was largely true for the official non-manufacturing PMI, rising like its counterpart…

201712.04
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Just When You’ve Thought You’ve Seen It All

I could understand it if its track record was spotty, or partially mixed. But the level of denial runs deep and wide with the yield curve. There is a growing chorus of nonsense, really, which is attempting to spin the flattening as some kind of benign technical rotation that through illogical convolution equals the opposite…

201708.15
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Can’t Forget About Dealers

When the Federal Reserve was founded in 1913, there was no role for it in the marketing and selling of government debt. This wasn’t an oversight on the part of Congress. For more than two years before the Fed, the Treasury Department hadn’t issued any marketable instruments at all. In those days it just didn’t…

201704.12
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An Inside Basis For Unfortunate Continuity

Primary dealer holdings of UST securities have been on the rise again. This sort of warehouse activity is drastically misunderstood, exemplified best when last year around this time surging dealer inventory was blamed on those banks’ purported inability to sell off their holdings. It was an absolutely absurd idea for several reasons, but most prominently…

201605.03
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Benign Foreign Dollar Buffer or Systemic Collateral Issues, Continued Illiquidity and ‘Dollar Strain’?

There isn’t a whole lot known about the Federal Reserve’s Foreign Reverse Repo accommodation, and I believe that is intentional. The rate which the Fed pays to “borrow cash” from foreign central banks and governments is unknown. What is known is just how much in total the Fed is “accommodating” foreign dollar business. This RRP,…

201603.29
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Another Level of Absurd

For reasons relatively easy to figure out, the massive flood of repo fails from a few weeks back was largely ignored outside of a few minor references. Not much has been made of it at all, and why would there be since it is really hard to shove the imbalance into “the narrative.” That isn’t…

201603.18
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Huge Repo Warning

In the summer of 2014, repo fails suddenly surged out of nowhere. Between the events of the violent taper selloff in June 2013 and the first half of 2014, fails had been particularly calm if somewhat gently rising as the trend had it dating back to the QE’s. It had become common to find total…

201603.11
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Hoarding, Collateral and the Certain Indication of Balance Sheet Restrictions

There is an ongoing mess in repo markets and not a lot of straightforward commentary about it. As usual, whenever any repo tenor trades highly special we hear only about the persistence and plethora of shorts betting on rate normalization. Since rates, overall, have done only the opposite going back to June 2014 and the…

201602.08
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No Surprise To Find Dealers Hoarding For A Third Time

If the world is poised upon the precipice of “deflation” and the ugly economic consequences of reduced “money supply”, at the middle of all that are the primary dealers – still. While it is technically correct to claim that the Fed expanded its balance sheet to $4.5 trillion, with $2.4 trillion left after autonomous factors…