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TBAC Magic 8 Ball Cloudy


In the second month of each calendar quarter the US Treasury gets together with a shadowy group called the TBAC, which stands for Treasury Borrowing Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

The Treasury tells the TBAC how much money it will need to borrow to pay its bills for the rest of the current quarter and the subsequent quarter. The TBAC tells the Treasury how to schedule it. In other words, it sets out the type of issuance and the timing for the rest of the quarter and the next one.

In case you’re wondering, here are the current TBAC members. They change from time to time.

I just note that the Vice Chair is good old Brian Sack, who ran the NY Fed trading desk for several years. He was the guy who was in charge of executing the Fed’s trades with Primary Dealers in implementing QE. Now he’s making the big bucks on Wall Street as a “global eConomist.”

How would you like to be the firm that snagged him and his insider connections at the Fed? I wonder what that cost them.

But I digress.

The TBAC’s quarterly borrowing schedules are central to us because they tell us the schedule of expected new Treasury debt issuance (supply), months in advance. In the good old days, before pandemics and debt ceiling crises, that was extremely useful information to have because the Treasury rarely digressed from the TBAC schedule.

That has changed during the last couple years of the Trump Regime, because the mechanism for being able to reasonably forecast the Treasury’s borrowing needs broke down. First, they broke down because the Regime wanted to manipulate Congress by using the Federal Budget as a cudgel. Then things got worse when the pandemic came.

Last week the TBAC issued its revised estimates for the current quarter, and its first stab at Q1 2021.

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Lee Adler

I’ve been publishing The Wall Street Examiner and its predecessor since October 2000. I also publish, and was lead analyst for Sure Money Investor, of blessed memory. I developed David Stockman's Contra Corner for Mr. Stockman. I’ve had a wide variety of finance related jobs since 1972, including a stint on Wall Street in both sales, analytical, and trading capacities. Prior to starting the Wall Street Examiner I was a commercial real estate appraiser in Florida for 15 years. I was considered an expert in the analysis of failed properties that ended up in the hands of bank REO divisions, the FDIC, and the RTC. Remember those guys? I also worked in the residential mortgage and real estate businesses in parts of the 1970s and 80s. I have been charting stocks and markets and doing analytical work since I was a teenager. I'm not some Ivory Tower academic, Wall Street guy. My perspective comes from having my boots on the ground and in the trenches, as a real estate broker, mortgage broker, trader, account rep, and analyst. I've watched most of the games these Wall Street wiseguys play from right up close. I know the drill from my 55 years of paying attention. And I'm happy to share that experience with you, right here. 

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