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Trying to Prevent Total Collapse, US Treasury Spews Cash Into the Market

And I’ve spewed a whole lot of words over the past 3 weeks. Scary words. Words including warnings that one of the titans of the trading and brokerage industries has now echoed. Words about QE, the Primary Dealers, and the twin issues of current and expected Treasury supply, and the Treasury’s huge pile of cash, that it has just been sitting on.

Apparently, it has decided to start spending it. The first big spend is for paying down outstanding T-bills. Surprise, surprise.

We knew Janet had to spend the money. The 2019 budget law requires her to get the recent balance of $1.6 trillion down to $133 billion by August. We just didn’t know how she would do it – spend it directly in payment of the coming new stimulus legislation, or pay down debt.

Monday, we got our answer. I sent you a bulletin on that news. Click here if you missed it. They’re going to start by paying down a whopping $55 billion in Treasury bills expiring next Tuesday 2/23.

If this is the beginning of a policy of using the cash for debt paydowns, prior to the onset of the new stimulus spending, it would be bullish. It would be like more QE. At $220 billion every four weeks, a lot more.

Bullish. Except for one thing.

I’ll get into that in the report. The facts, figures, and outlook, are reserved for subscribers. Click here to download the report.

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Meanwhile, I saw a comment yesterday that Thomas Peterffy, the founder of Interactive Brokers, said that in the Gamestop short massacre, the brokerage system had actually come to the brink of collapse.

I told you on January 31 that this could happen, that we should all be very careful about protecting our assets. Peterffy confirmed this.

Here’s what I wrote  on 1/31/21

As the market amply demonstrated last week, margin can also work against short positions. Any big leveraged speculators who were short GME and other stocks that the wallstreetbets crowd decided to attack, saw their equity in the position wiped out, and then some. When they can’t come up with the cash, it puts the brokers, like Robinhood, at risk, and the brokers suffer tremendous losses too.

As the dominoes fall, it puts every single one of us at risk. The SIPC only covers so much, and if we are in stock positions, it can take months for those positions to be released, by which time who knows what might happen.

I just don’t like the risks here, either long or short. I have my personal account with a smallish firm that specializes in technical trading and has been around for years. They’re owned by a Japanese institution. Am I safe? I doubt it. I’m in cash at the moment, but I’m considering moving it back into my bank account and then into T-bills via Treasury Direct.

True, maybe big profits lie ahead on the short side, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to access them if that turns out to be right. Systemic collapse is not a good thing from that perspective.

Yeah, I’m paranoid. If this debt financed, hollow, asset price mountain begins to collapse, I’m just not sure that the Fed will be able to reflate it this time. I think we’re all playing a little Russian Roulette here. We haven’t hit the chamber with the bullet yet, but that clicking sound from each spin is terrifying.

I had posted my concerns about things getting this bad way back in October.

10/2/20 A massive amount of leverage has been floated to buy and hold these [Treasury] positions. If yields break out, the mirror image of a price breakdown, the margin calls will go out. The response in the markets will be ferocious. Overleveraged dealers and hedge funds will sell anything that isn’t nailed down, and some stuff that is, to meet those margin calls.

The Fed will be forced to act again to keep them in business. One of these days, this game will stop working. Even assuming we manage to get short in time, I’m not even sure that being short the market at that point would do much good. What if your brokerage firm collapses?

I’m beginning to think that it would be a good idea to hold some assets outside the conventional banking/brokerage system. Whether that’s T-bills in Treasury Direct, bitcoin, gold, or other assets—these are things we need to think about.

We are most assuredly not out of the woods yet.

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