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Powell Points, Says “Cliff… Jump!” 12/15/22

This is a syndicated repost published with the permission of Stool Pigeons Wire at To view original, click here. Opinions herein are not those of the Wall Street Examiner or Lee Adler. Reposting does not imply endorsement. The information presented is for educational or entertainment purposes and is not individual investment advice.

And now, our daily dose of useless meanderings from an aging, plaque hardened, market addled brain. These thoughts are free, so take them for what they’re worth. However, on the off chance that you are crazy enough to think there’s value here, check out the really good stuff!

Now, I’m not big on analyzing Fedwords, because you know, money talks and bullshit walks. And Chairman Jaysus’s pressers are peak bullshit. So I did not listen to Jaysus come to market moment yesterday. However, I did follow the reactions of various conomists, Wall Street captured PR flacks, and assorted Fed critics to get the gist of what he said, and how they spun it.

There was no gist. And even if there was, what difference does it make? Rallies cannot be sustained on margin alone, or even massive T-bill paydowns. Yesterday, Jorma, a gentlestoolie who has stuck it out here, putting up with me for nigh on 20 years and 9 months, bless his heart, pointed out something that I had missed. 9 days ago, the Treasury started pumping money back into the market ecosystem via T-bill paydowns. This was unscheduled, and it was large. But why, and to what effect?

I was curious about what class of buyer held the most T-bills. I thought it would be money market funds. If MFers are the biggest holders, that would do the markets little good. They’d just buy more T-bills, pushing rates down a few ticks, or they’d put the cash into the Fed’s RRP slush fund, where it would mostly just sit on the John, waiting. Which is exactly what’s happening. Since November 25, the Fed’s overnight RRP money taken in rose by $140 billion.

But surprise, surprise, surprise. I was wrong.


MFers are not the biggest holders of T-bills.

Dealers and Borkers are! They typically buy 50-53% of total issuance. And why do you think they do that? Carry trades and collateralization. Because they can borrow Fed Funds at less than the bills yield, and then use those bills to borrow a ton more cash with which to buy shit. Or better yet, sell short and collect interest on the margin loans they put out.

Whatever. Because they are, in the aggregate, horseshit traders. Their fixed income positions are invariably wrong, and they are never hedged sufficiently in the futures when they are wrong in their cash positions. I know this because I’ve been tracking the weekly data on their fixed income positions for the past 20 years.

They have been most wrong at epochal market turning points, such as the top in 2007, or the bond market price top/yield bottom in mid 2020. Massively, dead fucking wrong both times. In fact, that mispositioning is what caused the market and economic crises. The Fed and its economic PR flacks on Wall Street and in its captured media, redirected the public’s attention to anything and everything else that was not the root cause. The banks’ and dealers’ bad, stupid, outrageous, disgusting, behavior. Not only was attention directed away from them, the Fed rewarded them for it. Since the days of Greenspan and Bernanke, those cretins, those crises have triggered massive Fed overreactions in which the Fed, instead of punishing the perpetrators of the fraud, REWARDED them.

Which has led us to where we are to day. The Fed’s NO WAY OUT moment. But as always the Street now has a convenient scapegoat whipping boy, SamsonandDelilah Bankman Willget Fried, while the perpetrators of the really big crime get patted on the backside, and get paid yet again.

But I digress. I have this compulsion to vent about this every so often. Forgive me.

The point of the paydowns right now is to reliquify the dealers. I have been roaring for the past year about how much money they, and their big bank parent holding companies, are losing. Most of those losses are hidden in their investment accounts, which are the bulk of their assets, and which are NOT MARKED TO MARKET. No mark to market, no loss, right? Wrong, because as the Fed calls in $95 billion in cash per month, the banks have to liquidate something. So there’s a gradual stream of losses that hit the balance sheet month after month. These take a toll over time. Liquidation begets more liquidation as asset prices fall in waves.

Credit Sweese Cheese is merely the tip of the shitberg. There will be more.

With the Fed sticking to its guns on shrinking the balance sheet–which, forget rates and all the talk is the only aspect of Fed policy that actually matters–the Treasury decided to step up and ease market conditions for the time being. So they’re pumping about $50 billion in cash into dealer accounts this month to smooth the market wrinkles. It’s quasi QE.

There’s no guarantee that it will work, but it has certainly made intraday trading much more interesting than watching paint dry. Whether it’s tradable or not depends on how much time you are willing to spend watching your screen, and how well honed your electronic gaming reflexes are.

What a bullshit market this is.  At least with a steady flow of QE, it was predictable. Buy the dip, buy the dip. Now? Who knows? An answer: Fed Steadfast But Treasury Throws a Bullish Curve

Despite allowing a couple of my shorts to get stopped out in Tuesday’s upside early carnage, I came in heavily short yesterday, held tight, and am heavily short today. Not 100%. About 30% long, 70% short. They put the fearagad into me on Tuesday, so I’ve resolved to pick the best trending or best looking bottoms to hold long, along with some of the multitudinous crap that wants to break down, short.

And now it’s time for what you all have been waiting for, our daily Orderly Markets Chart of the ES, 24 hour S&P fugutures.

First, we note that a 5 day cycle low is due tomorrow, not today. Ideally…  And with a 5 day cycle projection of 3860. Hourly cycle and momentum oscillators also suggest a bottom later rather than now. Probably tomorrow. Tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar on tomorrow.  It’s only a day away.

Let the games begin.


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