The line items of the Fed’s Pandemic Panic Emergency Programs get a lot of media and analyst attention these days. What a waste of time and energy. Let me explain why.
We’ve watched this bizarre scene unfold where the Fed is gradually reducing QE, the Treasury keeps pounding the market with new supply and stock prices keep rising. Here’s how they did it, and what changes ahead will force a change in the outlook.
I’ve marveled at the ability of the players to keep stock prices rising despite the reduction of Fed QE, and the continued pounding of Treasury supply on the market. Even more amazing is the fact that the rally in stocks has NOT come at the expense of the Treasury market. The Treasury market has managed not to blow up.
We may still find out just how bad things are. Because the dealers remain leveraged to the hilt. And there’s one more thing.
We knew this was coming. $265 billion in MBS settlements for May are almost done. Now we reap the whirlwind. Here’s what to expect and why it’s time to GTFO.
Treasury issuance has caught up with QE. There are no more excess funds lying around for dealers to use to mark up stock and bond prices. The balance has shifted. It’s not as bullish as it was, that’s for sure. And it could get much, much worse in the weeks ahead before the Fed reacts.
In normal times, the Federal Government has a revenue windfall in April, and runs a large surplus for the month. Revenues are typically at least 140% of outlays. Even more in good years.
Revenues covered just 24% of outlays in April. We borrowed 76 cents of every dollar the Federal Government spent last month.
We knew this was coming. The questions now are how long it can last, when it will start to recover, and whether it might get worse.
Macro liquidity has slowed slightly in recent weeks as the Fed has taken its foot off the accelerator. But it continues to grow at an historic pace. What does that mean for the short term and the long term.
There is no long term.
The Fed has cut back its POMO purchases to an average of $8 billion per day of Treasuries and $6 billion of MBS this week. That’s down from $10 billion and $8 billion last week, and hundreds of billions in the peak of the panic in April.
The effects of that are beginning to show up in stock prices. Be prepared because here’s what happens next.
The Federal deficit hit $1 trillion in April. That’s a cool 1,500% increase year to year. That’s for one month. Here are the current horrible numbers, along with the immediate outlook, and what it means for stocks and bonds.