Alarm! Treasury Dealer Short Positions Another Red Flag for Liquidity As Stock Market Surges On Realization The Fed May NOT Taper (And Fausti Oversold Omicron Threat)

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by confoundedinterest17


(Bloomberg) — The recent drop in primary-dealer holdings of front-end Treasuries is another warning of potential market dislocation heading into the year-end liquidity vacuum.

As of Nov. 24, primary dealers — which are mostly the large banks — were on the whole betting against two- to three-year Treasuries rather than buying. They had net short positions of just over $9 million, near the most bearish levels since 2017, signaling a pullback by buyers that provide crucial liquidity for older Treasury issues.

The positioning in the front-end of the curve “suggest less demand from the dealer community to fund off-the-run long positions,” Barclays strategists Anshul Pradhan and Andres Mok say in a Dec. 3 note. Off-the-run Treasuries are notes and bonds created in past years and traded less frequently than the newest issues; they’re the biggest part of the market and make up most of the Federal Reserve’s daily asset purchases, which are being scaled back.

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Short positioning increased on a relative basis as a result, “which may also have crowded demand to borrow particular issues over others,” the analysts wrote.

Those forces together could contribute to an increase in market dislocations.

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Jerome Powell’s hawkish pivot shocked financial markets. A week later, stocks are higher.
The S&P 500 staged its biggest rally since March to wipe out losses from the past week. The speculative fringe that was a smoldering wreck Friday was soaring Tuesday. An index of meme stocks rallied more than 4%, while one composed of airlines added 1.6%. A gauge of newly public companies advanced more than 4%, SPACs jumped more than 2% and even cryptocurrencies rallied, with Bitcoin powering back above $51,000.

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It’s a stunning about-face for risk assets that went into a tail spin after the Federal Reserve chair suggested he favored accelerating the removal of monetary support. What follows are takes from market-watchers on why the market is looking past the Fed’s potential change in policy.

Also, the realization that Fausti was chicken-little and Omicron is not the planet killer.

Or could it be that with China easing, the US will be forced NOT to taper. Or taper only ever-so-slightly.

With the Dow up another 500+ points, it looks like no one is taking Powell and the Gang seriously about tapering. Or Fausti for that matter.

NIAID Director Anthony Fausti.



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