Unequivocally, the “repo” operations by the Fed is “QE.” Well, let’s just call it what it is because “QE” was coined in place of “money printing.” The socially correct posture to assume on Wall Street and in DC at the Fed is to label the current bout of money printing “repo operations.” In fact, based on all of the underlying data I scour daily, let’s just cut to the chase and call this a de facto banking system bailout.
The technical details on why the “plumbing” in the banking system is getting “clogged” is mere surface analysis. The underlying systemic problems are similar to the problems that pulled the rug out from under the financial system in 2008. Bank assets, specifically subprime lending assets, are melting down again.
We’ve seen this movie before and the “regulators” were supposed to have blocked the banks from engaging in financial pornography. But, of course, just like teenagers who discover Pornhub, the greedy bankers undeterred by superficial legislation and an absence of independent regulatory oversight (every senior regulatory official has either worked on Wall Street or worked a law firms who get paid to keep Wall Street bankers out of jail) couldn’t help themselves. CLO’s, 100% LTV lending, non-income verification consumer loans and OTC derivatives with orgasmic fees have re-emerged in full force.
As an example, Citibank is now sitting on top of nearly $1 trillion in credit default swaps – see this, which has the appropriate links: Citibank CDS. The article notes that: “the New York Fed secretly hid from the public’s view that it had funneled $2.5 trillion (yes, trillion) to Citigroup and its trading units from December 2007 to at least July 21, 2010. That last information only became public after more than two years of court battles with the Fed.”
In the minutes released from the last FOMC meeting, the Fed is now discussing extending the money printing operations to April. Imagine that, what started as giving corporations a little help to pay quarterly taxes in September has morphed into and is on its way to half a trillion dollars of printed money handed over to the banks. Doesn’t seem strange that all the money created for corporate tax payments has not found its way into the Treasury Department’s bank account? How do we know? Because a large portion of the money printed has financed new Treasury debt issuance.
Wall Street on Parade is making a motivated, if not valiant, effort to dredge up the truth with regard to to re-start of the Fed’s massive money printing operation. But I hope the Martens are not holding their breath on getting a response without an expensive legal battle:
On October 2, 2019 we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the New York Fed. We requested “emails or any other forms of written correspondence from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to JPMorgan Chase or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates containing any of the following words or phrases: ‘repo,’ ‘repurchase agreements,’ ‘overnight lending,’ or ‘reserves'”…
Our FOIA request was acknowledged by the New York Fed as received on October 2. We should have had a meaningful response on November 1. Instead, we received an email advising that we would not hear further from the New York Fed until December 5, 2019…Instead of the mandated 10-day extension that is allowed under law, we were given more than a month-long extension. On December 5, the New York Fed emailed us to say it was extending the time to respond to January 9. – Fed Balance Sheet Explosion
Make no mistake, the melt-up in the stock market, the majority of which is confined to just a handful of stocks – AAPL, MSFT plus a few insanely overvalued unicorn-type stocks (TSLA, SHOP, etc) – does not reflect a “booming economy.” Rather, it’s evidence that the financial and economic system is melting down beneath the propaganda. With its bailout policies, the Fed has made a complete mess of the financial markets. And it’s worse this time than it was in 2008.
Aside from some select shorts in stocks like TSLA and AAPL, buying gold and silver (physical bullion not paper derivatives – yes, GLD is a derivative) and mining stocks is the no-brainer trade of 2020.