M2 Surges By $30 Billion In Past Week To Highest Ever, Even As Monetary Base Declines
Another week in which the M2 jumped to a fresh all time high, increasing by $30 billion W/W to just under $8.7 trillion. This was only the fourth largest weekly jump in this broad money aggregate in 2010, with the prior biggest ones clustered just around the time of the Greek "out of court" reorganization and the flash crash in May. This was also the 8th sequential increase in the M2 in a row.
Oddly enough this occurred even as the Monetary Base (NSA) declined by $11 billion to $1.983 trillion. Currently, the M2-MB ratio stands at 4.4x, close to its all time lows, with the recent decline purely a function of the modest contraction in the Fed's balance sheet as MBS had been rolling off for the past 4 months. With QE Lite in play, expect the Fed's Balance sheet to remain flat, which will likely mean that the ratio of the Fed's asset to the Monetary Base will remain more or less unchanged at its elevated ratio of 1.15x (with a tendency toward declining), compared to the historical average of around 1.00. Note the (as expected) inverse relationship between the M2-MB ratio and the total size of the Fed balance sheet, as the monetary base has exploded courtesy of excess reserves, without this number actually hitting M2. Is the recent leakage in M2 higher, coupled with a contraction in MB the critical step that all the inflationists have been dreading (yet at the same time expecting)?