Rumored Source Of Reverse Repo Liquidity: Not Bank Reserves But Money Market Funds
And the Fed finds a way to screw everyone over yet again. Contrary to expectations that the Fed will use reverse repos to remove excess liquidity (which, by definition, such an action would) it appears that Bernanke's wily scam is to push even more money out of money market funds and into capital markets. Even though banks currently have about $800 billion in excess reserves which the Fed is paying interest on, and which would be a damn good source of liquidity extraction as the Fed considers to shrink its ever expanding balance sheet, the Chairman is rumored to be considering money market funds as a liquidity source. Reuters points out that the Fed would thus have recourse to around $4-500 billion, and maybe more, of the $3.5 trillion sloshing in "money on the sidelines", roughly the same amount as MMs had just before the Lehman implosion.
Why not the other logical source of liquidity you ask:
The central bank is now considering dealing with money market funds because it does not think the primary dealers have the balance sheet capacity to provide more than about $100 billion, the Financial Times said.
Heaven forbid PDs have to sell any of the Treasuries they are sitting on to free up some cash. One also wonders just how much in excess reserves the PDs are currently in possession of. But that would be counterproductive to the Fed's every day scam of running the markets higher. How can PDs, and banks in general keep buying equities, if they are forced to give cash to the Fed? Furthermore, if regular investors perceive some threat to the MM liquidity pool, it will of course pile into other riskier assets.
All in all, the Chairman is determined, come hell or high water, to part consumers with their savings: whether it be through zero deposit interest rates, through money market guarantee removals, through talk of inflation or, ultimately, through actions like these. After all, America has gotten to the point where the Fed is beating the drum on the need to keep blowing the capital market bubble bigger and bigger: anything less, and just as Madoff investors discovered, the entire pyramid collapsed overnight, and where people thought there was $50 billion, there was really $0.
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