Talk To Your Elected Representatives Before Considering An Investment In Any US Security

Tyler Durden's picture

Update from Nic Lenoir of ICAP

Bonds are chopping quite a bit because of two key issues today. The latter one which triggered the sell-off is a rumor about a Medley report out "quoting" two senior Fed officials wishing to hike and end quantitative easing.

The other issue, which is less obvious in the direct price action, but of much more importance, is the decision this morning to reduce the Supplemental Funding Program from $200Bn to $15Bn. This was revealed by the WSJ, and our sources tell us the Treasury is very unhappy as they were scheduling a proper announcement at 11AM in line with their usual procedures. What this means is that $200Bn of funding provided through Bills to the Federal Reserve is being removed. Either this means the Fed is planning to start shrinking its balance sheet, either this is only a move to avoid hitting the debt ceiling. I strongly believe the latter is the answer. We are about 6 weeks away from hitting the debt ceiling, and while Fed or Treasury officials thought raising the ceiling would be a mere formality, it appears this will lead to a full blown political battle. In that sense, we definitely think that the object of this morning's move is to buy time in order to get Congress to pass a higher debt ceiling. Beyond this, there are many questions about whether the Fed is willing, and is capable, to withdraw a lot of the extraordinary policy measures in place. This move also helps Fed officials show they can flex a bit of muscle  and get things done when needed, though it was not the primary objective.

Short term the effect is that bill rates are likely to drop because there is less supply, and the Fed will instead find itself with an additional $185Bn in excess reserves, so the Fed Effective rate should be under pressure, and that could well translate onto Libor rates. Lower cash rates should be expected in the next few days/weeks.

The debate regarding Quantitative Easing, extraordinary policy measures by the Federal Reserve, and their possible removal, joins the concerns over deficit and currency valuation. Nouriel Roubini's stance "damned if you, damned if you don't" seems perfectly accurate. Personally my take is that the imbalances that have been built are such, that a smooth application and removal of never tried before policies is bound not to happen smoothly. Which way the market cracks (inflation/relapse) depends what the government will do. Talk to your elected representatives before considering an investment in any US security.

Good luck trading,


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Whizbang's picture

If the debt ceiling gets raised, the people in this country are going to go f*cknuggets, and that rally in d.c. this past weekend will be nothing compared the the protests we can expect.

aldousd's picture

really? you think that many people know what the debt ceiling is?

bchbum's picture

I'm sure Glen Beck can explain it to them.  I mean, "debt ceiling" is pretty self-explanatory, don't you think?

TumblingDice's picture

youd be surprised. this is going to be an interesting debate to sell to the people.

On one side you'll have Ron Paul et al. saying, you got be responsible at some point and stop the madness. How about we just stop spending so much instead of increasing our debt, eh? This is madness, we should accept the pain now instead of putting it off. This is a road of selling our children's and grandchildren's future blah blah blah."

And on the other hand we'll see Turbo Timmy and Obama screaming "BANKRUPTCY, BANKRUPTCY! YOU DON"T WANT US TO GO BANKRUPT DO YOU?"

you can guess who wins the favor of the population that is already meek and scared shitless.

Jim B's picture

+1 Most don't know or care.  I think the hike in the ceiling will be a slam dunk!

Anonymous's picture

I'd like to agree but I think that's really optimistic.

Far more people will see how their 401k/IRA is doing and care about that. If the stock market tanks that's when the AARP revolution will commence - probably along the lines of the Bonus Army of the prior Great D_____ion.

On the other hand, the first American Revolution was truly supported by only about a third of the population.

Rusty_Shackleford's picture

Yeah.  So how did that Bonus Army Protest work out in the end?

They all got their checks right?



Oh,... that's right.  They got the business end of a cavalry charge, 10,000 bayonets,  and adamsite gas as their tent city was torched.


"My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;..."


I guess no one had come up with those little magnetic yellow bows to put on the back of your Model-T just yet.


Thank God someone invented those things so we can finally support our vets now.




Anonymous's picture

That was in fact my point, Rusty.

We could see politics getting rearranged quite extensively in the next few years. I mean, c'mon, not long ago the Republicans could talk about fiscal conservatism without giggling, and the Democrats could actually claim to be opposed to a 1984 type of surveillance society.

I think old people who believed the lies they've been told - the ones that we've all been told - about social security, pensions, saving for retirement, and the stock market, are generally going to get a horrible nasty surprise. And they will be angry, and they mostly vote, but they may well be beaten into submission (perhaps literally) by more brutal and younger (not necessary all that young) forces.

Rusty_Shackleford's picture

Yes.  Good points.

Many horrible nasty surprises are on deck, that's for sure.

Bolweevil's picture

60% of the population opposed 'the bailout' and called their representatives in record numbers, we know how that ended (it hasn't yet).  The Fed has the masses by the short and curlies, some don't care, some can't comprehend the importance, some are complacent and those who disagree continue to be marginalized.  The point you make RE: 401K's is accurate and is plenty to keep some quietly on the fence.  It's reassuring that the Revolution was supported by a minority.   

Assetman's picture

It's very interesting to see that there appears to be real opposition (at least in some circles in Washington) to raising the debt ceiling.

The Fed is simply buying time here, hoping that the debt ceiling will be raised.

Did I say "hoping"?  I meant "expecting".

If the equity markets were to correct by another 30%, the Fed will get whatever the hell they want from Congress. 

D.O.D.'s picture

It's amazing, the power of 'Shock and Awe', in a military campaign.  The congress will fold faster than than a Chinese sweat shop worker...

Anonymous's picture

Too complicated. Fed prints money, buys Treasuries, Treasury takes money, gives to FED? Fed buys crap? And now we're gonna stop that? Should we have ever started? Are regular people supposed to take this seriously? Why would anyone "invest" in America? I freaking have money in the basement!! What's happening to my country???

AR's picture

NIC  /  You wrote:  "but of much more importance, is the decision this morning to reduce the Supplemental Funding Program from $200Bn to $15Bn."  Political reasons aside, how in your opinion would this "reduction" affect the Dollar (if any, and are there any interpretations (positive or negative signals) the market may take away from funding reductions like this?  Thanks.

Gordon_Gekko's picture

"Talk to your elected representatives before considering an investment in any US security."

Am I supposed to get an honest answer from these crooks? Not that I am planning to even go near any "US security" in the near future.

Anonymous's picture

The feeding of the beast must continue without delay !!

Those 2010 elections are looking shakier every day for the Dem CongressCritters, though. The GOP will throw every hand grenade they have in storage at the debt conundrum.

Anonymous's picture

You mean like this?

Again, Elmendorf is a registered lobbyist for UnitedHealth, and his firm's website brags about its work for UnitedHealth on its website (Elmendorf was also a chief of staff for Democratic Minority Leader Dick Gephardt).

I need more cowbell's picture

No matter. Nothing seems to implede the slowmotion daily melt up in equities.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Crash the stock market again (like they did last Sept/Oct 08) and the sheeple will do whatever you want them to do. Don't forget that the average middle class Joe has his/her retirement completely invested in the markets.

Between their 401(k), their personal Schwab IRA and their traditional GE style defined benefit fixed pension, they are all in and desperate for the market to rise.

That's a very big gun to hold to the average Joe's head. Sadly, just say "Boo" and they will jump where ever you tell them. Just think what kind of leverage there would now be if SS had also been invested in the stock market.

Anonymous's picture

I bought today. This action likely signifies the top. Speculate accordingly.

Chippewa Partners's picture

The only thing better than Judge Jess Rakoff taking on B of A would be Walstreetpro2 taking on Jim Cramer in his garage.

Gilgamesh's picture

Thought I was supposed to contact my financial adwisor.