3bps To Go Until QE3 Makes Treasuries America's Second Safest Security

Tyler Durden's picture

We discussed the unintended consequence of QEternity previously as we noted the massive front-running of the Fed's MBS buying program that was occurring as 30Y current coupon mortgage bond yields were tumbling. While the last week or so has seen Treasury yields reverse their rising trend, the trend of front-running the Fed has not abated. In what, quite frankly, stunned us more than Sofia Vergara's wardrobe malfunction this weekend, we note that today the spread between the 30Y FNMA CurCpn mortgage bond (at 1.66%) and 10Y US Treasuries has smashed to incredible all-time lows of around 3bps. The day before QEternity, this spread was 60bps - having been over 100bps at the start of June 2012. The previous low from July 2010 of 54bps has been obliterated as Bernanke has managed to remove one more market from the lexicon of risk (and in the meantime, PIMCO's Bill Gross has earned back his 'bond guru' title by making a killing). Can we see Mortgage yields trade inside of Treasury yields?

Mortgage spread...

 

Now the banks (and asset managers) have all this MBS debt stockpiled on their balance sheets - they will be more than happy to sell it back to the Fed $40bn at a time for the foreseeable time...

And speaking of reporting a blockbuster year, guess which mega fixed income manager, who had a lackluster 2011, is about to report a monster 2012. That's right, the same one we reported has been stockpiling MBS starting in February of this year:

From February 9:

Pimco Borrows A Record $88 Billion To Bet On Fed's Upcoming MBS Monetization

Regular readers of Zero Hedge know that in recent months tracking the portfolio and thoughts of one Bill Gross via the holdings of his flagship Total Return Fund (which just jumped by $6 billion in the past month and is just shy of its all time record north of $250 billion) has meant one thing and one thing only: betting on the Fed monetizing Mortgage Backed Securities or bust. Well, in January he just took it to a whole new level. The fund has now borrowed a record $88 billion, or -35% of its AUM, in cash (shows how much he thinks of the dollar) and used the proceeds (together with dumping European sovereign bonds from 18% to 11% of AUM) to bet on MBS which now stood at a whopping 50% of the entire portfolio - the highest since July 2009 when QE1 was in full force. However, in absolute dollar terms, due to the growth of the fund's AUM, the actual bet on MBS has never been bigger, and at $125 billion, represents the biggest notional bet ever made by PIMCO. Treasury holdings of just over $100 billion with an effective duration of 6.33 complete the epic bet that the fund has now put on QE3.