Twist Spin Begins As Morgan Stanley Tries To Pass Fed Action As Bigger Than Expected
And so the Twist spin (pun and all that) begins after Morgan Stanley's Jim Caron tells clients that OpTwist will remove "more duration risk than expected." He says that the operation will remove more than $500 billion in 10 Year equivalents of duration risk from the market, which is far higher than the firm's expectations, and adds that he was "most aggressive on the street" saying the consensus was for $300 billion in 10 Yr equivalents, especially with QE2 removing $490 billion in 10 Yr equivalents. Well, Jim, the problem is that you are right about bonds - when it comes to Twist a lot of it was priced in, but judging by the 30 year reaction, not all. However, when it comes to stocks, the robots had been expecting not just Twist but a significant LSAP component, potentially up to $1 trillion. Which explains the unwind. And as for the opportunity cost of Twist, it is shown in the chart below. As SMRA just predicted, the average maturity on the Fed's balance sheet is about to soar by 33%, from 75 months to an all time record 100 months. This means the Fed goes all in on being able to control rates. Should the Fed have to print, and it will before long, at that time the Fed's interest rate risk will be unprecedented, and should it lose control, it will lose not only that, but all credibility it is capable of keeping something, anything, be it inflation, unemployment or price stability, under control. Then, it will be truly time to panic.
And for those who are confused, what just happened today is that Bernanke just agreed to sacrifice stocks (for the time being) until Congress starts cooperating, due to electoral pressure to get fiscal stimulus in order.
The problem with that line of thought is that the GOP will rather do nothing and get even more anger focused on Obama than actually pass even $1 in fiscal stimulus into the economy.
Which means the Fed will soon be faced with the double whammy of having to print even more, once it understands that its gambit has failed miserably.