Today's 3 Year bond auction priced without much fanfare, and luckily so: while it came at 1.349%, slightly weaker than expected (1.345%), compared to last auction's 1.027%, ot a 30% jump in interest in one month, it is the internals that were most disturbing. The Bid To Cover was strong enough at 3.01, compared to 3.06 previously, and 3.14 LTM average, yet what was remarkable was the takedown. And as we have been warning for a while now, it was the Indirect Bids (the Chinas of the world) that basically decided to take a raincheck on the auction. The Indirect takedown was just 27.6% of total, with $8.8 billion of the $32 billion going to Indirects (nonetheless the hit rate was 57%). This is the lowest Indirect takedown since May of 2007! And while the direct bid was a subpar 10.1%, it was the Primary Dealers that saved the day: at 62.3%, or $20 billion of the entire auction, the Fed essentially monetized two thirds of the entire auction de novo. And remember this Cusip: QH6: we can guarantee that within a month, the Fed will buy back at least 50%, or $10 billion, of the Primary Dealer take down portion.
On the chart below note the precipitous drop off in Indrect interest (red), and the surge in Primary Dealer take down (blue).