The Printman Always Rings Twice

We won't bore readers with the Fed's balance sheet: yes, it is at a new record, and will be at a new record until the week of July 7. Which sure makes for click inducing headlines week after week. It will make for even more headlines after the announcement of QE3 when the same meme will be abused for another 1.5 years, at which point everyone will be so habituated to the idea of "record" anything, not to mention a record low dollar, that the Fed's mission will be complete. There are two things that do need noting however: FX swap lines were not used in the past week, although they will see about a trillion worth of use when Greece defaults, and discount window borrowings jumped to the third highest in 2011, or by 25% W/W (to $91 million, and by 62.5% in the Primary credit facility), another number which will shortly surge. Yet the most notable number, or as the case may be, chart, is as usual the Adjusted Monetary Base, which continues to track the asset side of the Fed's balance sheet well into the stratosphere, and is up by 20% YTD. There is about another $80 billion left on this number before it tops out. What is disturbing however, is that despite the ongoing rise in the AMB, coupled with an actual decline of $100 billion in excess reserves in the past week to $1.57 trillion, the market continues to trickle lower. What happens when the incremental additions to the AMB and to reserves end in precisely 24 days?


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