Indirectly via its Special Purpose Vehicles and its Primary Dealers, the Fed can buy even old bicycles, as long as taxpayers take the losses.
By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET:
With its announcement this morning, the Fed expanded its three fundamental mechanisms in which it is once again bailing out the biggest risk takers, over-leveraged companies, hedge funds, mortgage REITs, and PE firms; wiping out cash-flows for crash-averse savers and holders of Treasury securities; and creating special opportunities for well-connected individuals who have access to the Fed’s programs. And let’s get this straight: None of the programs are going to fix the economy.
These bailout programs fall into three mechanisms:
1. Fed buys assets directly. Until this morning, this was limited to Treasury securities, agency debt, and residential MBS backed by Ginnie Mae (US government agency) and the GSEs, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. This morning, the Fed added agency-backed commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) to the list.
2. Fed sets up special purpose vehicles (SPV) and lends to the SPVs which then buy assets or lend. These SPVs can buy assets the Fed is not allowed to buy and they can lend to entities and individuals to buy certain assets. Under the Federal Reserve Act, these SPVs require taxpayer backing from the Treasury Department to protect the Fed from losses.
3. The Fed lends to its 24 Primary Dealers against collateral, and that collateral can be anything the Fed decides, including now stocks – and in the end finally old bicycles.
The entire alphabet soup of new programs will take a while to get set up and get started. And since they won’t fix the economy and its underlying problems, they might not work as well in accomplishing their goals – making the wealthy wealthier – as they did during the Financial Crisis. So we’ll have to see how this works out.
New Today, March 23.
This morning, March 23, the Fed announced a slew of programs and expansions of existing programs:
QE unlimited: The purchases of Treasury securities and MBS will be unlimited (previously the limit had been $500 billion of Treasury securities and $200 billion of MBS). For this week is said it would buy $375 billion in Treasury securities and $250 billion in MBS.
QE CMBS: QE purchases will now include CMBS but only those that are backed by the GSEs and Ginnie Mae.
PMCCF to lend to large companies. Via the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility, the Fed will lend to a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that then provides bridge loans with maturities of four years to large investment-grade corporations. They can defer interest and principal payments for six months, which is extendable at the Fed’s discretion. With this, the Fed is trying to kill the pricing of risk of overleveraged companies and protect and make whole the shareholders and creditors of these companies
SMCCF to buy corporate bonds and US-listed bond ETFs. Under the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility, the Fed lends to an SPV to buy existing investment-grade corporate bonds and corporate-bond ETFs.
The insidious TALF is baaaaack. The Fed concocted this Term Asset-Backed Securities Lending Facility during the prior Financial Crisis. Under this program, the Fed lends money to an SPV which lends on a non-recourse basis to entities and well-connected individuals so that they can buy recently issued asset-backed securities (ABS) that they post as collateral.
“Non-recourse” means that if the asset blows up, the individual can just walk away from it unharmed and let the SPV deal with the debris.
These ABS can be backed by credit card loans, auto loans, student loans, equipment loans, floorplan loans, insurance premium finance loans, some loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), and eligible loans on receivables. The loan amounts will be “equal to the market value of the ABS less a haircut and will be secured at all times by the ABS,” the Fed says.
A little history on TALF: At the end of 2010, under orders from Congress, the Fed released data on over 21,000 transactions it performed during the Financial Crisis, which revealed among many other outrageous acts, that the Fed lent to well-connected individuals and all kinds of hedge funds and others under its TALF program so that they would buy certain assets, such as these consumer loan ABS, drive up their prices, sell them to pension funds and others later for a huge profit, and pay back the loans to the Fed.
These well-connected individuals included John A. Paulson, Michael Dell, Christy K. Mack (wife of former Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack), Kendrick R. Wilson III (former Goldman executive and top aide to Hank Paulson Jr.), H. Wayne Huizenga (founder of AutoNation and Waste Management), Jonathan S. Sobel (head of Goldman’s mortgage department), etc. Some very wealthy people made a lot of money off the Fed’s bailout programs even as workers and the economy was in deep trouble.
Expanded MMLF to municipal demand notes and CDs. This Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility was announced last week (see way below). Via SPVs, it buys short-term corporate paper that normally is bought by money market funds. Companies borrow short term from investors by selling corporate paper to money market mutual funds. This short-term corporate debt is now perceived as riskier, including the rising risk of defaults, and these money market funds have come under stress, much like their long-term brethren, regular corporate bond funds.
Today, the Fed expanded the securities that its SPVs are buying to include municipal variable rate demand notes (VRDNs) and bank certificates of deposit.
Expands CPFF to municipal paper. Last week the Fed announced the Commercial Paper Funding Facility, where the Fed lends to an SPV that then buys corporate commercial paper. Today the Fed expanded CPFF to where the SPV can buy “high-quality,” tax-exempt commercial paper issued by municipal borrowers.
Taxpayers eat the losses of SPVs. Under the TALF, PMCCF, SMCCF, MMLF, and CPFF, the Fed provides loans to SPVs. These SPVs then do the actual deals. If the assets they buy or take on as collateral default, they may produce losses for the SPV. To avoid transferring those losses to the Fed, the Treasury Department, via its Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF), provides $10 billion in taxpayer money as equity capital to each SPV to start with. Once an SPV blows through $10 billion in losses, it just takes a technical adjustment for taxpayers to be on the hook for more.
The Fed referenced Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act as giving it authority, with approval of the Treasury Secretary, for the TALF, PMCCF, SMCCF, MMLF, and CPFF.
Unlimited repos. There is now not much demand for repos, and they’ve been undersubscribed, but the Fed is now offering essentially unlimited cash under overnight and term repurchase agreements, amounting to over $1 trillion a day, if anyone wants it, but there are not a lot of takers.
Expanded MMLF to municipal-debt money market funds (announced March 20). The Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility, announced earlier in the week, was expanded to allow the Boston Fed “to make loans available to eligible financial institutions secured by certain high-quality assets purchased from single state and other tax-exempt municipal money market mutual funds.”
Enhanced standing US dollar liquidity (swap) arrangements with major central banks (announced March 20). The Fed, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the ECB, and the Swiss National Bank agreed to enhance the frequency of the US dollar liquidity swap line operations of 7-day maturities from weekly to daily. The swap lines are designed to reduce the stress in the overseas US dollar funding market (can’t they borrow in their own currencies, for crying out loud?).
New swap agreements with lesser central banks (announced March 19). The Fed made available up to $60 billion each to the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Banco Central do Brasil, the Bank of Korea, the Banco de Mexico, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and the Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden); and $30 billion each to the Danmarks Nationalbank, the Norges Bank (Norway), and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
Established the MMLF to bail out money market mutual funds (announced March 18). Via the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility, the Boston Fed will make loans to US banks or US branches of foreign banks that then buy “high-quality” assets from money market mutual funds and post those as collateral. Eligible assets are unsecured and secured commercial paper, agency securities, and Treasury securities.
Taxpayers provide $10 billion in credit protection to the Fed for the MMLF, via the Treasury Department’s ESF and with approval of the Treasury Secretary. Authority cited is Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act. Taxpayers eat the losses.
Established the PDCF to lend to Primary Dealers (announced March 17). Under this Primary Dealer Credit Facility, the Fed lends directly to its 24 “primary dealers” – large broker-dealers and banks, the majority of which are US branches of foreign banks (list of the 24 primary dealers and their country). These loans will be overnight funding and term funding with maturities up to 90 days. Interest rate is the Primary Dealer Credit Rate of currently 0.25%. Collateral for these loans are a broad range of securities in addition to Treasury securities, agency debt, and agency MBS:
- Investment-grade corporate bonds
- International agency securities
- Commercial paper, rated A1/P1 and A2/P2
- Municipal securities
- Mortgage-backed securities
- CLOs (Collateralized Loan Obligations) rated BBB- (one notch above junk) or above.
- CMBS (Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities) rated BBB- or above.
- CDOs (collateralized debt obligations) rated BBB- or above.
- “Additional collateral may become eligible at a later date upon further analysis.”
In other words, the Fed doesn’t have to buy the assets; the banks will do that, and the Fed lends to them to do it. And the banks post the acquired assets as collateral.
Established the CPFF to bail out entities that rely on borrowing via commercial paper (announced March 17). Under the Commercial Paper Funding Facility, the Fed lends to an SPV, which then acquires a broad range of US-dollar denominated unsecured and asset-backed commercial paper (rated at least A-1/P-1/F-1). So things get a little rough and they need to be bailed out.
The taxpayer provides $10 billion in equity in the SPV via the Treasury Department’s ESF and will eat the losses. Authority cited is Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act.
This is the moment when yield-chasing turns into a massacre. Read… Leveraged Loans Blow Out. Distressed Corporate Debt Spikes
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Debt Jubilee + Bonus for the ruling class, courtesy of government prostitutes. No need for Hank Paulsen’s concern about needing tanks in the street to repel any rabble when they can’t leave their houses. Michael Lewis and Orson Wells will make movie out of it.
I won’t even be surprised if Wolf’s cash burning machines come out this rigged game as the winners. Where previously there were mere billions poured into them, soon it could be trillions.
some days you want socialism
Good idea, but maybe this story has already been told.
I’m trying to figure out if it is Grapes of Wrath, or Moby Dick ?
Wolf nailed it though, the rich will get richer and it is disturbing how blatant different “leaders”, (and I use that term loosely), are publicly arguing for a similar course. If it plays out like a grotesque addition to what has been going on for the last 12 years, and I don’t see a good ending. Ever.
In my last email to son (as he discussed returning to work and current events) ended with, “And don’t worry about everything going down. If it gets that bad we can hunker down as a family and survive in place”. Thinking about those words I imagined a ‘connected one’ email to their son, “Don’t worry. This is a great opportunity to make money. Sure, there will be decline and job losses, people will lose their homes, but our family will grow immensely richer for generations. It will just be different.”
Except for the slower pace in countries like Canada that kept airplanes coming from infected nations like China, the U.S. economy will bounce right back.
The mortality rate is significantly under 1% (approaching normal flu rates) and this is another incubated in China and spread throughout the world via airplanes, hair-on-fire response that will fade.
And get ready to buy face masks for 5 cents and ventilators for $100 bucks as the massive order book gets filled with nowhere for the stuff to go.
Every exponential upward curve collapses exponentially.
We are working on a ventilator modification kit so that the surplus can be used to aerate aquariums. Opportunities abound.
I keep looking at these papers out of China that everyone is citing for the death rates, hospitalization rates, and as baselines for their models, and the papers themselves say that they suffer from sampling bias and to not take their numbers at face value. But that’s what people are doing. They’re not counting anyone that didn’t show up at a hospital and get diagnosed, so they’re not representative, and the fatality rates/etc are likely much lower.
“Wolf nailed it though, the rich will get richer”
show me article where did Mr. Wolf call for abolishment of central banking and fiat money and reintroduction of commodity money like gold and silver.
Darn. There goes my plan to use the credit default swap market to get a bare minimum sense of risk and pricing. I’m assuming this cluster of zombification distorts CDS pricing by name and index beyond all semblance of reality. I’ll cancel my Markit account reactivation. That TALF is like the creature from the black lagoon, every time you think it’s been dealt a deathblow, it comes lurching back into the frame.
They’re buying IG not HY, plus just because they’re willing to buy the bond, doesn’t eliminate default risk, you should still see individual cds priced accordingly based on credit risk. I scrape Markit to get daily data on default swap incecies around the world, but i mostly just look at B and BB cdx.na.hy
“That TALF is like the creature from the black lagoon, every time you think it’s been dealt a deathblow, it comes lurching back into the frame.”
Hahahahaha… why didn’t I think of it?!
LOL. It’s a longstanding joke in certain circles. I have a garage full of financial crisis memes from the Calculated Risk comment board years ago. Before it was shut down for persistent bad behavior, that is. I should dust some off, get them out for another spin.
I remember there was a poster on Calculated Risk, can’t remember the handle, who around 2008 said interest rates would approach zero, and many scoffed.
Congratulations Lacy Hunt, of Hoisington fame.
My 13 week Treasury Direct auto rollover hit 0.00% yesterday.
A day to remember.
Print this for your mementos.
You can still get brokered 3-month and 6-month CDS that pay some interest. American Express Personal Savings pays 1.7% on their savings account, through that will likely drop soon. Yank this money out of your Treasury account.
Wonderful summary Wolf, literally for this old boy now full of wonder about how these folks can keep doing this kind of ”stuff” and sleep at all, not to mention the wonder of the deprivations it will certainly entail sooner and later for us peons.
So, with all this that was added 23march in mind, in addition to the $5TT in the previous week, what is your opinion about the depth of this crash, and the implications for the timing of deflation and inflation?
(When you did not post yesterday, I figured you were working on a larger post later, but this is yuge!!)
lesson learned – if you are a bank – insurance company- hedge fund – private equity – you need not consider risk in your investment strategy -the profits form your investments you keep – the loses will be socialized –
what are your thoughts on CEF and those like PIMCO PDI, PCI that own government and not government MBS?
Curious why cds doesn’t bid well, because when it’s valuable the underlying market isn’t functioning property. Think Greenspan andAIG that lasted 30yrs
It’s so depressing for an average person just wanting a fairer chance to be a market participant on equal footing. How long can the Fed prop this up? There must be unforeseen consequences of this. Going forward, does “don’t fight the Fed” have the same staying power? I don’t even hear any talk of “moral hazard” this time around…they aren’t even pretending anymore.
All you have to do is remember what George Carlin said about the American dream:
“You aren’t part of it.”
Unfortunately, the average american idiot worships the Fed and thinks it’s a great thing. The theft will continue indefinitely. And no, there is absolutely no way an average joe can be on the same footing in the markets as the Fed-connected class. and FYI this is NOT capitalism.
Disagree RT: After fifty years of analyzing cost and logistics of construction projects from $1K to $4BB, new and remodel, (and, in the beginning, carpentering on same sometimes with crews exceeding 200 on site daily, ) IMO the average citizen of USA has absolutely no clue about the FED or anything to do with it, and will not know any more after this event.
Other than that, I agree with the rest of your comment, all three parts of it.
We are both correct.
Go survey the avg American idiot :
Do you support the Fed?
98% enthusiastically support it.
Next ask them what the Fed is- that’s what you were saying- 4%
It’s a perfect capture. Mao, Hitler, Stalin all very jealous.
Back in the day when I got my MBA in finance from UT at Austin, I don’t think I ever actually learned anything about the Fed. It was just there, wisely raising and lowering interest rates. I came out with an MBA clueless about the Fed. And then I spent decades working in that condition. It took the shenanigans of Financial Crisis 1 for me to get seriously interested in the Fed. Our whole entire system is set up to keep people from learning anything about the Fed other than this sacred institution that guards wisely over our economy.
The Fed even sends one of its paid trolls over here every now and then (“Dink Singer”) to serve up its propaganda. He was just here the other day, explaining how the Fed is so perfect. He does know a lot about the technical things the Fed does.
there was an op-ed in usa today about how the fed are true heroes of the coronavirus fiasco. it made me puke in my mouth a little bit. how they continue to get away with this gross malfeasance amazes me.
What can be done about this? How can we finally get organized and end this destruction of America? Its pitchfork time!
@Wolf – you da best!
@Paul Schuyler – no pitchforks needed. Just vote for Andrew Jackson.
What if the Coronovirus is used a reason to reduce the rates to zero and also start QE?
What if all the shadow powers joined together to use this pandemic as a reason to get more free money even at the cost of small businesses? Not only cheap money from the FED but free money paid by taxpayers.
To paraphrase someone else from this website, I forget who.
TO NEGATIVE INFINITY AND BEYOND.
Then you can count on Bolahevism 2.0. These people just keep upping the ante in class warfare. “Oh but Democrats are already bolsheviks” says some dude. Oh I’m sure you haven’t seen anything yet. There will be a new younger Bernie who is far more charismatic who turns up at some point. This corporate welfare during times of extreme economic stress for working class Americans who will only get thrown a little extra in UI benefits and maybe a one time check is not going to go over well in 6 months.
I wasn’t aware that Bernie Sanders was the only member of the Senate/Government apparatchik!
(From a non-partisan rebel)
@rhodium – in case you haven’t noticed- Trump and the republicans are also Bolsheviks
Cathaul Haugian in THE bullshit machine said something like when the collapse happens you have to save the corporations. They are the only ones who create value everyone else feeds off that value. something to ponder
I have the last book he put out, which of course doesn’t have the password to read the protected posts, which seem to be all of them now. Who is he protecting his posts from?
I think it is easy for civilians to get lost in the weeds on the crap asset buying side. There are a multitude of programs with a multitude of “rules”.
For me, the absolutely key element for the average citizen to know is that there are really only two ways for these crap asset purchase programs to be paid for,
1) Increased national debt, furthering undermining value of the dollar and, really,
2) Fed money printing (QE whatever) further undermining the value of the dollar and increasing general and/or asset inflation (known as rent if the asset is an apt building…).
There is no magic DC money fairy…there are only defaulted private debts made good by public inflation and interest rate repression (spread out over time and party in order to obscure the linkage, for political purposes).
I don’t think citizens care as much about the mechanics of bad asset purchases, as they do about how those purchases will hurt them.
Well put. I read this article and I admittedly only understand maybe 15% of the lingo. As an investment minded person, it just tells me there all all sorts of machinations in play in a game where I cannot participate. Even if I could, I would feel dirty.
So how does one invest in an SPV? I gotta presume they will monetize the “handling” companies who will thrive during this continuing hoarding of wealth? Is there an SPV ETF I can buy?
“So how does one invest in an SPV?”
At your peril, I think. Big Entities set up SPVs to get things off the books that the Big Entity doesn’t want on the books. Enron used them a lot. It looks like here some SPVs will be set up to loan money to people who can later default and walk away. Jingle-mail only without the keys.
Sometimes SPVs can be used to smuggle assets out of a Big Entity that’s set up to die. Something like that may have happened with Sears. There was some lawsuit … ? Wolf reported on that last year.
I was understanding the SPVs to be more like brokers who just move all the bad S*** around and get paid to do so. I was not aware they might actually get caught without the chair in the musical chair game.
Most ABS are set up as SPV. Though usually end up being reconsolidated back on the BS for some banks. Think auto loans.
“I don’t think citizens care as much about the mechanics of bad asset purchases, as they do about how those purchases will hurt them.”
To a great extent, I think, most citizens can’t care about either, directly. They feel the effects but can’t even suspect the details of the causes.
Number one gets dizzy doing his best to plumb Wolf’s explanations!
Thank God for him –
I think the public can understand that DC does not, in fact, have some magic “make all the bad go away” potion – despite the political class in DC spending decades cultivating exactly that attitude.
People (vs. DC creatures) are realists, they have to survive on resources (mostly) generated through their own efforts…not redistributed through an act of political attitude.
They understand the inevitability of trade-offs.
What they may not understand in any particular detail is how the US creates the money supply for these mega bailouts and how that action has negative consequences for their own interests (savings that have earning power gutted for decades, soaring rents due to fiat money growth hugely outstripping real asset growth, etc).
These linkages act indirectly, over multiple steps, across time.
So the cause-and-effect gets lost – which is how the politicians like it.
My pt is that before going into the deep, deep weeds on the new program spending side, Wolf’s limited time might be first spent discussing those inflationary linkages (both obvious and obscured).
Because that is where the vast majority of people “live” – the daily press of their personal expenditures (inflated due to repeated, systemic gvt incompetence and corruption)
Their lives are about to be made harder (again) and Wolf can explain in detail why.
Such nasty language!
I congratulate you!
This is a post truth world. If you string three facts together and draw a conclusion you will be stoned by chimpanzees and seemingly benign lemurs.
Hey. Leave lemurs out of this. Hubs calls me a lemur cause I am pint sized , climb about and scamper. Although he also calls me a honeylemur Ala honey badger. So beware
Sorry, but nothing here bails out anything. It’s more useless pr that is irrelevant.
Just arrived: In addition to the beer mugs, we now have “Nothing Goes to Heck in a Straight Line” bumper stickers that you can frame and put on the wall behind your CEO leather swivel chair:
At the WOLF STREET STORE.
And we have coasters too at the WOLF STREET STORE.
The design is pure Ralph Steadmen, Hunter’s pal.
How would Hunter, who shot his eternal ashes through a cannon, with Johnny Depp on the mint julep feel about the disconnect between cause and effect.
Straight lines happen. Given enough time line all lines are straight.
Wolf I suggest you make a special 2020 addition mug which specifically states nothing goes to heck in a straight line (except if it’s the twenties).
More proof you are an honest man wolf, not using Testosterone Pit as your start date. I think I can say I have been a reader for 10 years already, not being honest like you!
Thanks for sticking around this long :-]
Hasn’t been quite 10 years. Testosterone Pit started in 2011.
Thanks for listening to the suggestions.
I’ll order the stickers as soon as the local delivery services get back on track: right now the only thing getting delivered are the bills…
“…the only thing getting delivered are the bills…”
How about a dark chocolate bar instead of the bumper sticker.
The coasters make me think Wolf Street is a bar or a beer brewery.
We thought about making a deal with a local brewery to put a WOLF STREET label on their IPA that we can sell as house brand. But our board of directors nixed that one :-]
Wolf, I understand the challenges of a house brand IPA,,, but what about a house brand collection of wines, or maybe even whines??
You could start with a ‘shard’ don hey that would indicate the various tiny shards left for us peons after the events you chronicle,,, and keep adding to the varieties as the ”crowd sources” on this site bring them forward…
Just kidding, of course, gonna purchase asap, ( as soon as I know what’s left from income this month,) but do think the suggestion of dark chocolate a good one too.
It’s not? I think Wolf is brewing up some of the best stuff around on a daily basis. It’s where I go to catch up and see what everyone else is saying about the latest batch. Some of us regulars might spend a little too much time at the bar, but the conversations never get out of control. It’s a great place to hear a little wisdom, humor, a rant or two, and maybe an argument you would have never considered…
Ripp-thanks for the smiles generated by your observations! Wolf, indeed, runs the finest establishment in this burg…
May we all find a better day.
Where are the embossed (human) thermometers?
(Straight lines and all that…)
excellent. i look forward to seeing kindred souls on the roads. well, once people are using them again!
For years to come people will still be claiming that a virus lethal almost entirely to the elderly and the chronically ill was what ruined us.
But that will likely change in two to four weeks. That’s when the numbers will pop. It will become real for those you are referring to when someone they know personally gets seriously mucked up by this thing. Politicians, entertainers and other notable leaders are getting it. Hard to hide from this one and the financial impacts cannot be overstated.
While Covid-19 may kill more of the elderly, the ages of those hospitalized spans the entire spectrum. This is dangerous for everyone. And while the nation is distraught and distracted by all of this, there will be those who are busily looking forward to these socialist handouts, and I don’t mean the poor and needy.
If you could link to daily data source with age data, that would be helpful.
The other daily sites I’ve seen don’t post age data.
Daily data is very useful for calculating spread rate data.
In England at present they are seeing a lot of patients in their 50’s and 60’s, and not many very elderly.
They go from not too bad on admission – just needing oxygen – to requiring a ventilator in just a few hours.
Medical staff are nervous about the crappy surgical masks they are being told to wear.
12% of patients in Spain are now hospital staff, for that reason…..
What worries me is the fools that will go on a long drunk with their $1000.00. of course, I forgot, our bars are closed.
That would not be handouts for those whose jobs were stopped by outside decree. In my town many little ebony children would have decent food and their parents, bus fare. Two that mow our lawn were evicted last month with their disabled father and 2 younger brothers.
I dislike “landscape” guys with Ford 250s and riding mowers….
No no no, coronavirus is a patsy.
In another decade or so when the markets are at new super duper all time highs, it’ll be a gnat farting that causes us all to panic.
We’ll finally bring in QE infinity and full shadow socialisation of everything, essentially paying the rich to be rich directly from the plebs pockets who are born directly into a lifetime of debt servitude to them.
Three strains I hear
Machine, I live in Northern Italy in one of the worst affected provinces so I speak out of experience and I hope I will not offend anybody if I sound a little rude or insensitive.
This virus is not dangerous as in “Black Death”. This virus is dangerous because its spread pattern is weird in the extreme and seemingly unpredictable.
I’ll leave people to murder each other over healthcare considerations and move on.
The big problem is that most Western governments have so far behaved like their countries will be in lockdown forever. There has been very little in the way of planning ahead for what will come, and what little came out looks mostly like your run-of-the-mill stimulus plan designed to inflate a bubble for a couple of years.
For example only this morning somebody in Italy is starting to say that we need to think beyond the lockdown, and we need to do it sooner than later. Not only we need a cautious but speedy plan to return to normal, like China is doing, but we need a fiscal and financial plan to help out the 70% or so of businesses that run the serious risk of incurring “lasting damages”, a catchall term for anything from future-endeavoring people to disappearing altogether. And if we don’t act soon there will be nothing left to stimulate.
Again I hope people won’t take it the wrong way but differently from China we cannot afford the luxury of waiting until new cases have gone to zero. We need a roadmap to start getting back to work as soon as possible, obviously with a lot of precautions, and we need to prop up first those businesses like restaurants which have been shut down for a month now, at least to give them a fighting chance.
If we wait too long because our leadership is unable and unwilling to deal with the new reality and want to go back to the old “normal” we may just as well mail China the keys to our country, lay down in bed and take a cyanide capsule.
“Not only we need a cautious but speedy plan to return to normal, like China is doing, but we need a fiscal and financial plan to help out the 70% or so of businesses that run the serious risk of incurring “lasting damages”, a catchall term for anything from future-endeavoring people to disappearing altogether. And if we don’t act soon there will be nothing left to stimulate.”
Yes. We need to adopt in ways we can start doing what we working fold used to do, safely. We can’t hide in our homes forever.
I think regional and rolling quarantines with approx 100 pct lockdowns for the worst hit areas and mere social distancing for the least hit areas may be the best combination for getting supply chains semi-functioning again (required for food if nothing else) while giving hospitals a fighting chance to stay under capacity caps.
WOW, molto bene!! Bravo!! With that spirit, your beautiful country will come out better than ever…
The virus is very capricious. In a church my sister attends, all three pastors tested positive – one is quite ill, one is asymptomatic and one is on ventilator.
Yeah, the dipshit idiot government in New Zeland has now banned takeaway food.
Overkill and over the top.
I told my wife last night that, going forward, modern life will be forever defined as BV and AV…..Before Virus and After Virus.
I believe everything will be different as this unwinds, maybe even dissolution for the United States. When you see Governors and States leading responsibly and with compassion for their citizens, compared to federal entities working for the connected and simply orchestrating press conferences and making policy based on Fox and Friends, then why bother any longer with the myth?
Here is how the parliamentary system in Canada completed step one of our bailout. (And this is in a minority govt period). All party leaders met and finalized step 1 by last Friday. (This was devised by experts and negotiated by party leadership) On Monday, 16 members voted in parliament to approve the emergency bill passage (by those members of parliament that could drive in, rather than using air travel exposing others or themselves to virus). On Monday, they voted to adopt just phase one, or “This First Step”, plus awarded the finance minister and other ministers emergency authority to make immediate decisions as required to alleviate the virus effects on Canadians. Over the last several days all party leaders have publicly stated they are behind the emergency measures and support the PM in this time of crisis. (This includes a socialist party leader, the bloc Qubecois leader (separatist party), Liberal (big corporation and citizen party), Green, and the Conservatives (more right wing and anti govt bent).
To add to Changemachine’s comment, “For years to come people will still be claiming that a virus lethal almost entirely to the elderly and the chronically ill was what ruined us.” will add. “However, in the end it was greed and a lack of compassion and vision. It all fell apart when large corporations took over the Govt, and obviously so after WW2. We were warned for generations, and failed to heed those warnings”.
There is still emergency debate in parliament but all parties are still stating support for leadership and the emergency bill. I thought it had passed late yesterday. However, it is still mostly a ‘health’ bill for the safety of Canadians.
Paulo: All the parties support the Emergency Measures but NOT WITHOUT Parliamentary oversight.
I don’t know about you but no way do I want ANY government ( Minority or Majority ) to have Carte Blanche do do what ever they want WITHOUT oversight.
Previous Federal governments ( and provincial too) have dug the fiscal hole deep enough already even with a shadowy semblance of oversight.
Frankly, I am more concerned about the fact that if Gov. Cuomo figures that NY state (pop 20 million ) needs approx 30,000 ventilators then using his metric Ontario needs about 20,000 ventilators ( 14 million pop).
According to our Federal Health talking heads we only have approx 5000 ventilators for the whole country…………..
Houston, we may have a problem.
In the Niagara Region ( pop 500,000 with 33+% being retirees) we have fewer than 100 ventilators according to my own daughter who works in 2 of the major hospitals here.
Yes Apollo, you do have a problem.
Stay safe people.
All these special government programs that the rich get and you don’t.
Then when you try to get a little help for yourself in hard times they tell SOCIALISM SOCIALISM SOCIALISM and let you struggle in pain.
First please let me know of a single country where Socialism actually lifted the common person up?
Second, the large companies will need to be bailed out, less there be hundred’s of millions of people unemployed. Time to swallow the vomit and get it done. That said, there needs to be some serious corporate governance updates. Limits on executive bonuses, share buybacks, removal of all c-suite execs from BOD (direct conflict of interest), limits on number of stock options (along with repricing for Exec), etc.
Though I doubt any of the governance actions will be taken by Congress as they are as inept as our current crop of corporate leaders (and I use that term very loosely)
Finally, expanding unemployment insurance is too little too late. Same with low interest loans for small businesses. Sending cash is pointless if everyone is in lockdown.
Our government is so corrupted, that neither party is capable of leading and quite frankly should be fired. Except that the American public is too stupid or short-sighted to actually stop re-electing these idiots in DC.
I’ve done this before and will ask here (this comment board being smarter than the average bear): Name a single social problem that Government has actually solved? I can’t think of any. They are not in the business of solving anything.
Surveying. recording public notices. deciding conflicts between opposed parties. National defense. stabilizing the economy-for all the hate at the fed we don’t have periodic “panics of” every other year. Law enforcement.
“The food is terrible and the portions are so small!”
Maybe Theranos will solve all the problems? Enron?
“Stabilizing the economy” I like that one. Governments cause more instability than companies do, though it is a close race.
Sorry but the companies do not need to be bailed out. Let them go through the normal process of bankruptcy. It’s not like their assets will suddenly vanish in smoke. Most of the so called leaders of these corporations that have are crying for a bailout were squandering money on share buy backs and exec perks. Flush them all out and let someone smarter run the show after bankruptcy re-org. Give some money and support to the bankruptcy court and things will be back to better in no time.
The problem is that C-Suite execs FU and the line workers pay the price. Where I would agree is that Congress will bail them out without the proper governance changes. One without the other is same shit different day.
The problem with the Bankruptcy route is the line workers still pay the price first, second and last.
But yes baring governance changes I recommended, no bailouts.
How about satellites? Because of the massive investment in space technology we are able to put satellites in space. And this enabled society to create things the internet, cell phones, etc. And then there is the power grid. You know the infrastructure that allows you to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It also allows to light your home at night and keep your groceries fresh.
Or how about the interstate highway system (and on a local and state level virtually every road you drive).And before that they had to step in to finalize the meeting of the transcontinental railroad (although the robber barons got the profit.)
Medicine? Before the era of the great pharma companies the US govt. (and this extends to other national govts) grants funded the research that revolutionized life expectancy for mankind by developing vaccines and antibodies to defeat common viruses that historically had the capacity to take any life at any stage.
Essentially every single thing that is the substance behind the privileged life that you enjoy and obviously take for granted
All good things for sure. But none of those things really solved a social problem and an argument could be made that the private section would have developed those things on their own.
You do realize society got along just fine before all those products.
I get it, you’re from the ‘you didn’t build it crowd’. So you should fully support 100% income confiscation (taxes) so the Great Government can wipe our asses and feed us all too.
I’m from the ‘I did build it’ by working my ass off crowd and the government has very little right to take just enough to fund the military and a base level of regulation.
In the end Government cannot and will not solve a single social problem, i.e. hunger, homelessness, drug addition, poverty, etc. You know real social issues.
Wow, the Fed has appointed itself to become a fourth branch of government, with access to taxpayer dollars to impose corporate socialism
No wonder Andrew Jackson’s supporters pushed for abolishing the early Federal Reserve
There are those who still advocate abolishing the FED, but it is hard to overcome those who give the FED cover by justifying and condoning the FED’s prior bailouts. It is particularly hard when those justifiers of the FED are smart and well written, even though they are wrong.
Greenspan, Bernanke, Geithner, Yellen, Paulson, etc. All scum, as opined, who should be recognized as such.
cb, they all should have been put behind bars after the tide went out in 2009. To do a rerun and rehash the same thing is just disgusting. The moral compass was broke a long time ago by this group and moral hazard is now off the charts for the bankers and wall street.
Even though you know that, and I know that, and I presume all should know that, there are great many seemingly smart, educated people who offer that the FED did the right thing during the Great Financial crises and saved the country. And I’m talking about smart people who were not part of the financial apparatus, Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, etc. and seemingly would have no bias. But then again, maybe their 401K was bailed out.
Jackson and co. didn’t just have gold, they had lead to back their position.
President Jackson ran his 1832 campaign under the slogan, “Jackson and No Bank!” After he became president, he began removing the government’s deposits from banks that were controlled by the Second Bank of the United States, and moved that capital to banks directed by independent bankers – meaning not part of the Rothschild cartel.
In 1836, the 20 year charter for the Second Bank expired, and Congress, under Jackson’s leadership, did not renew the charter.
Five years later in 1841, Congress acted to renew the charter. But President John Tyler vetoed the act. On 16 August 1841, there were riots outside the Executive Mansion, and an effigy of Tyler was burned. Shortly thereafter the District of Columbia created a police force.
The Second Bank, like the Fed, was a private corporation with public duties and it handled all fiscal transactions for the U.S. government. In theory, it was accountable by Congress and the U.S. Treasury. 20% of its capital was held by the federal government, the bank’s largest stockholder, but 80% was owned by the elite of America and Europe. And like the Fed, it was the world’s largest financial corporation.
President Tyler had a lot of enemies including Senator Henry Clay. And he had a blunt way with words:
“I beg your pardon, gentlemen; I am very glad to have in my Cabinet such able statesmen as you have proved yourselves to be. And I shall be pleased to avail myself of your counsel and advice. But I can never consent to being dictated to as to what I shall or shall not do.
I, as president, shall be responsible for my administration. I hope to have your hearty co-operation in carrying out its measures. So long as you see fit to do this, I shall be glad to have you with me. When you think otherwise, your resignations will be accepted.”
The history of the USA’s central banks is not well enough known IMO, but so much of where we’ve been and where we are is a direct reflection of their power and influence.
Thank you Wolf for everything you do to keep us informed!
Not exactly, Congress can and will amend the Federal Reserve Act. Much of the largesse listed here is subject to Congressional approval, wait until most of the money thrown at these entities is incinerated. Fed fell victim not to bad intentions (reelecting the incumbent president is “always” a Fed priority) but to bad timing. The stock market is really two markets, Fed/Treasury controls trading hours. Overnight futures is beyond their control, where most of the action is taking place. Fed throws US taxpayer money in the pot, money flows out, while those GOP Sens promoting corporate welfare at multiples ten times that of the social bailout package are cutting their throats in slow motion.
Only a total collapse of society and return to bartering would see the end of the Fed. There is no other hope.
They can print money at will, at amounts we cant imagine while most of us have to toil for a pittance.
They will buy/corrupt all smart people to work for them, the politicians, the media, the church if it suited their purposes, their enemies if they deemed to present a risk, you name it.
Its what happens when money is no object.
But nothings last forever, and nature has put the seeds of self destruction in every creature, so there is hope.
Thx to Wolf for laying this other bail out for us to help understanding.
I gather that we (US) are selling out on every financially responsible restraint to favor politically connected folks, those that can influence the markets & those with political ambitions. The Europeans, Japan, Australia etc seem to do same. Chinese & Russians are likely alarmed. Would welcome feedback to verify that I got it right.
So where do we practically invest/protect assets.
and you don’t think the Chinese and Russians are doing the same thing?! lol
LAND and lots of it. Also as someone else stated, lead and lots if it.
This feels like 2008 all over again but on steroids and including the possibility of disease induced death. All I am looking for is when and where I should push my cash into equities or real estate to not miss this buying opportunity. After the vaccine or whatever and the liquidity crisis ends, I could see housing prices and equities going 3 – 4X with all the new money printing socialism. It’s not just a matter of buying opportunity, it’s also being defensive against the long/medium term effects of all this corporate welfare.
It took four years for the housing market to bottom last time. We’re now just four weeks into this.
It took me awhile, but I finally figured out that when Congress is busy negotiating amoung themselves, it isn’t the amount to spend that is being negotiated.
Rather it is the percent cut that each will receive, that is being negotiated!
Not just the federal Congress Wes: When the people of FL voted to legalize medical pot, the legislature of that state took a long long time to implement the very clear directive of that vote for the very same reason you cite.
When and only when the politicians had divvied up the pay offs were the providers able to get their bona fides approved and get to work… and the recreational pot will play out the same way, with each pol having some distant and hard to connect relative as the ”bag man.”
A friend in TN was telling me his county was the most corrupt in USA; I had heard that at one time the feds came in and arrested every single sitting county commissioner; he conceded it had never happened in his county in TN, but claimed it was because the feds there were in cahoots.
Same deal in Illinois. No licenses issued until they were “properly allocated” to the correct minorities and lawyer’s families.
Yes. Illinois has a deeper swamp than Florida.
In Palm Beach County, FL it wasn’t all the commissioners, but many.
Ah, our old friend, the Exchange Stabilization Fund, rears its ugly head again. FDR stole all of the gold in the country during the original Great Depression, then devalued it, and used most of the profits to create a slush fund for Presidents that is beyond the control of Congress.
From Wikipedia: “The U.S. Exchange Stabilization Fund was established at the Treasury Department by a provision in the Gold Reserve Act of January 31, 1934. 31 U.S.C. § 5117. It was intended as a response to Britain’s Exchange Equalisation Account. The fund began operations in April 1934, financed by $2 billion of the $2.8 billion paper profit the government realized from raising the price of gold to $35 an ounce from $20.67. The act authorized the ESF to use its capital to deal in gold and foreign exchange to stabilize the exchange value of the dollar. The ESF as originally designed was part of the executive branch not subject to legislative oversight.”
It’s become a huge monster, with about $93 billion of assets.
Nothing in the US Constitution *ever* said that the President could steal our gold, devalue it, and make a huge slush fund with the profits, but that’s pretty much what has transpired.
I expect that more of this sort of crap will transpire during the oncoming Great Depression.
It’s greatly depressing.
yeah take a better look.
about $22.7 billion is “invested” in US Treasuries already.
This fund has little bullets left. This is the “guarantee” the Treasury will provide the Fed like a hedge fund leverages Treasuries at repo.
In short, currency debasement run amok.
Oceans of bad financial paper being replaced with oceans of debased currency.
It is interesting in that there are some shady schools of economic thought that like to say things along the lines of “debt is currency” or, worse, “debt is wealth”.
This bailout (pandemic coincidentally occurring as previous crisis’ rollover loans start to come due in mjr way) seems to be ratifying those warped points of view.
With debt there are winners and losers. With gold (or the commodity/land of your choice) there are only owners.
Sadly, even with land, we are mere renters from the Government. Try not paying property taxes.
Thanks Steve. I thought of that while I was writing. I pay the bank for the note, but the Township owns the land.
It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.
– Henry Ford
Its a powerful strategy – make rules as complex and difficult as possible – to maintain opaqueness. Same as Ts & Cs – reducing size of print on products. Assume it is not random – it is planned intended deception. What now. All readers are creators – human body creates – alignment of body mind and breathing all at once – envision – be – the heart creator -create this – where plenty is common – where complexity is unheard – where simplicity leads – where values are constant – where talk is pure – lead with love
The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks.
– John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton
On top of it all, the Fed is asking Congress to insert into the stimulus bill currently under consideration, and Congress has obliged, the power for the Fed to buy corporate bonds directly on its own balance sheet so that it doesn’t have to deal with ‘temporary’ SPVs and can perpetually buy Corp. Bonds beyond when it will be controversial to keep funding a SPV.
I plan to spend all my helicopter money at Louie Vuitton. This is not crazy welfare queen behavior. It is actually a well thought out bailout plan inspired by the Fed’s current activities.
My understanding is the ECB bought all the bonds issued by LVMH to buy Tiffany’s, and I want to do my part to bailout all the parties involved, Tiffany’s, LVMH, and the ECB. I’m trying to be a responsible taxpayer and world citizen, really.
I have to agree with Petunia. I started giving away the maximum un-reportable IRS gift limit to my kids so they can do the shopping for me.
I told them to order take out as much as they can and support their local vendors. They need to stay open. Somebody has to buy.
I feel that the coronavirus seems to be a perfect pretext and disguise for the Fed and Wall Street to do whatever they want, being also an excellent scapegoat for all this utter mess which they have brought upon themselves. Looking at the bigger picture in long-term, I feel they may be even welcoming all of it. A good is the coronavirus relief bill, which is currently being forced through in the congress. Even the US people watching closely all of this Fed bullshit unfold itself does not seem to care what the hell is going on, as long as the bill gets accepted, whatever the contents. This is something that is pointed out quite nicely also in this Guardian article:
Fear is a hell of a drug.
* A good example is the coronavirus relief bill..
Boy does this reek of demise.
The sheer scale of this…it’s like the last great looting before the collapse.
My favorite way to be “revolutionary” is to develop a good alternative.
“When you come to a fork in the road….take it”.
“My favorite way to be “revolutionary” is to develop a good alternative.”
I cringe every time I see someone on this blog asking how they can profit from the coming disaster. Hint: you won’t.
I think the correct statement should have been: “Hint: If you have to ask, you won’t.” Because there will be people who will profit. Just like there were last time (including Mnuchin).
Yep, I stand corrected.
Yeah but they probably aren’t on this blog
Profiting from this crisis is not only good for you, it’s good for the economy. In a stock market selloff money disappears. A buys at $100 sells to B at $50. C shorts A and collects the $50. Otherwise it is gone. This provides liquidity after the market bottoms. Outlawing short selling is counterproductive. In today’s financial system swaps and derivatives are a zero sum outcome. I have posted this before, the system cannot deleverage, which is why inflation is built into this crash. Been like this for two decades, the chart of the monetary base is shrinking but still exponentially higher than any other time in history. Inflation will ruin the value of the currency, which transpires in lieu of gold and bitcoin. Consumer collectibles (Louis V handbags, are lousy hedges – like Hummel figures in the 60’s)
I don’t think of luxury goods as investments or hedges in the financial sense. I think of them as consumables with very long lives, assuming they really are quality items. Luxury goods should last for decades and can be a very good value if measured in per wear or per use over time. If looked at as returning high utility over time, they can be considered very good investments.
‘When you come to a pitched fork in the road, take it .. and lunge out at those passing by in their fine coaches !’
So, no infrastructure rebuilding programs? Just giving to banks. Yeah…another QE with no limits. And multiple obscure mechanisms with no oversight for handing out loans. Looking good. Looking real good.
Election year 2020. First time noone wants to be president.
where is the end of the line to sign up to become a ‘well connected individual’?
This is the biggest bailout since the December 2007 – June 2009 financial crisis.
Store shelves are depleted. Traffic is light. A day in the intensive care unit may cost $10,000. Don’t get too close to your neighbor. The epidemic is not over.
When your hammer is a printing press everything looks like a nail.
Futures are loving this new supermarket of financial crack. Should loft equities way up into the ether. At least until a nasty surprise brings them down again, like Congress not passing a stimulus bill – actually this is entirely predictable, I remember the TARP bill going down. Quite a day.
Good thing so many lessons were learned from the GFC on how to remedy systemic fragility when it’s exposed.
The next unemployment report might hurt expectations.
How about adding a dark chocolate bar to the store.
Whilst folks may tend to forget, the Senate, in a bi-partisan action, voted to confirm as US Treasury Secretary, the fellow who headed up Goldman Sachs during the period of criminality that resulted in a then record fraud settlement (on paper, that is). So who runs America? And let’s not restrict bonuses to these titans of underwater finance, either.
So who runs America?
Funny you should ask.
You may not want to believe it, but every leading public official in the world takes it very much for granted, including those in the US. National governments are their proxies. Sometimes they make it obvious.
Wow! Even in 1966.
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon got a 20% raise to $27.5 million for his work leading the bank in 2019. His pay package includes a $2 million annual salary, $7.65 million in a cash bonus, and $17.85 million in performance-linked stock units, the company disclosed Friday in a filing. – 20 March 2020
Bottom line, representatives of private banks (fed) that should be abolished, just got much more powerful. At this rate, soon, central banksters will be the only power left :-(
Let’s not forget the real heroes in this saga. The Medical workers. Let’s all give them a big Thank You.
Donating excess N95 surgical masks would be a more practical sacrifice.
I hear China has a surplus of surgical masks. It’s too bad they are not allowed to ship these to the US.
Interesting the grocery stores are empty but Harbor Freight keeps on going. They recently gave all their masks and protective gear to hospitals and first line responders. Friend went to buy one, and they were out!
Amazon changed its site. No more lightning deals from China.
Luckily I bought a few sous vide wands prior.
To be announced tomorrow: the Fed’s SOLFVRP (Signature-Only Loans For Very Rich People) facility. Limited to 10 trillion dollars – initially.
i sincerely doubt it will be announced this way. i also have my doubts that it will have any sort of limit.
i have no doubts whatsoever that very rich people will profit mightily from this “facility.”
Excellent coverage of a sad day in US history.
I have a problem with the terms ‘buy’ and ‘purchase’ in connection with any Fed activity. These terms seem to lend a sense of legitimacy where it is unmerited. My eye starts to twitch like Inspector Clouseau’s boss every time I see them together.
“The Fed invents fiat to exchange for non-performing loans at nominal value and zero risk” is a bit clunky. Maybe “the Fed absorbs” like the Blob and keeps getting bigger until it swallows everything.
“Inflates” is still the most accurate and widely understood verb to use.
As in, “Gvt to inflate money supply to buy bad assets”
OK, the debt clock is sitting at 23.6T today. Pretty soon we can sit that clock on our desks and use it for a fan, cause those hands are going to be turning 90 miles per hour.
Our annual GDP to meet the Fed balance sheet right around $12 Trillion
Let the record show that I said this would happen during the next crises based on Fed action during the repo market problems in January (“we crossed the Rubicon”). The Fed will print from here to eternity, you all need to get used to it and adjust. Anger is not going to result in a better result. On top of the financial system bailouts, we now have the politically necessitated Helicopter Money. So, not only should you be buying the DIPS, you should also be buying the TIPS.
I am hateful of Treasuries but these are notes:) https://seekingalpha.com/article/4333249-10-year-tips-reopening-gets-gorgeous-result? During REPO they used all the acronyms, cash for treasuries and treasuries for cash, RRPO and REPO. Now looking at this lineup, their bazooka is full of bird shot. After denying obeisance to fiscal policy Fed bows down to that too. What’s next, a dollar policy?
Someone here needs to write up a TIPs buying guide, especially which one, 5, 10, or 30 yr, to buy?
I have been a huge fan of Treasuries but I don’t understand TIPs well.
I cannot understand the inflation gain part.
Although, I agree with you. Inflation should be just around the corner with all this money printing.
“Inflation should be just around the corner”. sounds like something Haruhiko Kuroda, the head of Bank of Japan said in 2013. He said they’d reach the goal of a 2% inflation rate within 2 years. But, they couldn’t stop the continuing deflation. Their central bank is now the nation’s largest shareholder and bondholder and holds more paper assets than their annual GDP.
How about this provision…
When GDP exceeds 3%, the debt incurred in this rescue will be systematically reduced.
Not a chance.
That’s not how our monetary system is designed.
The Treasury and Fed are desperately trying to stop the cascading defaults and contraction of credit by backstopping all the bad debt no one wants with what they hope to be is good credit provided by them.
Should they be able to pull it off, tapering the expansion of debt and credit would probably restart the contraction let alone actually reducing the overall outstanding debt/credit. (Reference previous taper tantrums and what not).
It will keep occurring until there is a fundamental change to our monetary system.
Annual real GDP growth (for the whole year, not just a quarter) might never again reach 3%. Last time was in 2005 (3.5%). This Fed stuff does nothing for GDP. And it’s not designed to do anything for GDP.
Right, like I said not a chance ….apply that comment to the repay and the 3% goal. But if they inflate…what then of the 3%?
From the Atlanta Fed:
Latest estimate: 3.1 percent — March 18, 2020
The GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2020 is 3.1 percent on March 18, up from 2.9 percent on March 17. After this morning’s new residential construction report from the U.S. Census Bureau, the nowcast of first-quarter real gross private domestic investment growth increased from 6.3 percent to 7.5 percent.
This is all based on Jan and early Feb data. Late Feb data and March data won’t show until the reports released in April at the earliest. I looked at the housing report today. This is really ancient history.
Meant to show that optimism is desperately lagging reality. Provides time to jiggle the numbers?
Simplifying the crisis.
How much Treasuries does the Fed plan to purchase till the 27th?
Bailouts for the big guys.
Period Planned Purchase Amount (approximately)
3/24/2020 – $300.0 billion ($75.0 billion per day)
3/27/2020 in Treasury purchases.
3/23/2020 $75.0 billion in Treasury purchases.
3/20/2020 $75.0 billion in Treasury purchases.
3/19/2020 $75.0 billion in Treasury purchases.
3/18/2020 $45.0 billion in Treasury purchases.
3/17/2020 $40.0 billion in Treasury purchases.
3/16/2020 $40.0 billion in Treasury purchases.
(1) 300 + 75 + 75 + 75 + 45 + 40 + 40 = $650 BILLION
(2) Note: This does NOT include SOMA Rollover purchases of approx $30 billion for March alone.
(3) The Fed buys these treasuries only from Primary Dealers. As of 3/11, the primary dealers only had $245.643 billion of Notes and Bonds. Where is the rest of the $650 billion coming from ??? Behooves you to think they are being supplied by Investment Funds who leveraged government securities and blew up. Hence, the repo problem since Sept. They are simply selling their collateral permanently (to the Fed) now. Bye.
(4) Fed Repo had essentially “disappeared”. With this much excess reserves created (permanent), who needs the Fed Repo (overnight or short term)? Watch the activity of the more private FICC GCF repo. March is down big.
(5) You need to wonder what the large primary dealer / banks will do with these excess reserves. That’s the next big question.
Meanwhile, let’s see how transparent those SPVs will be.
“Where is the rest of the $650 billion coming from ???”
Auctions, that dealers take down and then sell to the Fed.
This $6 Trillion bail out is added to the national budget deficit that was estimated at 1 Trillion but will likely be higher.
So there will be $7 Trillion of new debt floated in the next 12 months.
To keep this off the market, the Fed must do QE purchases of more than $500 Billion a month.
The dealers will buy the auctions, the Fed will buy from the dealers with a little in it for the dealers, the debt will go into the “shoe box” known as the “balance sheet” and will be shoved under the bed.
How they will keep rates here with $7 Trillion new debt is yet to be seen
For all the talk of not allowing socialism……as soon the market or business has the least concerns…….how much do you want from the treasury.
Capitalism is gone……its just grab what you can grab from Uncle Sugar and hope the military keeps those fools overseas accepting these worthless pieces of paper.
Gold exploding this am.
Understanding QE2 vs. today’s QE4++
What was it? When and How long? How big and how much?
QE2, November 2010 to June 2011: Purchases of $600 billion in long-maturity Treasury securities
To put it in perspective, QE2 lasted about 8 months and cost about $600 billion.
Today’s QE4++ already cost $650 billion in just 2 weeks. March 16 to 27.
Not-QE cost at least $349 billion (mainly in T bills) from Oct 16, 2019 to March 13, 2020; or 5 months.
This is now embedded in the Fed’s SOMA Rollover.
thanks for the score keeping. tis hard to keep up.
Like the virus, the Fed must strike a careful balance between hijacking everything and still somehow leaving the host alive to keep supporting it.
No one is sure if viruses are alive or just unconscious DNA replicators and similarly, no one is sure if the Fed and ruling class have any humanity or are just unconscious money siphons caught in a loop of selfishness.
It’s like a fractal picture in a picture.
Oh they’re conscious alright – conscious psychopaths .. to the one !
Oh, they’re conscious alright .. conscious Psychopaths !
Beautiful analogy for an ugly reality
Looks like with this from the FED and along with the stimulus currently being considered, as Wolf said, the wealthy will become even wealthier. When we do get that recovery and things are tipping back into feeling like normal again. Do you think this will create an even bigger and uglier bubble down the road.
What would it actually take to abolish the Fed ? If this go around doesn’t bring it up as a talking point within/among politicians and the media, I think the emperor’s clothes are officially off of our legislators as meaningless pawns and blowhards. They influence nothing, they have no power.
In medieval times, people worshiped God. Church was the intermediary to do so. Priests made out like bandits.
Now days we worship money. Banks are the intermediary to do so.
Bankers make out like bandits.
Good analogy, MM. Here’s one more: We worship images on screens. Celebrities are the intermediaries. Celebrities make out like bandits.
Washington has panicked. You are on your own. Washington may now be more of a threat than the virus.Think for your self.
Some of the past Fed alphabet soups. Former Weird Assets of the Fed.
Term Auction Credit: Started December 2007 as $20 billion. Ended March 2010. Peaked at $468.6 billion on March 2009.
Other Assets: Started appearing on 2006. Peaked on October, 2008 at $388.8 billion. A tiny few are still around.
CPFF (Commercial Paper): Started October, 2008. Ended July, 2010. Peaked on December, 2008 at $325.8 billion.
MMIF (Money Market): Lasted only 2 months, Dec 08 Jan Jan 09. Peaked at $75 billion.
TALF (Infamous socialism for the friends): Stated November 2009. Peaked on December, 2012 (Merry Christmas Billionaires) at $856 million. Disappeared from the books October, 2014. Shameless.
Central Bank Liquidity Swaps: Panic began January, 2009 at $465.85 billion, Gradually went down the rest of 2009, only to reappear (slightly) in 2010. Then in December, 2011 it came back to the forefront. Swaps go up and down and never disappeared from the books. Today, the largest one active is with the ECB for $45 billion.
For purposes of simplicity, I dare not discuss AIG loans and Maiden Lane Assets. That’s for your own homework (or headache).
As you can see, the most important (unwritten) mandate of the Fed, is to ensure the primary dealers are able to continue buying the Treasury debt. Don’t believe otherwise.
viz. Mellon Bank
Where can I apply for a TALF “loan”? I need to landscape my backyard.
Some crumbs coming the American peasants way while the corporate scoundrels eat the cakes laid out by the Fed and politicians. Trump has made America Great Again!!
The bill would also order the Federal Reserve to provide loan servicers with enough liquidity to allow borrowers to stop paying their mortgages for up to 360 days, according to Bloomberg, which adds that “Public housing residents would get a temporary reprieve from paying rent, and student loan borrowers would have $10,000 of debt forgiven.”
In addition, negative consumer credit would be halted and foreclosures and evictions would be illegal.
The House bill would require any corporations receiving federal assistance to restrict executive pay, eliminate golden parachutes for departing executives, halt stock buybacks and dividends, and pay a $15 minimum wage while maintaining their workforce and any union agreements.
Anyone with a Social Security number – including unemployed individuals and retirees, would receive $1,500 vs. $1,200 in the Senate GOP bill.
Are you saying these things are in the proposed bill, or these are things you’d like to see?
Not true on the receive $1,500. There is a means test. Make over $100k and nada. We won’t be the first wave of layoffs but the second and third will hit us and by then nada again.
Those making between $100k and $400k will soon be in the unemployment line with everyone else, absent the helicopter money. We are the last carve out of the middle class required by the ruling elite.
But that’s ok because unemployment insurance will be extended to a full year instead of 26 weeks. I can hardly wait.
I say burn it to the ground.
Why can’t shitloads of stuff got to hell instead of heck?
Wolf, I want a new mug. (Ok Ok I’ll pay for it. And I want a Mas size.)
Wow. My comment still bottom of the barrel. Like the US taxpayer/serf.
A lot more I could say but this is a civilized forum.
I caught hell from various corners for using shitload. I caught hell from various other corners for using heck instead of hell. I caught hell for using hell. Look, I’m just trying to stay on the narrow path of virtue :-]
I like shitload. Makes it kind of like I’m at home
Thy strength is the strength of ten as thy heart is pure.
Hey Wolf, you should run for Senate. Feinstein will be 88 years old in 2022. I cannot imagine her getting re-elected.
Gandalf, there’s chronological age and there’s physiological age.
The Senate would drive Wolf nuts! Physiological age +10 years in his first six-year term.
Besides, if he wanted to get along in the Congress he couldn’t tell us the truth anymore.
Ya know, there is a time lever when the prior pseudo -wisdom breaks down and a new idea takes root. Like a phase change – ice to water. Trump was an indicator that the time is right for some risk-taking. We will get a Lenin or a Jefferson.
We’ll get a Biden. :(
1) GS, the famous market maker, told investors that US GDP will plunge 50%, sending SPX below Lazer #2 into an open space.
2) Today, SPX is back inside #2 on renewed hope.
3) Today positive gap second in size to the largest red gap
from 3/13 – 3/16.
4) SPX is locked up between Lazer #2 support line and Feb 2018(L) support
line that became resistance.
What will it take for the government to learn that the more they bail out, the more they encourage irresponsible behavior?
I love bumper stickers for some reason, perhaps a nastalgic thing like a bookmark in time. Excellent!
FWIW, my browser is working great without ad blocker for the 2nd day, surely an ad was causing chrome redirects? I suspect google’s responsible as it’s their browser code.
Mysteries abound in the browser-ads-and-adtech space. I’ve gotten used to weird stuff happening.
No, they’re not. Different everything, including different IP address and geographic location of IP address. And one has a fixed IP address, and the other doesn’t. What you’re seeing is just coincidence.
you know you can spoof ip address right? just saying.
No, you cannot “spoof” an IP address but you can use a VPN (or another types of networks) which will route the post through a server somewhere that uses its own IP address, and therefore I would see the VPN server IP address and location but not the writer’s IP address and location. But that VPN pattern is recognizable. I see it quite a bit because some people do use VPNs. And I’m not seeing it here.
Also if this were one person, that person would have to use TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT VPNs to pull off what they did, with every message and consistently for year years, and even then it would be tough.
You need get off this nonsense. My patience has run out.
I know things are serious based on when Wolf swears.
1) SF hate dirt & coal.
2) NYS is the canary in the coal mine.
3) What is happening in NY will spread to Chicago IL, WA state and SF.
4) Those are the impeachment hot spots.
5) Why are their leaders are big shots.
I was once a stock market fundamentalist. So I truly appreciate all of the facts presented and the time invested to prepare the article. But I’ve learned the hard way (over decades) that the market trades based on emotions.
I now believe the market lows are in given this first round of stimulus. As for the dollar surviving this massive stimulus, of course it won’t but do you want to own dollars (CDs, savings) or other assets when the dollar dies? And I take action based on my beliefs. And I buy what is cheap (e.g. precious metal mining stocks) not what is being pumped (e.g. physical gold). Fundamental analysis beyond that has never yielded me any benefit.
Goldman is pounding the table on long gold. They see the inflation risk compounding with central bank policy and govt stimulus. I agree … hard assets are a must here. This is not 2008, and the govt rolling out 2008 policies to fight deflation is the wrong stuff because deflation is not the problem here. We are looking at a historic supply squeeze with massive money supply increases … smells like shortages and inflation. My personal hard asset choice is real estate since it pays a yield. Goldman says gold. I say select real estate.
Jim, au contraire, deflation is very much the problem here. Why do you think they’re are going absolutely batshit with the stimulus. What’s surprising is the speed and scale of the panicked response. Look, when the whole modern supply chain world shuts down along with our domestic service economy this by definition is profoundly deflationary.
I agree with you however on RE or any other hard asset class. These people will for sure create massive inflation at least on par with the 1970’s and more likely will go hyper at some point in the next 2-3 years.
This is the Elites wet dream here. They get bailed out and can strip mine what’s left of middle America and the government gets to completely erase it’s debt with inflation and with only minor defaults.
They forgot one thing though- the figurative guillotine that’s coming when Joe 6- pack gets a clue. For what it’s worth this scares me because it could lead to a really bad totalitarian type regime. And yes, it can happen here.
The last two YOY core CPIs were over 2%.
Now the Fed says they are for stable prices, yet promote inflation rates (2-2.5) that rip 22% to 28% off the dollar in just ten years.
If supply chains with China remain strained, if there are continued shortages ….there will be no deflation, despite the oil dip.
Empty shelves do not an inflation make.
Money Creation is what makes inflation.
Yes, dang it. I read Wolf’s post before bed and went to sleep very angry. Woke up, thinking gold is it, already up 18%. Woops.
On real estate, you have to pay property tax, and many more taxes. You don’t want to be a landlord in Portland, Oregon anymore. San Francisco or Seattle, either.
Excellent point. Ultimately government owns 3 things; Land, resources and citizens. and probably only 2 if you consider resources to be all inclusive of land. This means there are only 2 sources of revenue government can tap in order to operate. They can tax the citizens only so much. The only other option is the taxation of land. If governments go broke what do you think their only resource will be?
The alternative scenario is that governments cannot survive. Then who bails them out? Yep. The Warren Buffets, Jeff Bezos, etc. And then they dictate how the revenue streams will flow. In other words they will be the masters negotiating your property tax bills. How far can you take this? Everything is privatized. The anti-government types will not be happy.
How safe does everyone feel?
OMG. I screwed up. Was responding to Jon in the post below
I agree with SocalJim, Real Estate can never go down. The stock market is down 30% plus but no dent in residential real estate yet.
There is only one way to and that is UP for real estate.
At least in San Diego, I don’t see any slow-down
They will tax real estate into the ground….
3.5% a year….
There are few sales being made at this time. So you won’t see much of anything, no sales, no prices, no nothing.
Its going to be odd seeing the politnomics manufactured rally while the cameras are rolling in the nyc hospitals next couple of weeks.
Is someone above the age of 50 willing to go back to their open office in a hot zone? I’m not sure they are going to care what the politicians do while this virus is still on a rampage.
Whoever got the fresh printed money was going to buy assets anyway just like the last alphabet soup. Its transparent socialism. Kinda sad really. I guess its hard to have price discovery in a globalist economy when the competitor country can come in and scoop the assets all up for cheap with their own freshly printed money.
The vaunted ones, Bernanke & Yellen, have announced that they intend
to bail out the whole world if necessary, and you can guess who decides THAT. They do. They’ll bail out the whole f*king planet and leave the American taxpayer strangling in debt to pay for it. This will be the final
plunge of the dagger in the American experiment.
Every central banker is immune from the ill effects of policies they push on us…
they have inflation protected pensions….courtesy of us……..but what of us?
As another writer put it….This is not about liquidity, it is about insolvency!
” A little history on TALF: At the end of 2010, under orders from Congress, the Fed released data on over 21,000 transactions it performed during the Financial Crisis, which revealed among many other outrageous acts, that the Fed lent to well-connected individuals and all kinds of hedge funds and others under its TALF program so that they would buy certain assets, such as these consumer loan ABS, drive up their prices, sell them to pension funds and others later for a huge profit, and pay back the loans to the Fed.”
I read the linked article and saw the names that you mentioned, but could not connect the dots of how, as you stated ……….. “they would buy certain assets, such as these consumer loan ABS, drive up their prices, sell them to pension funds and others later for a huge profit, and pay back the loans to the Fed.”
I don’t doubt they did what you called out, but it wouldbe nice to know explicitly how this was done ……. particularly driving up the price before selling to pension funds. It seems a case for collusion or racqueteering should be in the cards.
One quote in the linked article which did catch my attention was :
“But Senator Bernard Sanders, independent of Vermont, who wrote a provision in the law requiring the disclosures by Dec. 1, reached a different conclusion.”
Whatever Bernie Sanders may be, this was a heroic action.
Unlike Blankfein’s claim of doing God’s work, many of these FED and financial types are scum doing the Devil’s work.
There is a lot of literature out on this. I just picked this one. You can Google it. The internet was full of it back then.
All this Corporate Socialism and MMT is pushing the stock market up again.
Dip buyers be buying again
It’s not going to heck in a straight line
Wolf I really like your articles – thank you
I have a question for you
The Fed is going to buy a ton of MBS – they have to – no-one else will.
The size and scope will leave them with an asset that they can’t sell. Unlike 2008/9 demand is slowing. Working age population is declining and peaks in this demo correspond to peaks in housing – Japan.
My question is – whats to stop the fed from holding these to zero value? Would they care about servicing and collecting? In 08/09 due to QE and ZIRP holders seemed to have little care about collections. I know homeowners who didn’t pay a mortgage for years. As I see it the Fed has almost no interest – they can just write off the asset. Enough people saw the inverse incentive to NOT pay your mortgage last time around that you’d might be crazy to pay it this time.
My intuition is that the Fed is going to buy 10 times as much residential paper and hold on till it no longer makes sense to even have servicers around and then they become the biggest landlord in the country owning a large percentage of the homes and deciding who stays in them and who goes. The Fed in partnership with the government may start doling housing out to favored groups (homeless, government workers) and we’ll have housing kind of like Russia pre 1986
Is this crazy or plausible?
With the Fed, what was crazy one day is suddenly reality the next. So I’m not going to speculate on this.
I just want to point out here that these MBS are guaranteed by the taxpayer, and if the underlying mortgages default, it’s the Taxpayer via the GSEs and Ginnie Mae that have to make holders of these MBS whole, and that includes the Fed.
There are nearly $6 trillion of these “agency” MBS outstanding. It’s a HUGE market. The Fed holds less than a quarter of it.
Since now everything in society is monetized, our leaders feel it important to send everyone back to work and open for business, damn the health consequences. It is sad that hypercapitalism, debt, and the need to stay on the treadmill won’t allow us to hit the pause button and take precautions during a pandemic. This isn’t the kind of society I want to live in. I want a society that ensures we get what we need (not want), focus on health and wellness before economic growth, nurtures community, and balance of family life and work. My family is able to hit pause because we live well below our means and have savings.
The Fed needs to be nationalised.
It may not be too late, although it’s possible the US could have avoided a lot of grief if it had been done in 2008.
So we have a plague, mass unemployment, and the best day for the Dow since 1933? Wake me when this is over.
Joe in La,
CLASSIC bear market rally, that’s what the pattern says, and that’s what it is until the pattern breaks. We had two of those in Oct and Nov 2008 in the midst of the crash. I expect tomorrow to be a down day.
Especially if our leaders do not deliver a $2T stimulus.
I think I could use a percentage of that kind of stimulus, I’m sure I can find plenty of ways to support the economy with just 1% of that.
Not so sure about tomorrow, Wolf, likely depends on where the crown has their buys or sells placed for then,,, but if and when DOL delivers the next job report, $2TT promises or not, SM will crash down again, probably enough that the markets are closed… But maybe timed for after the market closes or something to at least try to limit the down?
As far as RE goes, that market too will crash; almost certainly everywhere to some extent and some places at least as badly as 06-09; some places in FL, waterfront property went down then 75% in a couple of months. The worst was in the most overbuilt then, not following that market now, so not sure where that is likely to be this time, but probably available on net these days.
Can that $2T be used to upgrade or fix the US shitty infrastructure? Nope, can’t do, because that would make too much sense.
Assuming this in total is $6 Trillion, the Fed will have to buy $500 billion a month to keep this new debt off the market.
$6 Trillion is around $18,000 for every man woman and child I this country, yet the checks they are writing to the “People” are around 1500.
Add together the already 1 Trillion national deficit and the new debt to be laid on the market is over $7 Trillion.
This could bust the bond market wide open and make the stock break look like nothing.
How can they hide this debt and keep rates here?
Wolf, Someone asked for age information for this virus event.
This is from FL DOH; you can click on a county either on the map or the list on the side, and it will show age of confirmed cases.
Probably others similar out there.
The issue is not confirmed cases by age, but deaths by age. Lots of young people get it and are sick enough to get tested. But how many of them die because of it?
Mr. Richter, you should take it as a compliment when the Fed sends someone over to troll your website. You and your readers are stepping on their toes. Take it as their way to use counter intelligence tactics.