09 Aug 2009

Fed Already Monetizing the Debt

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Chris Brunner sends along this sobering report (via Karl Denninger via ZeroHedge). Chris Martenson did some sleuthing with CUSIPs and (apparently) discovered that the Fed just bought 47% of the fresh Treasury debt that was issued the week before!

Good grief! Just last week, when the auction results were announced it was trumpeted to great fanfare that there was “more than sufficient” bid-to-cover, “strong demand” and all the rest.

And now it turns out that 47% (!) of the bonds that were taken by the primary dealers in that auction have been quietly bought by the Fed and permanently secreted to its balance sheet.

They didn’t even wait a full week! A more honest and open approach would have been for the Fed to simply buy them outright at the auction but this way, using “primary dealers” and “POMOs” and all these other extra steps the basic fact that the Fed is openly monetizing US government debt is effectively hidden from a not-too-terribly inquisitive US press and public.

The speed of the shell game is accelerating.

This immediate repurchase of newly auction bonds by the Fed tells us that demand for these bonds is not nearly as high as advertised, and that things are not quite as strong as represented.

And guess what? This week the Treasury plans on selling almost $100 billion in new debt. I bet they’ll find some takers…

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