Posts Tagged ‘Money Market Funds’



Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

This is a superb summary of Paul Volcker’s must read comments at the Federal Reserve bank of Chicago from today. Highly recommended reading (via the WSJ):

1) Macroprudential regulation — “somehow those words grate on my ears.”

2) Banking — Investment banks became “trading machines instead of investment banks [leading to] encroachment on the territory of commercial banks, and commercial banks encroached on the territory of others in a way that couldn’t easily be managed by the old supervisory system.”

3) Financial system — “The financial system is broken. We can use that term in late 2008, and I think it’s fair to still use the term unfortunately. We know that parts of it are absolutely broken, like the mortgage market which only happens to be the most important part of our capital markets [and has] become a subsidiary of the U.S. government.”

4) Business schools — “We had all our best business schools in the United States pouring out financial engineers, every smart young mathematician and physicist said ‘I don’t want to be a civil engineer, a mechanical engineer. I’m a smart guy, I want to go to Wall Street.’ And then you know all the risks were going to be sliced and diced and [people thought] the market would be resilient and not face any crises. We took care of all that stuff, and I think that was the general philosophy that markets are efficient and self correcting and we don’t have to worry about them too much.

5) Central banks and the Fed — “Central banks became…maybe a little too infatuated with their own skills and authority because they found secrets to price stability…I think its fair to say there was a certain neglect of supervisory responsibilities, certainly not confined to the Federal Reserve, but including the Federal Reserve, I only say that because the Federal Reserve is the most important in my view.”

6) The recession — “It’s so difficult to get out of this recession because of the basic disequilibrium in the real economy.”

7) Council of regulators — “Potentially cumbersome.”

8 ) On judgment — “Let me suggest to you that relying on judgment all the time makes for a very heavy burden whether you are regulating an individual institution or whether you are regulating the whole market or whether you are deciding what might be disturbing or what might not be disturbing.

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The Money Market Piggybank is Shattered

The Money Market Piggybank is Shattered

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

USA Today is out with a mystery that I will help them out with…

They ask the question "Where did the $1.1 trillion that just came out of ultra low-yielding money market funds just go?"

Then they go on to point out that the average bank account’s interest rate is .75% versus the ridiculous .04% that traditional money market funds are paying, so maybe some of the $1.1 trillion went there.

Then we are treated to the usual stats about "how much gosh darn cash has been sucked into bond mutual funds" – $700 billion in the last 18 months says TrimTabs.  The growth of assets in bond funds cannot explain the money market sapping alone, because we all know that a lot of those inflows are coming from stock people that are scared and asset allocators that are hopping aboard the bond bandwagon (bondwagon?).  It’s the disillusioned stock market money that’s pumping into bond funds more than anything else.

The article also posits that investors may be skipping the money market funds and going straight for money market instruments, like buying treasuries directly.  I’m not seeing much of that at the retail level at all.

So where did a trillion dollars just go when it left the universe of over 1600 money market funds?

Easy.  Some of it may have gone to bond funds, but my bet is that an inordinate amount went toward everyday Americans paying their everyday bills.  That’s right, I believe that the investor class is finally starting to pay regular expenses and cover the bills with their money market funds, turning that New Normal maxim about the coming of higher savings rates on its ear.

I don’t have statistical confirmation of this hunch just yet (and I’m actually not sure where to get it), but this is what I’m beginning to see firsthand.  Brokerage and investment accounts are becoming a piggybank for investors who are nowhere near retirement.

They will not be buying-and-holding as the commercials have programmed them to do while their businesses and household balance sheets are on their last legs.  They will put the capital that’s been earmarked for "investment" to much better use than a $40 annual return on $10,000 in a money market fund.

With underemployment still raging and business…
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Federal Reserve Eyes the US Money Market Funds

Federal Reserve Eyes the US Money Market Funds

Courtesy of Jesse’s Café Américain

[baghdadben.JPG] The Fed is holding a significant amount of assets on its books in the form of Treasuries. For example, the Fed has purchased an enormous amount of US Treasury issuance in the past six months as part of its quantitative easing program, aka monetization. It has also taken on tranches of mortgage debt obligations from the banks, purportedly to improve the banks capitalization profile because of the dodgy nature of the assets.

This has added significant short term liquidity to the system, much of it held by the banks for interest at the Federal Reserve itself.

At some point the Fed will wish to reduce the levels of liquidity in the system. One way to do this is by increasing interest rate targets. It can achieve this, for example, by increasing the amount it pays for reserves.

The traditional way for the Fed to drain liquidity is to conduct what is known as a reverse repurchase agreement, or reverse repo.

In a normal repurchase agreement or repo, the Fed purchases assets held by the banks, normally Treasuries, which obviously increases the ‘cash’ being held by the bank. A repurchase agreement is by definition for a specific amount of time. At the end of the period the Fed sells the asset back to the bank. The difference in amounts is the ‘interest’ which changes hands for the transaction.

There is also a type of purchase agreement with no buyback. It is known as a PMO, or Permanent Market Operation. These are used to add liquidity as the name implies, permanently.

A reverse repo is just the opposite. In this case, the Fed sells an asset from its balance sheet to an institution for ‘cash’ and thereby drains or takes cash liquidity out of the system.

Aren’t Treasuries as good as ‘cash?’ Why does it matter whether a bank is holding Treasuries or cash on its books? Apparently not the case, at least for accounting and regulatory purposes. Remember that the next time someone tells you that banks do not need depositors. Sometimes they do.

Typically the Fed has only done this type of operation with a group of about twenty or so financial institutions known as the Primary Dealers.

According to this news piece, the reason the Fed is looking to the…
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Phil's Favorites

The Byzantine history of Putin's Russian empire


The Byzantine history of Putin's Russian empire

Courtesy of Theodore Christou, Queen's University, Ontario

Russian athletes were conspicuous in their neutral colours during this year’s Winter Olympics and Paralympics due to a ban based on doping allegations.

In Vancouver in 2010 and in Sochi in 2014, however, Russia’s Olympic hockey jerseys prominently featured a two-headed eagle exactly where Canada’s jerseys highlighted the maple leaf.


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Zero Hedge

"Where Will It Stop?": Libor Spread Blows Out Beyond Eurocrisis Highs, Central Banks Intervention Awaited

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Until two days ago, the critical level for both the Libor-OIS and FRA-OIS spread was the "psychological level" of 50bps. This, however, was breached on Wednesday when as we reported Libor pushed significantly higher without a matching move in swaps. And yet, despite the sharp push wider, both spreads remained below the peak levels observed during the European sovereign debt crisis of 2011/2012, with some speculating that open ce...

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Connor Browne - FAANG Stocks Dominance

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

They are known as the FAANGs but Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google/Alphabet should also be dubbed the great disruptors. They have created new businesses and destroyed old ones, changing the way we conduct our personal and business lives in the process.

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Digital Currencies

Anthill 23: Bursting the Bitcoin bubble


Anthill 23: Bursting the Bitcoin bubble


Courtesy of Annabel Bligh, The Conversation; Gemma Ware, The Conversation; Kelly Fiveash, The Conversation, and Will de Freitas, The Conversation


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Insider Scoop

BofA: Lyft, Magna Could Be The First Of Many Autonomous Vehicle Partnerships

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related MGA Benzinga Pro's 5 Stocks To Watch Today Earnings Scheduled For February 22, 2018 ... more from Insider

Chart School

Selling Extends For A Third Day

Courtesy of Declan.

Indices extended loses for a third day but didn't change the picture from yesterday.  The S&P is still sitting on a support level of the former channel as On-Balance-Volume extended on yesterday's 'sell' trigger.

The Nasdaq confirmed its 'bull trap' but it still has a support level from the last swing high to use. Technicals remain net bullish with relative performance particularly strong.


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How your brain is wired to just say 'yes' to opioids

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


How your brain is wired to just say ‘yes’ to opioids

A Philadelphia man, who struggles with opioid addiction, in 2017. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Courtesy of Paul R. Sanberg, University of South Florida and Samantha Portis, University of South Florida


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Members' Corner

Fatal Flaws of our Enlightenment?


David Brin is an astrophysicist, technology consultant, and best-selling author who speaks, writes, and advises on many topics including national defense, creativity, and space exploration. He’s also one of the “World’s Best Futurists.” Find David’s books and latest thoughts on various matters at his website and blog. In ...

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Mapping The Market

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

Via Jean-Luc

How propagandist beat science – they did it for the tobacco industry and now it's in favor of the energy companies:

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

The original tobacco strategy involved several lines of attack. One of these was to fund research that supported the industry and then publish only the results that fit the required narrative. “For instance, in 1954 the TIRC distributed a pamphlet entitled ‘A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy’ to nearly 200,000 doctors, journalists, and policy-makers, in which they emphasized favorable research and questioned results supporting the contrary view,” say Weatherall and co, who call this approach biased production.

A second approach promoted independent research that happened to support ...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!


We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

[For more information on NewsWare, click here. For a list of prices: NewsWar...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.


EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

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Click here for the full report.

To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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