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The Scary Math Behind The Mechanics Of QE3, And Why Bernanke's Hands May Be Tied
Zero Hedge ^ | 09/07/2012 | Tyler Durden

Posted on 09/07/2012 1:06:04 PM PDT by uncommonsense

[emphasis original]

When it comes to the NEW QE, everyone has an opinion, and most seem to believe that the NEW QE will come next week, now that the US economy added "just" 96,000 people (but, but, the unemployment rate 'fell'). Certainly, and far more importantly, if the most recent FOMC minutes are any guide, the Fed shares this view. Sadly, as so often happens, most, and this includes the FOMC's various voting members, have once again made up their minds without actually evaluating the limitations posed by simple math. After all it is far easier to form an opinion, and actually think about the underlying facts later. The math, for those who actually have looked at the numbers behind the scenes, is scary (in UBS' words, not ours).

The math.

As part of its Operation Twist, the Fed is buying long-term bonds, and selling short-term (0-3 years) bonds. As we reported in April, the biggest limitation for the Fed is that it is rapidly running out of short-term bonds to sell.

[snip]

The bottom line, as calculated by UBS' Michael Schumacher and confirmed by anyone with access to the detail behind the Fed's SOMA holdings, which incidentally just hit a record 116 months two months ahead of Twist 2 schedule, is that "the Fed owns all but $650 billion of 10-30 year nominal Treasuries." [snip] Twist 2, aka QE 3.5 is already absorbing all of the long end supply. [snip] To quote UBS: "Taking out, say, $300 billion in long-end Treasuries almost certainly would put tremendous pressure on liquidity in that market....Ploughing ahead with a large, fixed size QE program could cause liquidity to tank."

[snip]

the Fed will certainly realize, that it has only $650 billion in total 10 year + bonds available in the entire private market!

(Excerpt) Read more at zerohedge.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bernanke; debt; fed; treasury
"Bottom line, if and when someone does the actual math on what the Fed can do, the results are quite disturbing, as they indicate Ben's hands are very much tied, and the Chairman no longer can conduct the type of bazooka event that most have expected. It certainly means that the Fed can not engage in anything remotely resembling the $1 trillion LSAP in QE3 (sic) that has been whispered."
1 posted on 09/07/2012 1:06:09 PM PDT by uncommonsense
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