Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fed: from exhausted to cornered.

Quite a bit ago I suggested that Fed was exhausted. I was almost wrong - Fed took some steroids, donned a bandit mask, and sacrificed half of its own balance sheet to open another facility to brokerages and to bail out Bear. This, as I already hinted yesterday, backfired and turned Fed from hunter to hunted. And today, the hunted was cornered.

The interest rates on 13-week Treasuries plunged today to 0.4%, going as low as 0.2% at some point during the day. There is no more room for rates to drop. Even worse, Fed is now being under investigation by Congress - which questions the legality of recent moves. This should make Bernanke think twice before trying more questionable experiments. And if you thought it couldn't get any worse than that, guess again: Krugman believes Fed is now incapable of controlling even its own Fed Funds rate!

At the same time TED spread widened yet again, back to its all time high. This, and the borderline insane flight to the safety of T-Bills, means only one thing: the credit market is screaming out loud "We don't trust anyone, and we think even the largest banks are about to go bankrupt!" Everyone is on his own now.

Market to Fed: check, check, and mate.

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