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Pam and Russ Martens: At year-end Fed owned 38% of all 10-30-year Treasuries

Section: Daily Dispatches

As a high school graduate said 14 years ago, 'There are no markets anymore, just interventions.'

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By Pam and Russ Martens
Wall Street on Parade
Thursday, May 26, 2022

On Tuesday' the New York Fed's trading desk released its annual report showing what it was up to in 2021. The New York Fed is the only one of the Federal Reserve's 12 regional Fed banks to have a trading desk operation with speed dials to Wall Street's trading houses, so we're always interested in reading the "official" version of what has been happening there.

The report is a deeply sanitized version of the facts on the ground. (For example, there is nothing in the report to indicate that the New York Fed has established a second trading floor near the futures exchange in Chicago.)

... Dispatch continues below ...


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However, there is one paragraph in the newly-released report that took our breath away. It reveals that the New York Fed's trading operation (officially called the System Open Market Account or SOMA) currently owns 38% of all outstanding U.S. Treasury Securities with 10 to 30 years remaining until maturity.

There are multiple reasons that this detail takes our breath away. First, the U.S. Treasury market is massive -- at $22.6 trillion as of year-end 2021. That any one entity controls a big chunk of the market is deeply concerning. (The same report showed that the New York Fed's trading desk owned 25% of all maturities of outstanding Treasury debt.) ...

... For the remainder of the analysis:

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