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POSTED ON December 3, 2022  - POSTED IN Exploring Finance

The Fed has a targeted balance sheet reduction of $95B a month. Up until this point, the Fed had failed to reach its target almost every month since QT began.

In the latest month, the Fed made up for their recent shortfall with a big balance sheet reduction of $139B, exceeding their target by 50%! Despite the larger-than-expected reduction, the Fed still missed its target on Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS).

POSTED ON October 29, 2022  - POSTED IN Exploring Finance

The Fed is supposed to be reducing the balance sheet by $95B a month. This is up from $47.5B before September. As the chart below shows, the Fed has only succeeded in meeting or exceeding its goal a single time (August) in 6 months.

In the latest month, the Fed came up 25% short with a taper of only $72B. Even when removing the $10B increase of “Other”, which is a range of other instruments not related to MBS or Treasury, the Fed was still over $12B short of target.

POSTED ON September 30, 2022  - POSTED IN Exploring Finance

The Fed has found it easier to raise rates than shrink its balance sheet. September was supposed to be the month when the Fed got serious about shrinking the balance sheet. After a few months of warming up with $47.5B monthly reductions, the Fed was going to step up in September and shrink by $95B ($60B in Treasuries and $35B in MBS).

That didn’t happen.

POSTED ON July 29, 2022  - POSTED IN Exploring Finance

Another month in and the Fed is still struggling to implement Quantitative Tightening (QT). According to the plan the Fed outlined last May, the central bank should be shrinking the balance sheet by at least $47.5B a month, spread between $30B in Treasuries and $17.5B in MBS.

That’s not happening.

POSTED ON July 1, 2022  - POSTED IN Exploring Finance

The first month of Federal Reserve balance sheet reduction turned out to be a big dud. As it turns out, the balance sheet shrank by less than $1 billion in June during the first month of quantitative tightening.

As part of its vaunted inflation fight, the Fed announced in May that Quantitative Tightening (QT) was set to begin last month. From Reuters:

POSTED ON May 27, 2022  - POSTED IN Exploring Finance

Despite rising through the month, the Fed balance ended up shrinking slightly by $25 billion in May, even as it slightly increased its Treasury holdings.

This was the first monthly decline in the balance sheet since $220B of “Other” rolled off in July 2020. In that case, “Other” were repurchase agreements with foreign entities to provide liquidity and alleviate stress in the global markets.

POSTED ON May 24, 2022  - POSTED IN Original Analysis

The Federal Reserve has talked a lot about fighting inflation. But what has it actually done?

In practice, not a lot. It has nudged interest rates up 75 basis points. And while the Fed has ended the massive quantitative easing program that it ran during the pandemic, it pushed balance sheet reduction back from May until June. In fact, the balance sheet has crept upward throughout the entire month of May.

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