Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Indefinite Bond Buying and Another Housing Bailout

It's too early in the week for more sarcasm, so I'm going to try very hard to keep it real today.  The Fed's newly-released minutes from March hint at winding down the $85B monthly QE.  I can't believe there is any way they can do that without the housing market going straight down the tubes.  The Federal Housing Administration will need a $943M bailout because it guaranteed home mortgages that are now underwater.

Just remember that the Fed bought mortgage-backed securities to support insolvent banks' balance sheets, which encouraged banks to use credit from the Fed to buy Treasuries.  The FHA is forcing the Treasury to eat home loan losses, so the Treasury must issue new debt to be bought by banks whose mortgage-backed securities are being bought up by the Fed.  You don't need an MBA to figure this out.  The Fed's quantitative easing supports a very fragile house of cards.  If and when foreign central banks start to sell their U.S. Treasuries, the U.S. banking sector and housing sector come tumbling down.

Full disclosure:  No position in U.S. dollar fixed-income securities at this time.