Fed Drains $351 Billion in Liquidity from Market via Reverse Repos, as Banking System Creaks under Mountain of Reserves | Wolf Street

These reverse repos are a sign that the banking system is struggling to deal with the liquidity that the Fed has been injecting via its QE. And that’s in part why there is now some clamoring on Wall Street for the Fed to taper its QE purchases because the banking system is now drowning in liquidity that banks have as reserves on their balance sheet. By buying Treasuries in the repo market, the banks lower their reserves and increase their Treasury holdings.

So with one hand, as part of QE, the Fed is buying $120 billion a month in Treasury securities and MBS. With the other hand, the Fed took back $351 billion via overnight reverse repos, undoing nearly three months of QE.

It’s the kind of crazy situation that you run into when you push something to the extreme, as the Fed has done with its asset purchases, and you get all kinds of side effects.

Fed Drains $351 Billion in Liquidity from Market via Reverse Repos, as Banking System Creaks under Mountain of Reserves | Wolf Street