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Reverse Repos Surge to Record $756 Billion, Taking Back Over 6 Months of QE

The Fed is continuing QE to the tune of $120 billion a month but just took back over six months of it.
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Fed's Overnight Reverse Repos - Wolf 2021-06-18

On Wednesday, the Fed announced it would continue its QE program to the tune of $120 billion a month even though banks are choking on the cash. 

In addition, the Fed boosted the Reverse Repo rate it pays and  hiked the interest it pays on excess reserves rate to 0.15% from 0.10%.

Those actions spiked demand for Reverse Repos to a record $756 billion as shown by the chart from Wolf Richter

Doing What It's Supposed To

Similarly, the WSJ reports Fed Reverse Repos Surge to Record of $756 Billion After Rate Tweak

The reverse repo facility takes in cash primarily from money-market funds, as well as government-sponsored companies and banks. Until Wednesday, this facility offered a return of zero percent to eligible users, which the Fed moved up to 0.05%, while at the same time lifting another rate, called the interest on excess reserves rate, to 0.15% from 0.10%.

At his press conference after the Federal Reserve meeting on Wednesday, central bank leader Jerome Powell said “the reverse repo facility is doing what it’s supposed to do, which is to provide a floor under money-market rates and keep the federal-funds rate well within its—well within its range. So we’re not concerned” about the current level of usage.

At the same time, the Fed’s $120 billion in asset buying each month is creating an ever-rising amount of money that needs to be parked somewhere, and increasingly, that place is the Fed.

Free Money

The Fed Pumps $120 Billion a month to banks via QE.

Then the Fed mops up after itself by offering a now record $756 Billion in reverse repos effectively giving participants free money. 

In effect the Fed undid 6.3 months of QE.

Excess Reserves

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The Fed stopped reporting on excess reserves as per this announcement on March 15, 2020.

The Board of Governors reduced reserve requirement ratios on net transaction accounts to 0 percent, effective March 26, 2020. This action eliminated reserve requirements for all depository institutions.

Interest on Excess Reserves

Interest rate on Excess reserves 2019-05-17

Despite the fact that there are no reserve requirements and the Fed stopped reporting excess reserves, on Wednesday the Fed hiked the interest rate it pays on excess reserves to 0.15% from 0.10%.

Total Reserves

Total Reserves of Depository Institutions

There are no excess reserves or required reserves, only reserves. 

Working As Designed

Tree Swing

The Fed crams money down banks throats then paying them interest when they send it right back. Banks also get interest on excess reserves even though there are no reserve requirements.

If this sounds totally preposterous you must be mistaken. Powell says it's working as designed.