In a rare move, the Fed’s own benchmark fed funds target rate rose to 2.3% on Tuesday, above the target range set when it cut rates at its last meeting in July. The target range was since cut by a quarter point Wednesday to 1.75% to 2% from 2 to 2.25%.
“This just doesn’t look good. You set your target. You’re the all-powerful Fed. You’re supposed to control it and you can’t on Fed day. It looks bad. This has been a tough run for Powell,” said Michael Schumacher, director, rate strategy, at Wells Fargo.
On Monday, there seems to have been a perfect storm in the market, causing a cash shortage. Corporations were seeking dollars for quarterly tax payments, and the Treasury had also issued a large amount of bills, which reduces liquidity. There was also speculation that the attack on Saudi Aramco, which took half its production off line, may have spurred demand as oil spiked and investors feared a Middle East conflict.
Why did the New York Fed intervene?
The reasons behind [borrowing banks’] sudden demand for cash were attributed to a host of technical conditions that converged to drain money out of the system.
There were major cash withdrawals as quarterly corporate taxes came due, at the same time as a surge of US Treasury debt came into the market to finance deficit spending by the federal government.
More generally, more government securities have built up on the balance sheets of private firms these days as the Fed has begun to wind down the massive holdings of Treasury paper it amassed during the global financial crisis — which has also sucked cash out of the market.
“It looks like a lot of cash left the system in recent days and that demand for dollars was greater than the number of dollars in circulation,” said Gregori Volokhine of Meeshaert Financial Services.
To bring rates down, the New York Fed pumped fresh liquidity into the system through repo operations — $53 billion on Tuesday, $75 billion on Wednesday, with another $75 billion planned for Thursday morning.
The event awakened painful memories of the 2008 financial meltdown, when credit markets seized up suddenly as banks feared that borrowers would go bust before repaying.
The newest information regarding the NSA domestic spying scandal raises an important question: If America’s tech giants didn’t ‘participate knowingly’ in the dragnet of electronic communication, how does the NSA get all of their data?
One theory: the NSA hired two secretive Israeli companies to wiretap the U.S. telecommunications network.
In April 2012 Wired’s James Bamford — author of the book “ The Shadow Factory: The NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America” — reported that two companies with extensive links to Israel’s intelligence service provided hardware and software to wiretap the U.S. telecommunications network for the National Security Agency (NSA).
By doing so, this would imply, companies like Facebook and Google don’t have to explicitly provide the NSA with access to their servers because major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as AT&T and Verizon already allows the U.S. signals intelligence agency to eavesdrop on all of their data anyway.
Customs and Border Protection collects a wealth of information through the technologies deployed at the ports of entry, all of which is stored in a master crossing record the agency keeps on every individual who enters the country.
That record contains information gathered at every crossing: the time, date and port of the crossing, the information taken from their travel documents, photos and data collected on their belongings and vehicles, and determinations made by customs officers throughout the process. For non-U.S. citizens, this also means biometric data, such as photos and fingerprints.
That record also includes data culled from a variety of federal databases and sources.
◆ JPMorgan’s head of precious metals trading and senior traders have been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with rigging precious metal prices in a “massive, multiyear scheme”
◆ The DOJ’s indictment said the scheme generated millions of dollars in profits for JPMorgan Chase and caused millions in losses for counter-parties, prosecutors said
◆ JPM precious metals desk chief, Michael Nowak, who was indicted is a JPM managing director and London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) board member
◆ The U.S. DoJ has invoked RICO or Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act racketeering law in charging JP Morgan and racketeering is very rarely used in cases involving large banks
◆ JPM is accused of illegally monopolizing the silver futures market, engaging in “widespread spoofing, market manipulation and fraud” in the gold and silver market and defrauding investors
◆ JP Morgan may have accumulated the biggest stockpile of physical silver in history – See JP Morgan Cornering Silver Market?
Switzerland was among the first countries to begin deploying 5G, but health fears over radiation from the antennas that carry the next-generation mobile technology have sparked a nationwide revolt.
Demonstrators against the technology are due to fill the streets of Bern later this month, but already a number of cantons have been pressured to put planned constructions of 5G-compatible antennae on ice.
Oxitec, the British biotech company running the project, assured members of the public that this negative result would not happen.
It then released 450,000 genetically mutated mosquitoes into the wild where interbreeding caused the spread of the mutated genes because the offspring failed to die.