‘Prudent’: As Panic Spreads, Treasury Rushes To Explain Why Mnuchin Yelled ‘Fire’ In A Crowded Theatre

U.S. equity markets were bleeding badly just an hour into the cash session following another mini-“flash” event in futures that rippled across markets, catalyzing risk-off moves in Treasurys and USDJPY.

As of 10:00, all sectors were red. Hilariously, financials were down 1.5%, stone cold proof that Steve Mnuchin’s call to bank CEOs about liquidity had exactly the opposite of the intended effect.



Speaking of that call, Treasury appears to be coming around to the fact that Mnuchin’s press release spooked markets and is attempting to clean up the mess or, more to the point, attempting to explain why Steve yelled “fire” in a crowded theatre.

CNBC is out reporting that according to officials, Mnuchin viewed the Sunday emergency calls as a “prudent, preemptive measure”.

Again, there was nothing to “preempt” – there were no signs whatsoever that banks were liquidity constrained to an extent where consumer and business lending would be hampered.


Privately, officials told CNBC that reports of Trump’s dissatisfaction with Jerome Powell were another reason for the call. That suggests banks might have asked Mnuchin how close we are to a scenario where the President goes after the Fed.

In any event, Twitter was apparently correct to mercilessly lampoon Mnuchin for his Sunday evening “don’t panic” tweet, because he has surely catalyzed a panic. Stocks are in free fall.



As you can see, we are not all that far from erasing the entirety of the post election gains.

Bottom line: This administration is a comedy of errors. 

Read more

Another Day, Another Mini-Flash Crash

Why Is Steve Mnuchin Calling Wall Street CEOs On Sunday To Ensure ‘Ample Liquidity’?


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7 thoughts on “‘Prudent’: As Panic Spreads, Treasury Rushes To Explain Why Mnuchin Yelled ‘Fire’ In A Crowded Theatre

  1. Look, here’s what happened:

    1) Trump calls mnuchin and says, you’ve got to do something to stabilize these markets. Apparently I can’t do it, and Jay won’t.

    2) mnuchin calls from people he trusts and ask them why markets are so volatile. the people he’s talking to read the same analysts that you do. They tell him that markets are volatile because of a lack of liquidity.

    3) Steve, completely mistaking what kind of liquidity is being discussed, thinks to himself that that’s something he can do something about.

    4) he tweets about the six biggest banks being totally liquid to reassure the markets.

    And scene.

    1. Sadly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump wanted to follow Erdogan’s lead and replace Powell with Jared Kushner.

      He just tweeted out this gem this morning:

      “The only problem our economy has is the Fed. They don’t have a feel for the Market, they don’t understand necessary Trade Wars or Strong Dollars or even Democrat Shutdowns over Borders. The Fed is like a powerful golfer who can’t score because he has no touch – he can’t putt!”

  2. Fed created that big, fat, ugly bubble espoused by Trump on Sept 29th 2016. Markets should return to that level fairly soon, then the bubble can pop.

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