The spike in overnight repurchase agreements may prompt the Federal Reserve to expand its balance sheet, according to Jeffrey Gundlach, chief investment officer of DoubleLine Capital.
“Is it an imminent disaster? No. The Fed is going to use this warning sign to go back to some balance sheet expansion,” Gundlach said Tuesday during a webcast for his $54 billion DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund. It’s a way of “baby stepping” to more quantitative easing, he added.
The Federal Reserve injected $75 billion into U.S. money markets Wednesday to quell the surge in rates on one-day loans backed by Treasury bonds, known as repurchase agreements. That followed Tuesday’s $53 billion liquidity injection.
The Fed is likely to start expanding its balance sheet to “try to free up the plumbing of the banking system,” the money manager said. The moves may encourage the Fed to embark on “QE lite,” he said.
The Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee is widely expected to cut its benchmark rate 0.25% when it meets Wednesday, the second reduction this year. The bond market reflects two more Fed cuts this year and one in 2020, he said.