Insights from U.S. Treasury’s General Account

Feb 13, 2024 | Finconomics 101, No Bull Economics

U.S. Treasury's General Account Post Banner

In our previous post, we highlighted one of Key Square’s investment premises that Yellen’s Treasury Department may have an incentive to increase government spending to help propel the economy & markets during an election year. To this end, Key Square advised checking on the Fed’s spending levels by monitoring the U.S. Treasury’s General Account which doubles as its checking account. In this post, we look at the relationship between stocks & this account.

Comments

  • The Fed funds its General Account by issuing bonds & collecting tax revenue. In turn, government disbursements are made from this same account.
  • When the General Account has a high cash balance, this represents “dry powder” for future government spending which is stimulative for both the economy & markets.
  • As evident by the chart below, the government’s substantial nest egg stockpiled right after covid’s onset was paid out over the next 1.5 years, thus helping to drive substantial stock performance.
  • Notably, the General Accounting funding level has been steadily growing since last summer, offering the possibility of healthy 2024 fiscal stimulation.  

Liabilities and Capital & S&P 500 Graph

Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US)  

Release: H.4.1 Factors Affecting Reserve Balances  

Units:  Billions of U.S. Dollars, Not Seasonally Adjusted

Frequency:  Weekly, Ending Wednesday

This account is the primary operational account of the U.S. Treasury at the Federal Reserve. Virtually all U.S. government disbursements are made from this account. Some tax receipts, primarily individual and other tax payments made directly to the Treasury, are deposited in this account, and it is also used to collect funds from sales of Treasury debt.

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