– It’s Settled: Central Banks Trade S&P500 Futures (ZeroHedge, Aug 30, 2014):
Based on the unprecedented collapse in trading volumes of cash products over the past 6 years, one thing has become clear: retail, and increasingly, institutional investors and traders are gone, probably for ever and certainly until the Fed’s market-distorting central planning ends. However, one entity appears to have taken the place of conventional equity traders: central banks.
Courtesy of an observation by Nanex’s Eric Hunsader, we now know, with certainty and beyond merely speculation by tinfoil fringe blogs, that central banks around the world trade (and by “trade” we mean buy) S&P 500 futures such as the E-mini, in both futures and option form, as well as full size, and micro versions, in addition to the well-known central bank trading in Interest Rates, TSY and FX products.
In fact, central banks are such active traders, that the CME Globex has its own “Central Bank Incentive Program”, designed to “incentivize” central banks to provide market liquidity, i.e., limit orders, by paying them (!) tiny rebates on every trade. Because central banks can’t just print whatever money they need, apparently they need the CME to pay them to trade.