"The market depth of 10-year Treasuries (defined as the average size of the best three bids and offers) today is $125 million, down from $500 million at its peak in 2007. The likely explanation for the lower depth in almost all bond markets is that inventories of market-makers' positions are dramatically lower than in the past."For instance, the total inventory of Treasuries readily available to market-makers today is $1.7 trillion, down from $2.7 trillion at its peak in 2007. Meanwhile, the Treasury market is $12.5 trillion; it was $4.4 trillion in 2007. The trend in dealer positions of corporate bonds is similar. Dealer positions in corporate securities are down by about 75% from their 2007 peak, while the amount of corporate bonds outstanding has grown by 50% since then."Inventories are lower – not because of one new rule but because of the multiple new rules that affect market-making, including far higher capital and liquidity requirements and the pending implementation of the Volcker Rule. There are other potential rules, which also may be adding to this phenomenon. For example, post-trade transparency makes it harder to do sizeable trades since the whole world will know one's position, in short order."
"If you're a distressed seller of an illiquid asset in a market panic, it's worse than being trapped in a crowded theatre that's on fire. It's like being trapped in a crowded theatre that's on fire, and the only way you can get out is by persuading someone on the outside to swap places with you."
"A surge of inflation which far exceeds the strength of the economies is not out of the question and could be catalyzed and accelerated by the oft-stated goal of central bankers to cause more of it."