"Cash/money on the sidelines” is like a football player “on the sidelines” (that is, not in the field of play). Cash might be kept “on the sidelines” to ride out a particularly volatile economic period.
The term “money on the sidelines” has been cited in print since at least 1932 and “cash on the sidelines” since at least 1958.
31 March 1932, North Adams (MA) Transcript, pg. 12 ad:
With safe investments open...unusual values everywhere...can we any longer afford to keep our money on the sidelines?
(U.S. Reconstruction Bonds —ed.)
Investment for Appreciation
By Lawrence Lee Bazley Angas
... and the amount of uninvested money on the sidelines remains identical, except for expenses.
25 November 1951, Oregonian (Portland, OR), “Truce Parleys Depress Mart,” sec. 3, pg. 6, col. 1:
Brokers also report a large amount of investment money on the sidelines.
5 January 1958, Hartford (CT) Courant, “Wall Street Astonished By Big Rise,” pg. 7D:
The end of the tax-loss selling removed the brakes’ and the market moved ahead in a quiet sort of way, although there was plenty of cash on the sidelines.
Google News Archive
7 March 1958, Meriden (CT) Record, “Stock Enjoy Biggest Rise Since Jan. 3,” pg. 7, col. 1:
At the same time a renewal of investment buying bolstered prices as big investors with money on the sidelines became restless.
Wall Street: Fodder for Bulls
Friday, Nov. 16, 1962
“The market has the best leadership you can have,” said Gerald M. Loeb, partner in E. F. Hutton & Co. Bradbury Thurlow, of Winslow, Cohu & Stetson, figured that the upward swing “is a little too big for a false start.” He calls the current market a “baby bull,” and expects that it will get added nourishment when the mutual funds, which have been hoarding their cash on the sidelines, begin to buy.
OCLC WorldCat record
THE FINANCIAL CRISIS - Wall Street: What’s Next - Stock exchanges are scary places. Consumers are stretched thin. Now for the good news: There’s a lot of cash on the sidelines, and there are good places to put it to work.
Publisher: [New York, N.Y. : Forbes Inc., 1918-
Edition/Format: Article : English
Publication: Forbes. (October 13, 2008): 45
The Big Picture
The Myth of Sideline Cash
By Barry Ritholtz - September 28th, 2009, 9:46AM
A quick look a chart on Money Market Mutual Funds belies the common belief that “cash on the sidelines” is what powers markets higher.
As the chart below reveals, the Market goes up, and as we saw in the 1990s and from 2005-08, so too MMF goes up.
This is evidence against the standard sideline cash argument.
The Big Picture
The Myth Of Cash On The Sidelines
By James Bianco - September 23rd, 2011, 11:30AM
On Friday the Federal Reserve released its quarterly Flow of Funds data, current through June 2011. One of the more popular headlines from this data concerns the record amount of “cash on the sidelines“. Through Q2 2011, nonfarm nonfinancial corporate businesses held $2.05 trillion in liquid assets on their balance sheets. As the argument goes, this must be a sign of pent-up demand just waiting to be unleashed on the market. The second chart below illustrates why this may not necessarily be the case.
New York City • Banking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Monday, September 26, 2011 • Permalink