Foreign Central Banks
Life goes on, so does the stock market.
If you ever happen to acquire an inclination for being the subject of disrepute and ridicule I highly recommend endorsing the conceit alluded to in the title. Apparently this issue is ‘so obvious’ that even gold bugs and government officials can reach common ground via the contention that I’m deluded. My folly — if you will — is to maintain that dollar debasement can be bullish for the dollar vis-à-vis other currencies at present. Since this long-standing conviction of ours is once again being corroborated by price action in the currency markets I thought I’d attempt to convince you that I’m not completely crazy. Here I outline why dollar debasement is bullish for the dollar against other fiat currencies in this environment.
Then about 7 weeks ago, the FCBs not only slowed their purchase rate of Treasuries and Agencies, they began selling outright, and have continued to do so at unprecedented levels.
While we await for the Treasury Department to actually update its complete September TIC LT flow data tables, here is some of the data we can compile with what has been released so far. China is now once again solidly ahead of the Fed in terms of total Treasury holdings, owning $883.5 billion USTs in September, a $15 billion increase from August, of which $10 billion came from an increase in non-Bill holdings, and the balance from Short Term, which at $21 billion have risen to the highest since... April 2010. This is peanuts. The Fed will surpass this total by Thursday. The bigger surprise came from Japan, which added $28.4 billion in Treasury debt to a total of $865 billion, of which just $3.5 billion was from ST holdings. The broke UK moderated its torrid pace of gobbling up US debt and added just $10.7 billion in US paper to bring its new total to $459 billion. Notably, in September hedge funds (Carribean Banking Centers) sold $14 billion of Treasuries as they took the proceeds and invested it all in Apple to force the biggest short squeeze in history (note the number of HF adding Apple as of Sept. 30, shares which they have almost certainly disposed of since). The biggest surprise by far in today's TIC update had little to do with Treasury holdings but instead had everything to do with Agencies, the security most in peril courtesy of the massive fraud perpetuated by MERS and the robosigners. To wit: foreign official institutions (primary central banks) dumped a massive $31.4 billion in Agencies: a record number since the TIC data has been reported in 1978. This was offset marginally by Agency purchases by other foreigners of $23 billion, although the dump by central bankers what everyone will be focused on. This is certainly news that PIMCO and all the other RMBS investment funds did not need to see today.
Alan Grayson Seeks To Moderate Fed-Mandated Currency Swaps Which Bail Out Foreign Central Banks Shorting The DollarSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/18/2009 15:21 -0400
One month ago, Zero Hedge did an exhaustive examination into the topic of over half a trillion of foreign FX liquidity swaps to central banks issued by the Fed, and how by administering this unprecedented incursion into international monetary policy, Ben Bernanke became the lender of last resort not only to US institutions on the brink, but to all those foreign central banks, and thousands of foreign financial institutions, who were massively short the dollar the last time the bubble popped (ring a bell?). Since we have ended up in the same boat promptly once again, and since the ponzi scheme can only continue so long before all those short the dollar scramble to cover shorts at some point in the future, as Roubini has predicted, it is merely a matter of time before the Fed will need to disburse another trillion or so of FX swaps to bail out all those who are shorting the US middle class into oblivion. We ignore the ethics of bailing out those who have done nothing but piggyback on the dollar carry trade, and in doing so, have decimated the purchasing power of America's working class, which is precisely what Ben Bernanke did. Buying stocks may be patriotic but bailing out those who want your dollar to purchase less tomorrow than it can today, sure does not pass the sniff test (Bernanke, of course, being at the top of that particular food chain).
"The Federal Reserve System has disclosed to GATA that it has gold swap arrangements with foreign banks that it does not want the public to know about. The disclosure contradicts denials provided by the Fed to GATA in 2001 and suggests that the Fed is indeed very much involved in the surreptitious international central bank manipulation of the gold price particularly and the currency markets generally." - GATA
The most recent quarterly data confirms the MBS->Treasury flight. In all reality, the Fed will likely have to expand the agency/MBS portion of QE even more than the Treasury monetization portion when it is time for QE 2.0, as foreigners want to have increasingly nothing to do with Fannie and Freddie. Yet their poison, is the eager involuntary meat of US taxpayers, or so Bernanke will like everyone to believe.
Another quite intriguing piece by Chris Martenson "The Shell Game - How The Federal Reserve Is Monetizing Debt" reveals some of the intricacies of the Fed's monetization game and, by digging deeper into the Fed's Custody Account, demonstrates not just how the Federal Reserve is enabling foreigners to swap out of Agencies into Treasuries, but how it is implicitly monetizing a markedly larger portion of debt than is assumed.