Did Foreigners Bail Out The US Stock Market... By Dumping $56 Billion In Treasurys?

Tyler Durden's picture

Something curious happened recently: for the first time in over a decade, perhaps ever, the US saw a record $25 billion worth of Treasury bond outflows from the Treasury's custodial account in the week ended September 28. Just as curious is that in the past 5 weeks we have seen relentless selling of Treasurys from the same custodial account which, with Treasury International Capital data 3 months delayed, and largely incorrect until its annual revision, is the only real source of recent (and somewhat accurate) foreign activity in US bonds. In fact, starting with the week ended September 7, through last Thursday, foreigners appear to have dumped a massive $56 billion worth of Treasurys (don't take our word for it - check it here, courtesy of the Fed). This is quite disturbing for two reasons. One explanation for this move would be to look back to the Quant crash in early August 2007, which preceded the market's secular (and all time) high, when various quant funds blew up for reasons still not completely known. The reason why this date is important is that it was the catalyst for the next biggest concerted dump of Treasurys, when in a subsequent span of 4 weeks, foreigners sold $47 billion in Treasurys... but at least the market's precipitous move lower was prevented, if only for a few brief months. Also curious is that the recent move is in direct contrast to the Custodial Account reaction to the Lehman implosion in 2008 when 20 weeks of consecutive UST inflows, beginning September 10, saw $300 billion in "safe haven" purchases. So while the market plunge back then was accompanied by a shift into Treasurys, this time around, the biggest market volatility since Lehman has seen a record sequential exodus out of bonds. Which begs the question: did Tim Geithner make a few phone calls, and tell foreigners to dump Treasurys (knowing full well Op Twist was coming and the Fed would backstop the entire curve), and to buy stocks instead in order to prevent the next relapse of the Great Financial Crisis?

Of course, there is a far simpler explanation: the dreaded D-day in which foreign official and private investors finally start offloading their $2.7 trillion in Treasurys with impunity (although not with the element of surprise - China has made it abundantly clear it will sell its Treasury holdings, the only question is when), has finally arrived.

Either way, if this is merely a function of money's fungibility (according to , as is all too well known, capital simply shifts from one asset allocation to another), and money was forcefully "funged" from bonds into stocks (with or without the prodding of one Tim Geithner) to create a "natural" bid into the bidless market, expect to see even more bond liquidations should stocks continue sliding lower. That may be a big reason to panic as it means that finally the US has tipped its hand that its survival (read: that of the Russell 2000, thank you Ben Bernanke), is dependent on the generosity of our trade surplus partners.

If, on the other hand, the sell off is completely uncorrelated to any moves in the stock market, then the reason to panic is far, far greater, as it means that the international community no longer perceives US paper as a flight to safety...and has taken the first step to defect in the most important Nash equilibrium in modern history.

Source: H.4.1

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bigwavedave's picture

I thought the new 'flight to safety' was AAPL

rocker's picture

 May Steve Rest in Peace forever for his greatest as a person worth investing in.

 That being said, Apple is now Dead Money. 

knukles's picture

So Robo'd say to swap AAPL to NetFlix?
Hey Robo, what's NetFlix ticker symbol?

strannick's picture

But then who was doing all the supposed UST safe haven buying prior to Optwist as the markets were crashing post-FOMC meeting?

knukles's picture

The people at NetFlix?

ToNYC's picture


Why don't they call it by the real name, "check kiting"? It's been going bang-bang like old school flashbulbs long before those nasty '91 bonds were coming due in '01

Darth..Putter's picture

This stuff is pretty much over my head but...Was it the mystery buyer out of the carribean banking cartel?


Chart of suspicious activity #9 here;



Joshua Falken's picture

This accusation of manipulation is branded as typical conspiracy theory wacko's.

UNLESS you consider that the 12 regional member banks that comprise the Federal Reserve System are all privately owned by the very US and European banks that ex-Goldman banker and Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner is employing to support equity markets as the last bastion of investor confidence.

Japan executed the exact same futile waste of public money to support a failing equity market between 1992 and 1994 which eventually caught out Nick Leeson.

Whatever happens, the tax payers are paying the bill to protect the legacy of vainglorious central bankers and politicians not wanting a fiscal catastrophe attached to their tenure for all posterity.


Harlequin001's picture

'This accusation of manipulation is branded as typical conspiracy theory wacko's'.

UNLESS of course you consider that the Fed and every other central banks interference in both interest rate and currency markets is in itself a manipulation. Which means that by definition, the whole market is fixed, and has been for at least the last 50 years.

So who's good at stock picking then?

The Grip's picture

Wasn't aware that Geithner was on staff at GS in the past, notwithstanding the obvious proxy.

JR's picture

"U.S." Treasurer Timothy Geithner is a Rubin/Summers protégé. Rubin’s hand is still on the tiller.

Geithner, of course, is on the "staff" of Goldman Sachs.  He was, and is, actively involved in the central bank’s policy—both before and during the financial crisis.  Stephen Friedman of Goldman Sachs was chair of the NY Fed when then NY Fed President Geithner received his salary, while past CEO of Goldman Sachs Hank Paulson worked hand-in-Treasury with the Fed. Timothy F. Geithner became the ninth president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on November 17, 2003. It is now President William Dudley, formerly of Goldman Sachs, working hand-in-Treasury with Treasurer Geithner, formerly of the NY Fed.  Who benefits?  Why, Goldman Sachs. It is Goldman Sachs who runs the NY Fed and it is the NY Fed that runs the Federal Reserve.

Guest explained it well in February of 2009 on RGE Monitor:

“What is with this tendency to have Goldman Sachs alumni in all sectors of decision making? Robert Rubin, Henry Paulson, Tim Geithner! These apparatchiks are akin to the nomenclatura of the communist party. They are spread throughout our society to be the keepers of the faith. They are the heads of the economic inquisition. Any HERETIC will pay the price!  In 1998, Brooksley Born who had been appointed
the head of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission had the HERETICAL CONCEPT PERCEPTION that the (OTC) OVER THE COUNTER DERIVATIVES HAD TO BE SUPERVISED.
The Rubin-Goldman Mafia ran her out of town, and here we are with a FRANKENSTEIN OF OVER
INTO A CREDIT FREEZE. When you make heretics pay the price of telling the truth to power, your
society has no place but down. In a democracy, there can be no heresy! All ideas must be tested and falsified and adopted if truly functional. THIS IS INHERENT IN EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTATION.
"It doesn't matter whether a cat is black or white, can it hunt mice". We as a society decided that only greedy cats who ate our steaks and left us the mice to eat were going to run the financial system.

Are we freaking morons? Even worse, we now want these greedy cats to literally eat our flesh and leave us as a skeleton country in total debt. The mice are the derivatives that are totally separate from the subprime mortgage crisis. The greedy cats will eat the flesh and the mice will eat the bones.

to be regulated, or we will fail. We will fail for the same reasons the communists failed. They were
inefficient apparatchiks who ran the system for their purposes and subjugated the people with totalitarian
ideas. The financial elite is the same! They just use more subtle and stealthy methods developed in
Madison Avenue. They manufacture consent and root out the heretics.


Harlequin001's picture

er communism failed because the US adopted fiat currency. There was no way any communist state without access to bond markets could compete with that, and Raegan knew it with his 'Star Wars' initiative...

How can communism fail? Everyone gives everything to the stae and the state gives out. There is no debt.

How does communism fail, unless too much valuable resource is spent trying to compete with a fiat currency?

How do you think the rest of the world stood up to fiat funded British imperialism while it was on a gold standard? They didn't...

The only thing that fails is individual incentive and effort, but I don't think individual effort is going to count for much in the US or anywhere else when the tax bill for this bailout eventually arrives.

JR's picture

Actually, it was investment bankers like Jacob Schiff and the Rothschilds, inventors of fiat currency and tyrannical central banks, that put Lenin on a secret train to Moscow, raised money to transfer Trotsky from New York to Russia and kept a steady stream of cash and political favors from the U.S. government flowing to Stalin throughout his bloody regime that allowed Communism to live as long as it did.

And the only way the Soviet Union and its failed communist economic system with its slave-labor force and concentration on armament production survived as long as it did, was with the help of the United States.

Said Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who was there: “It is American trade that allows the Soviet economy to concentrate its resources on armaments and preparations for war.  Remove that trade, and the Soviet economy would be obliged to feed and clothe and house the Russian people, something it has never been able to do.  Let the socialists among you allow this socialist economy to prove the superiority that its ideology claims.  Stop sending them goods.  Let them stand on their own feet, and then see what happens.”

If America falters, there will be no United States to come to America’s aid and provide the banker oligarchy and its central planning and supporters the luxury of keeping their collectivist cake, while eating off the fruits of capitalism.  Communism does not work, except temporarily at the point of a gun, because there is nothing in it for the individual.  The bankers exported more than America’s manufacturing base and their capital to China; they exported Western capitalism.

I contend the American people, when faced with economic annihilation, will not simply lie down and say, take it, take all that I and my family have, and my country, too.

“You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them.  But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power -- he’s free again.” –Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Harlequin001's picture

If I remember correctly it was the horrendous conditions of serfdom under the Tsars that sent Lenin to Moscow. Whilst I do not dispute that he was funded by bankers I don't think it realistic to assume or infer that it was a banker led, funded or inspired revolution. The real 'slave-labor force' existed before Communism.

And whilst I understand the statement to which you refer, 'It is American trade that allows the Soviet economy to concentrate its resources on armaments and preparations for war. ' is somewhat dubious in that the best performing economy by far in the early 1930's I believe was Russia. It certainly wasn't the US, and when the Berlin wall came down the communists didn't drive through in Ford Escorts or Vauxhall Chevettes either. So where were the American goods to which you refer? Communism is an unachievable ideal that fails at the hands of humanity because the utopian dream is soon undermined by the idle and lazy until the dream deteriorates to cronyism and an unhealthy concentration of power, authority and control in the hands of those least capable and least merit it. That's politics for you. Now, you tell me how that is different from the US of today.

'Communism does not work, except temporarily at the point of a gun, because there is nothing in it for the individual.' on this we do agree because it stifles invention and ingenuity, and I am no communist, but I believe it somewhat disingenuous to infer that communism only ever worked as a consequence of US policy or that the US perpetuated it for one minute.

I think we can agree that communism doesn't work but I guess for entirely different reasons.

I am curious, 'Remove that trade, and the Soviet economy would be obliged to feed and clothe and house the Russian people, something it has never been able to do.' Do you honestly believe that the US can do that now?

JR's picture

Surely, one of our responsibilities as human beings is to learn from history.

The Last Days of the Romanovs contradicts your thesis: “A public opinion poll conducted in 1990 found that three out of four Soviet citizens surveyed regard the killing of the Tsar and his family as a despicable crime (The Nation in 1991).  Many Russian Orthodox believers regard Nicolas as a Martyr. The independent ‘Orthodox Church Board’ canonized the imperial family in 1991… The Russian Orthodox Archbishop of Ekaterinburg announced plans in 1990 to build a grand church at the site of the killings. ‘The people loved Emperor Nicholas,’ the Archbishop said. ‘His memory lives with the people, not as a saint, but as someone executed without court verdict, unjustly, as a sufferer for his faith and for orthodoxy (Bill Keller, “Cult of the Last Czar, The New York Times, Nov. 21, 1990).'”

Here is the account written in 1920 by Robert Wilton, correspondent of The London Times in Russia for 17 years, of how Tsar Nicholas II and his family were murdered:

“In the night of July 16-17, 1918, Bolshevik secret police murdered Russia’s last emperor, Tsar Nicholas II, along with his wife, Tsaritsa Alexandra, their 14-year-old son, Tsarevich Alexei, and their four daughters. They were cut down in a hail of gunfire in a half-cellar room of the house in Ekaterinburg, a city in the Ural mountain region, where they were being held prisoner.  The daughters were finished off with bayonets.  To prevent a cult for the dead Tsar, the bodies were carted away to the countryside and hastily buried in a secret grave…”

The murders not only presaged Communist mass slaughter of the Russian people but are symbolic of the Communist effort to kill Russia itself. All the Romanovs who died violent deaths were convenient to Internationalist plans, according to Wilton.

Harlequin001's picture

JR 'Surely, one of our responsibilities as human beings is to learn from history.' - It is but you must learn the right lessons.

Nothing here is incorrect but it is only a one-sided view. This was a civil war, there were supporters on both sides and both were prepared to fight for what they believed in. If Nicholas was as loved as you say then no one would have fought to remove him. Royalty have relatives all over the world and it shouldn't be difficult to get someone to speak well of anyone. Let's face it, if Obama can get a Nobel prize then does not that say it all? My history may be a little rusty but was it not Nicholas II who sat by and let Rasputin destroy his country? I don't recall anyone writing about how much fun the Russian peasants had during that period. How can the Russian people love him for that?

Even in the coming US bust-up there will be some who will defend Obama and his policies, they do it today on TV. Maybe someone will quote me those idiots in future as well, but what's needed is to discern the facts as opposed to the opinions and the bullshit.

History is written by the victors, but that doesn't make it correct or even accurate, and this is now so far off topic that it is becoming irrelevant.

Cap Matifou's picture

This good american lady spells the first-hand beans for you, how she realized after decades leading the CPUSA, that the the strings apparently coming from Moscow end in reality in wealthy hands in NY.

School of Darkness - Bella Dodd (1954)



Or if you spend just a few minutes, you can find first hand accounts how half of the enriched US uranium was sent to the USSR on lend-lease war effort planes before Hiroshima even took place.

"The first black suitcases, six in number, were in the charge of a Russian officer and I passed them without question upon his declaration that they were "personal luggage". But the units mounted to ten, twenty and thirty and at last to standard batches of fifty, which weighed almost two tons and consumed the cargo allotment of an entire plane. The officers were replaced by armed couriers, traveling in pairs, and the excuse for avoiding inspection was changed from "personal luggage" to "diplomatic immunity.""

"As I crossed the field toward the barracks, Colonel Kotikov fell in beside me. No doubt he reflected that he was in no position to force an issue. He may also have realized that I understood the gravity of almost nothing I had seen. All that mattered to him was getting the suitcases off to Moscow. Anxiously he inquired what I intended to do.

If I had known what I do today, I should have grounded the transport, but in the end it went on its way to Russia."

Harlequin001's picture

Not sure what the implication is with this...

Mr. Magniloquent's picture

I struggle to regard your comment as genuinely contemplated.

"Great" Britain's currency manipulations functioned benefitially for a time only because of its military domination of it's "trade partners" (See: Hostages). Historically, fiat only functions in the presence of cohersive military might. Fiat does not so much enable economies and nations as it does cast turmoil unto them.

Communism destroys far more than Human Action (see: Mises), it destroys the entire concept of what constitutes a market. The centralized structure of Communism provides no capable mechanism for responding to demand. In reality, market demand is dictated all but irrelevant and replaced with edict. The list continues, though I doubt I need to.

JR's picture

Thereby the similarities between central planning and Communism. Ironically, the most obvious characteristic Communism and central bank fiat policy have in common is that they have a common enemy: free enterprise and free markets. Even Marx's proposal to abolish private property finds common ground with a financial cartel who would rob millions of people of their property values and potential wealth throughout Western Civilization.

A great statement, Mr. Magniloquent.  Most interesting, that fiat can only be accomplished with a strong military, hence multi-front wars under the financial control of the Fed cartel fought even during a time of economic crisis.

Harlequin001's picture

OK Mr Magniloquent, - Britain didn't dominate its trade partners, it made them. That was the defining difference between the Great British Empire and all others. Other empires whilst based on a gold standard simply raided their colonies and took what they could. Britain installed a government that produced goods for trade so that it could sell it more debt with the proceeds, buy more warships and then take over the whole world (and its gold), or near as dammit. Seems to me that you are trying to re-write history and cast Britain as the typically American Revolutionary bad guy. Tell that to Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Australia, or any of the other countries that elected to remain part of the 'tyrannical' Commonwealth.

Let's not forget, the White House is white because of the British, and not because we were particularly good painters and decorators but because by then you were not only,  or were trying to be not part of the global British system of trade and to undermine British investment in its American colony. You were no longer protected.

Military domination? You need to go re-read a non American revolutionary version of the history books.

'Historically, fiat only functions in the presence of cohersive military might.' Bullshit. Fiat exists because it is a short term benefit to everyone which everyone wants. It only becomes problematic when there is too much money and its value begins to fall. Until that point you don't need a military to enforce it. The British military protected its trading partners so  that it could maintain the original fiat system of debt.

'Communism destroys far more than Human Action (see: Mises), it destroys the entire concept of what constitutes a market' - Under communism there is no market. The state takes all and redistributes it, or that's the way it's supposed to work. The only time a market has any relevance is when something needs to be purchased that can't be produced domestically. It becomes a problem when other countries use fiat to distort real prices and undermine the system.

'The centralized structure of Communism provides no capable mechanism for responding to demand.' I think we've already hammered that one to death...

azusgm's picture

Try prosecution instead of regulation. Regulators such as Mary Shapiro and Christopher Cox are models of regulatory capture while honest business is hindered under increased regulation.

While you're at it, prosecute the regulators, too.

scatterbrains's picture

what's the deal on these $30 tablet pc's made in India ?

MsCreant's picture

This last decade we lost three greats: Johnny Cash, Bob Hope, and now Steven Jobs. The world is truly a more bleak place: No Cash, No Hope, and now, no Jobs.

Mike2756's picture

They rolled into Greek bonds, better yield.

PonziBeaver's picture

How 'bout oil?

I mean, I know you can't wipe your butt with it, and it's not backed by the full faith and confidence of politicians, but ... too early?

Darth Silver's picture

how long before the central banks lose their influence on the precious metal market?

that time is coming fast.

philipat's picture

Yes, the Fed and other Central Banks pushed Gold lower to discourage China and others from selling Traesuries and buying Gold. However, with all the dumb shits in Congress and Trump abusing the Chinese and talking about tariffs, the Chinese, and others, will move anyway. So, agreed, the Fed can;t control the process for much longer.

Tariffs on Chinese goods make no difference except that all manufactured products will cost more for already strapped US consumers. The proceeds from the tariffs will, of course, be used by Congress to support extra spending. Trump would also "Say NO" to OPEC. If the Chinese and OPEC won't lsten, we'll stop importing to teach them all a lesson.

That should end well.

Harlequin001's picture

Not sure how you worked that one out. It was Shanghai that raised margin rates roughly in tandem with the COMEX.

It appears to me as if the US and China are working together to nail the gold price...

MFL8240's picture

The game will end when the crime ring in Chicagos sewer hikes margins 1 or 2 more times and the contracts are 100% cash.  

Citxmech's picture

They've been losing it incrementally since Au = $300/oz.

<edit:  or should I have said since Au = $20/oz.?>

jekyll island's picture

Who owns the most precious metals?  The central banks, paid for by the people of course.  Losing control of the market was already baked into the cake.  They are planning their next adventures in piracy and rape in the new economy which will have a gold backed currency somewhere.  

Western's picture

"Which begs the question: did Tim Geithner make a few phone calls, and tell foreigners to dump Treasurys, and to buy stocks instead in order to delay the next relapse of the Great Financial Crisis?"


Surely that's what you meant to say.

zorba THE GREEK's picture

"Which begs to question...."  Who the f___ listens to anything Timmy has to say these days?

Missiondweller's picture

No shit. They Chinese fucking laugh at him.....to his face.

max2205's picture

That chart looks like the SPY ... hummm

knukles's picture

So do the Eurpoeans.
Alls he's got left is the Middle Easteners and Africans for the Tri-Fecta

knukles's picture

Makes me wonder.....
How fucked up is the Whole World.
Lots of leaders, no leadership.

sun tzu's picture

I doubt any foreigners would buy US stocks because Tim Geithner told them to.

Pike Bishop's picture

My crystal ball is in the repair shop again, but i'll take a shot anyway...

China can and will, and it has nothing to do with Timmeh the Boy Blunder.

The bollocks of the American orchestrated "wealth effect" and likely impending doom of the Western Equity Markets, is giving China's own "wealth effect" a kick in the nuts.

They are taking major hits in the manufacturing/export of poisonous cheap toys for the kids to chew on, and electronic gizmos which fuck-up kids' minds for life.

1pt off of US Consumer GDP hits China shores at about a multiple of 5. And diarrhea in western stock markets has given China markets outright dysentery.

This is screwing with China's Central Planning.

I know this sounds weird, and I don't know what it will look like when it comes. But it makes sense for a whole bunch of reasons for China to bail-out US-market investors.

And they have to do it soon.

DogRockets's picture

Right on. When the host organism begins to die, the parasite, if aware of its impending demise, suddenly has cause to care about the host's continued well being. 

Smiddywesson's picture

I agree in part. but the current system cannot be saved.  China knows that, but they are cooperating anyway (restraining their gold acquisition and coordinating their margin hikes.)  They will not destroy themselves to save what cannot be saved.  So what's going on?  It's all a stall to create a new system of trade based on a new monetary standard.

jekyll island's picture

SW, I agree with your point about China's cooperation, but no one outside their inner circle really knows how much gold they have acquired, or how much they are buying directly from mining companies.  I would be surprised if it is not many times larger than their current "official" holdings.  They will enthusiastically support a gold backed currency and the price per ounce will be north of $10,000. 

AustriAnnie's picture

+1  There is a reason why China is encouraging their citizens to guy gold.  

TrulyBelieving's picture

Agree it's very possible no one would listen to Geithner, but who"s to say the orders didn't come from much higher up.