in the new Orwellian we face today, where freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength, one wonders just what it is that the US Treasury Department is trying to hide by its recent push for discussions about US government debt trading 'transparency' with the nation's biggest banks.
The U.S. Treasury Department plans to meet with market-makers and other electronic trading firms to discuss ways to bring more transparency to the $14.5 trillion market for government debt.
Bloomberg reports that U.S. officials are seeking industry feedback on how to publicly report prices for Treasury bonds for the first time, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Meetings will be held with New York-based firms this week and Chicago traders next week, said the person, who asked not be identified because the information is private. This follows conversations with the 23 primary banks and brokers that buy and sell U.S. debt directly from the government, said a different person familiar with the matter.
The current environment gives Wall Street dealers total knowledge of prices and trades while investors and market makers are in the dark about deals between banks and their customers, which comprise half of all trading.
It also hinders the ability of enforcement agencies to craft coherent policies because they don’t fully understand how Treasuries trade.
Some observers have expressed skepticism that any new rules will be implemented.
Mnuchin “vowed only to ‘study’ the wider dissemination of trade data, with the first principle of any reform to ‘do no harm,’” said Jim Greco, a co-founder of Direct Match Holdings Inc., a Treasury-trading firm that’s failed to break the banks’ stronghold on the market.
“I interpreted that as code for the new administration being much more friendly to banks, who universally oppose greater dissemination of trade data.”
So, forgive us a moment of speculation (while we don our tin foil hats) but the timing of Treasury's sudden interest in just how 'transparent' the market for US government bonds is - and the auction process for new debt issuance - is notably coincident with the growing threats and tensions with China (trade wars vs reduced bond auction participation) and Russia (actively reducing Treasury holdings).
With a nod and a wink from Treasury and The Fed, are the biggest primes being nudged to soak up the deficit-busting supply in a way that the current 'transparent' rules shade from the average joe's eyes?