The Fed’s own holdings of MBS were almost unchanged, dropping a measily $34 million, while the foreign cenbank holdings of agencies were pretty flat. On the other hand, the treasuries number went completely bonkers.
Now the pay-walled financial media are becoming nearly as secretive as the cenbanks, but there seems to be a consensus that a BoJ desperate to control the upward spiral of the yen bought about $100B of Treasury Debt on Halloween, which would seem to imply that while in the aggregate we’re looking at a record weekly buy of treasuries, if you take away Japan there was a massive record dump of about the same amount. All Doom has to say is it’s a good thing they’re not trying to do this with real money 😉
This week’s Reuters report1 is, as usual, based on the weekly update from the NY Fed’s H.4.1 table site.2 Here is Doom’s updated CSV version3 of the agencies and treasuries foreign central bank holdings data set.
At $50.506 billion this is the biggest weekly growth in the treasuries number. Ever.
Agencies are in a holding pattern, reversing to a small $0.102 billion rise.
*Agen-FM: The dotted line is the foreign central banks’ Agency Debt holdings reduced by the level of the Fed’s own MBS holdings. Since the FRBNY itself is a lightly audited peculiar amalgam of foreign & domestic, central and private bank I think it might be useful to consider the hypothesis that for a while starting in January 2009 the Fed’s MBS holdings were being quietly deemed to be “foreign.” That is, for the first half of ’09 the dotted line seems more sensible than the red one.
The net of US obligations surged $50.609 billion.
Twist’s ratio graphs hit an air pocket.
Both Setser numbers flew up, reversing recent history.
Notes and References
: “Foreign central banks’ US debt holdings rise – Fed”, Reuters, November 3, 2011.