The Fed’s own holdings of MBS fluctuated back down $12.250 billion, coming to rest at about where they were in mid-November last year. Foreign central banks’ holdings of US obligations didn’t move very much.
This week’s Reuters report1 is, as usual, based on the weekly update from the NY Fed’s H.4.1 table site.2 Since a human likely had to change the stock headline from “rose” to “fell” they may have seen that the link to the Fed tables was missing, and simply took out the reference. Is it my imagination, or are news organizations trying very hard in this era give their readers as little useful information as possible? Here is Doom’s updated CSV version3 of the agencies and treasuries foreign central bank holdings data set.
Treasuries’ winning streak ended, with the trend swinging to a modest $4.250 billion shrinkage.
Agencies again grew by $2.866 billion, but this didn’t match the figures for the previous two weeks.
*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 sagged down, but only by $1.384 billion
Twist’s ratio graphs rose again.
The Setser agencies number was flat while the treasuries number nudged a bit closer to its rendezvous with the zero line.
Notes and References
: “Foreign central banks’ US debt holdings fell – Fed”, Reuters, March 1, 2012.