The Fed’s own holdings of MBS surged up by $13.089 billion and foreign central banks’ aggregate holdings of US obligations surged up by … nearly the same amount? Difference is just $4 million, which is odd to say the least. Maybe Charlene from Obfuscation Services was off with the flu last week and a hint about the inner workings of the Fed’s black box was allowed to sneak out 😉
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.
Treasuries large $13.148 billion growth matched that of the Fed’s own MBS holdings.
Agencies were essentially unchanged, slipping a mere $0.055 billion.
*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 $13.093 billion. Now where have we seen that number before?
Twist’s ratio graphs popped down.
The Setser numbers diverged smartly. Something, it would seem, doesn’t want that yellow line to get much closer to zero.
Notes and References
: “Foreign central banks’ US debt holdings rise – Fed”, Reuters, March 15, 2012.