The Fed’s own holdings of MBS shrank, but just by $2.625 billion and foreign central banks’ aggregate holdings of US obligations swung to a half-$B-a-day selloff after last week’s big buying splurge.
This week’s Reuters report1 is, as usual, based on the weekly update from the NY Fed’s H.4.1 table site.2 This week we’ve got a byline, and from one of Reuters’ real reporters no less. Maybe he’ll actually read what he’s writing; at least he re-inserted the correct link to the NY Fed tables 😉 Here is Doom’s updated CSV version3 of the agencies and treasuries foreign central bank holdings data set.
Treasuries slipped a mere $0.431 billion.
Agencies experienced a fairly substantial drop of $3.378 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 sagged $2.625 billion.
Twist’s ratio graphs continued down.
The treasuries Setser number was flat and the agencies number nudged down slightly. Indeed the treasuries number has been fluctuating around the same values now for about nine months, while the agencies number has been pretty stagnant since about October 2010. Even the Fed’s MBS line is noticeably flattening. Why does the phrase “deer frozen in the headlights” come to mind?
Notes and References
: “Foreign central banks’ US debt holdings fall: Fed”, by Daniel Bases, Reuters, March 23, 2012.