Yesterday ZeroHedge posted a slightly garbled explanation as to why, when the Fed has been buying mortgages like crazy for weeks, their declared own holdings of MBS were again flat, up just $0.013 billion. And the foreign central banks have been running in circles the last two weeks, selling about as many agencies this week as they bought the previous week, and buying not much more treasuries this week than they sold off last.
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 surged $11.549 billion, reversing last week’s plunge “plus GST”.
Agencies swung to a $1.482 billion loss, which neatly wiped out last time’s modest gain.
*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 gaily floated up $10.067 billion, so that the net change over the last two weeks stands at a bit more than $1B.
Twist’s ratio graphs rebounded down.
The Setser treasury number was a bit of a moon shot this week.
Notes and References
: “Foreign central banks’ US debt holdings rise – Fed”, Reuters, October 11, 2012.