Sometimes the most important details are free for the taking. Thirty seconds on Wikipedia will confirm that Hillary Clinton turned 65 years old exactly two weeks ago. That means she will turn 69 shortly before the next scheduled presidential election. OK, Joe Biden will turn 70 in a week and a half, but he hasn’t been trying to break some Guinness World Record for accumulated air miles over the last four years. Have you seen recent pictures of the Secretary of State? Bill in the East Wing baking cookies just isn’t going to happen.
In the extremely unlikely event that Obama manages to navigate years five through eight of the quarter-century post- Panic of ’08 long depression without completely wrecking too much of the furniture he’s going to be remembered by historians as a statesman to rival Disraeli. Good luck with that … and if he turns the trick those same historians are going to be hugely regretting America’s waste of Samuel Tilden. But win or lose, neither party’s convention is going to be easy to rig in ’16, so a return to democracy towards the end of this mandate is very possible. Heck, I haven’t been this optimistic all month!
So to work. Curiously, the Fed’s own MBS number stalled, rising just $0.024 billion and foreign central banks’ holdings of agencies were almost unchanged too. Even the treasuries number fell moderately after last week’s big buying spree.
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 swung to a loss of $5.136 billion.
Agencies continued its recent deterioration, but limited its loss to just $0.208 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 fell by $5.136 billion, but that was just a third of last week’s big growth.
Twist’s ratio graphs swung back to a moderate gain.
The Setser numbers both fell this week but only slightly.
Notes and References
: “Foreign central banks’ US debt holdings fall – Fed”, Reuters, November 8, 2012.