Friday, September 07, 2007

Is China quietly dumping US Treasuries?

From the Telegraph:

Is China quietly dumping US Treasuries?

A sharp drop in foreign holdings of US Treasury bonds over the last five weeks has raised concerns that China is quietly withdrawing its funds from the United States, leaving the dollar increasingly vulnerable.

Data released by the New York Federal Reserve shows that foreign central banks have cut their stash of US Treasuries by $48bn since late July, with falls of $32bn in the last two weeks alone.

"This comes as a big surprise and it is definitely worrying," said Hans Redeker, currency chief at BNP Paribas.

"We won't know if China is behind this until the Treasury releases its TIC data in November, but what it does show is that world central banks are in a hurry to get out of the US. They don't seem to be switching into other currencies, so it is possible they are moving into gold instead. Gold is now gaining momentum across all currencies and has broken through resistance at 500 euros," he said.

While the greenback has been resilient over recent weeks - even regaining something of a 'safe-haven' role as banks scrambled to buy the currency to cover dollar debts - most experts believe that America's $850bn current account deficit will eventually cause the dollar to resume its relentless slide.

If China is dumping bonds the real question in my mind is why? I've spoken before on the dangerous possibilities our gargantuan debt to China leaves us open to. If the TIC data shows that China is in fact dumping bonds you'll suddenly see our "leaders" kick into high gear to change our countries financial habits in order to avoid a total economic poop storm.

h/t to Obsidian Wings