The LFB's  Instablog

Send Message
Turning 24-hour traded market momentum into actionable trading potential TheLFB is at the forefront of new-generation 24-hour global market trade support, offering an outsourced global market analysis program and White Label service. The company provides a subscription service for all level of... More
My company:
My blog:
  • Dramatic Change In Usd Note and Bill Values. Where Is The Truth? 4 comments
    Jun 26, 2009 6:50 PM The Forex Trader Portal

    Recent official reports suggest that foriegn buyers of U.S. debt are still showing support for dollar notes and bills, despite recent claims and headlines to the contrary. There is a major question however over how things are getting reported, because something dramatic just changed.

    Treasury auction bids are usually split in two, direct bids that come through primary dealers, and indirect bids that come from a foreign source that avoids the primary dealers. The split is done mainly for statistical purposes.

    Usually, the market uses indirect bids to gauge foreign central banks’ interest in U.S. debt, but as Trade Team notes, this view may be slanted because indirect bidders account for a large class of foreign investors, which includes foreign financial institutions, brokers and central banks. 

    Over the last week, indirect bidders for Treasuries surged from the long-run 25%-30%, to average close to a mind-boggling 60%, something that sent a shockwave through the financial market. It showed that foreign investors are still happy, or forced by high yields and low note valuations, to buy dollar denominated assets, but that does not tie in with recent verbiage and dollar based headlines and soundbites coming from abroad.

    There is a question however from the financial press in how the Treasury now counts and records bids; those bids that have caused foreign demand for U.S. debt to appear curiously strong. At a time that China and other important holders of U.S. debt complain relentlessly about the dollar’s valuation and maintaining the U.S. credit rating, and are announcing publicly that they are looking to reduce their holdings and reserves of dollar based assets, something is not adding up. 
    Now, it may be that the overseas holders of U.S. debt are in a pickle regarding forward dollar valuations, and it may be a game of smoke and mirrors is being played, but the Treasury auction reports raise more questions than give answers, at a time that the Federal Reserve tries to inflate foreign demand, and when most market participants question the fate of the ever-growing U.S. deficit.

    Clear-cut, reliable reporting, is what should be demanded. The credit crisis unfolded on the back of inadequate reporting standards, and a new truth needs to be laid out here, so that everybody involved in the the financial market can at least can take something from the pain of the last eighteen months; and that is something that should start at the top.

    The painful truth is that the U.S. economy is running on huge debt-to-growth ratios, and the indirect financing of the administration budget is now getting reported in a new/slanted way, one that reveals a larger than realistic desire to own dollar denominated debt. The same pattern – hiding/modifying of the truth – was observed with other key economic reports, like the CPI that has huge variables when compared directly to other regional reports, or M3 money supply numbers that were deemed "too expensive to produce" by Mr Alan Greenspan, during a period when the market was looking to those reports for guidance in finding fair Usd values.

    Too expensive? Currently, the Fed is one of a tiny group, and the only major central bank in the world, that does not publish the M3 numbers. Why? Is that truth too painful to know as well? Or is the American public not trustworthy enough to know what to do with the information? Something smells here, and it is not going away.

    Treasury Income Capital (TIC data) numbers are released again soon, albeit two months behind the current date, (ever wondered why it takes two months, when we live in an instant world?). The numbers will show the net flow of investment into the U.S. but questions will now be raised as to that report's credibility. TIC data may just join the group of U.S. reports that are just too painful to read, or have just plain lost their credibility; CPI, Non-farm Payroll, M3 money supply, and now TIC data.

    The volatility and realignment of fair value in response to these releases may continue to become irregular, but the doubt about the reporting standards is going to stay consistant; something really does not add up here.

Back To The LFB's Instablog HomePage »

Instablogs are blogs which are instantly set up and networked within the Seeking Alpha community. Instablog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors, in contrast to contributors' articles.

Comments (4)
Track new comments
  • John McLeod
    , contributor
    Comments (49) | Send Message
    My blogging partner Debi pointed me at your article. Thanks for adding your piece to a very important puzzle. We've been following the NY Fed's weekly updates of foreign central bank holdings of US obligations. Agency Debt levels have been reported as nearly perfectly flat at around $810 billion for 6 months now after a roller-coaster ride prior to 31 Dec '08. That line is clearly bogus, and should be added to your pile of evidence that the authorities are hiding something(s) large and stinky under the rug.
    28 Jun 2009, 09:11 PM Reply Like
  • The LFB
    , contributor
    Comments (73) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Something is not right here, and it is not us! We have looked at it from all angles and cannot get it to align. Fair Value is out of the window in the way things are going, and maybe soon it will all be seen as "Too Expensive To Produce". So long as we feel can just trust that the work going on behind the black curtain, that it all has our best interests at heart, who needs consistant reporting? Cough, cough....
    29 Jun 2009, 01:25 AM Reply Like
  • The LFB
    , contributor
    Comments (73) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Rember the Wizard of Oz, and the black curtain that housed the truth? Looks as though the Treasury may be back there too, peddling away to generate enough noise to keep things quiet, if you know what we mean!
    29 Jun 2009, 01:27 AM Reply Like
  • Tom Au, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (6879) | Send Message
    Actually, the "Wizard of Oz" was about taking the "yellow brick road," (gold standard) to "Emerald City" (the greenback). This was over 100 years ago, and we're now unwinding that process.


    On Jun 29 01:27 AM The LFB wrote:


    > Rember the Wizard of Oz, and the black curtain that housed the truth?
    > Looks as though the Treasury may be back there too, peddling away
    > to generate enough noise to keep things quiet, if you know what we
    > mean!
    24 Aug 2009, 12:32 PM Reply Like
Full index of posts »
Latest Followers

Latest Comments

Instablogs are Seeking Alpha's free blogging platform customized for finance, with instant set up and exposure to millions of readers interested in the financial markets. Publish your own instablog in minutes.