China dumped more US Treasurys in May, pushing their holdings to the lowest level in two years, according to data released this week by the US Treasury Department.
The Chinese divested themselves of US debt for the third straight month, selling off another $2.8 billion in Treasurys in May. The month before, China dumped $7.5 billion in US bonds and that followed on the heels of the biggest US Treasury selloff by the Chinese in nearly 2 1/2 years in March. Over the last three months alone, the Chinese have shed $20.3 billion in US debt.
Markets reacted strongly to the June jobs report on Friday. Stocks fell. Bonds and gold got clobbered. The dollar got a boost.
In his latest podcast, Peter Schiff said the markets overreacted to the report. In fact, he said the jobs numbers were “no big deal.”
Gold has gone through some wild mood swings this week. It plunged back below $1,400 per ounce on Monday only to rally and climb back above that key level on Tuesday. What’s driving these fluctuations? And what should investors be focusing on? Mike Maharrey talks about it in this week’s Friday Gold wrap. He also touches on some positive signs in the silver market, the global movement toward de-dollarization, and he remembers a friend of liberty who passed away this week.
Gold dropped well below $1,400 on Monday. Mainstream analysts said sell-off was because hope for a resolution in the trade war interjected some optimism into the markets, pumped up risk sentiment and put a damper on safe-haven buying. But that optimism apparently faded fast. On Tuesday, gold began to rally again and pushed back above $1,400.
The fact is economic realities don’t support optimism.
In his latest podcast, Peter Schiff said he sees a lot of days with big moves up for gold in the future because the yellow metal has a lot of catching up to do.
The total amount of negatively-yielding debt globally surged to more than $13 trillion for the first time ever late last month.
The amount of negative-yielding bonds has grown precipitously since the Federal Reserve did a monetary policy 180 with the Powell Pause earlier this year. The European Central Bank poured fuel on the fire last month when it hinted at new rate cuts or even another round of quantitative easing. Since then, Austria, Sweden and France joined other countries with 10-year bond yields below zero. Meanwhile, Japanese and German rates plunged to all-time lows.
Do deficits even matter?
They used to — at least in conservative circles. And even in some progressive circles when Republicans were in control of Washington D.C. But today, the federal government is running record deficits and has pushed the national debt over $22 trillion and virtually nobody even bats an eye.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, John Yarmuth, chair of the House Budget Committee summed up the attitude toward the spending and debt in Washington D.C. He said he rarely hears from constituents concerned about rising deficits and debt. Many voters’ attitudes, he says:“There haven’t been any cataclysmic consequences, so why worry about it?”
China dumped more US Treasurys in April, selling off another $7.5 billion in US debt, according to the latest US Treasury Department data. This follows on the heels of the biggest US Treasury selloff by the Chinese in nearly 2 1/2 years in March.
Over the last two months alone, the Chinese have dumped some $17.5 billion in US debt.
Back in December, Peter Schiff said the Federal Reserve’s was about to do the last rate hike of the cycle. He went further and said the “Powell Pause” wouldn’t be enough and the next step would be rate cuts and another round of quantitative easing. Fast forward to today and nearly everybody expects that the Fed will cut rates at least once this year.
Jim Grant appeared on CNBC Markets Now on June 17 and shocked the panel when he said he thinks the Fed will actually cut rates during this week’s meeting. Most analysts expect the central bank to hold pat during this meeting and then possibly cut in July.
Whether or not he’s right about the timing, Grant offers a good explanation as to why the Fed will cut and the likely results. He says the central bank is pursuing a dual mandate of arsonist and fireman.
Bond prices have spiked and yields have fallen in the last several weeks. Investors are beginning to see a recession on the horizon and they are pouring into Treasurys believing they will provide a safe haven. In his most recent podcast, Peter said bond buyers are right about the looming recession, but they are making the wrong bet.
There is plenty of debate about tariffs right now. A lot of people oppose them because they support free trade. A lot of people support them because they believe they protect US industry. Others think tariffs are a great tool to force other countries – specifically China – to engage in fair trade. In today’s Friday Gold Wrap podcast, host Mike Maharrey argues that no matter what you think about tariff policy, you should pause and count the cost because tariffs are taking money out of your wallet. Mike also talks about the possibility of China using its “nuclear option” in the trade war and gives an overview of the news that drove the precious metals markets this week.