China sold off the highest level of US Treasurys in nearly 2-1/2 years in March. Meanwhile, there are renewed fears the Chinese could implement its “nuclear options” and sell off even more US debt in retaliation for US trade war tariffs.
China sold $10.45 billion in Treasuries in March. That was the biggest US debt dump by China since October 2016.
In this week’s Friday Gold Wrap, Mike Maharrey covers some more bad signs in the economy, including rising oil prices, an unexpected drop in retail sales and a surge in negative-yielding government bonds. At best, it looks like the economy is slowing down. Or it could be the prelude to the next crisis. This raises an important question: who’s going to save us? Mike suggests we probably shouldn’t be counting on the politicians or the central bankers.
Last week we reported that the yield curve on US Treasurys had inverted after the yield on the 10-year fell below the yield on 3-year bonds for the first time since 2007 – the cusp of the Great Recession. This has historically been an early-warning sign signaling a recession.
Now we have some more bad news for bond markets – this time on a global scale. The amount of government debt with negative yields has vaulted back above the $10 trillion mark and now makes up a full one-fifth of the global bond market.
As we pointed out in an article last week, the US federal government has added $1.5 trillion to the national debt over the last 12 months. As a result, the US Treasury Department is flooding the market with bonds. Meanwhile, the biggest buyers of US debt – China, Japan and the Federal Reserve – are shrinking their Treasury holdings. For the past several months, we’ve been saying this is a big problem for the US government that most people are overlooking. And we aren’t the only ones sounding warning bells.
The government shutdown apparently didn’t save Uncle Sam any money. The US Treasury Department said it will borrow about $8 billion more than originally estimated in the first quarter of 2019 as deficits continue to spiral upward.
According to new Treasury Department projections, the US government will issue $365 billion through credit markets in the January-March quarter. This stacks on top of the $426 billion borrowed through credit markets in the October-December quarter.
The US national debt increased by $1.27 trillion in fiscal 2018. If you expected the pace of borrowing to slow in fiscal 2019, you’ll be disappointed. In just the first 11 business days of the new fiscal year, the US government added another $138 billion of debt to the total. That brings the total national debt to a staggering $21.654 trillion — or as Wolf Street put it “debt out the wazoo.”
Meanwhile, the two biggest buyers of US Treasuries are in a selling mood.
Death-spiral — The downward, corkscrew-motion of a disabled aircraft which is unrecoverably headed for a crash.
The US federal government may well be in a death spiral – or perhaps we should call it a debt-spiral.
Interest rates are climbing quickly.
The yield on the 10-year US Treasury hit the highest level since 2011 in the midst of a massive bond sell-off Wednesday. The selloff spread across the globe on Thursday morning. ZeroHedge called the spike in yields a “monster move.”
Yields have been on the rise this week in the midst of a bond market sell-off.
Two-year borrowing costs hit their highest level in a decade Wednesday. The yield on the 2-year Treasury climbed to 2.816%. Meanwhile, the 10-year Treasury yield hit a four-month high of 3.07%.
What’s going on here?