Russia added another 36.6 tons of gold to its reserves in November, according to the latest data released by the World Gold Council.
This follows on the heels of a 29.9-ton increase to its hoard in October and a 37.8-ton increase in September.
China and Japan dumped more US Treasuries in October, even as the federal government continued to run up its debt.
Chinese holdings of US Treasuries dropped for the fifth straight month, sinking to the lowest level since May 2017, according to data recently released by the Treasury Department. The total amount of US debt held by China fell from $1.15 trillion to 1.14 trillion. Over the past year, the Chinese have shed $50 billion in US debt.
How much gold does China really have?
The short answer is we don’t really know.
Officially, the Chinese central bank’s reserves stand at 1,842.6 tons. But the People’s Bank of China has not announced an increase in its gold hoard since October 2016. But it has almost certainly added gold to its reserves since then. Just how much is anybody’s guess.
Peter Schiff appeared on RT America Friday to talk about the big stock market selloff in the wake of the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, a Chinese businesswoman accused of violating US sanction laws. The markets reacted negatively, fearing the arrest could derail apparent progress in the trade war.
Peter said Wanzhou’s arrest may have provided the catalyst sparked the sell-off, but it wasn’t the underlying cause.
This is a bear market. That’s why the market went down. If it wasn’t that, they would have found another excuse. If we were in a bull market, I think the market would have shrugged it off. So, we’re going lower.”
The Russians have an alternative money transfer system up and running, and according to a report in RT, it has now surpassed SWIFT in popularity in that country. This is part of a broader effort by countries like Russia and China to limit their dependence on the US dollar and set up alternative financial channels outside of the global dollar system.
As we reported last week, China is dumping US debt. China’s holdings of US Treasuries fell for the third consecutive month in August. The Chinese shed another $6 billion in US debt, dropping its total holdings to $1.165 trillion. Over the last year, China’s holdings of Treasury bonds fell by $37 billion year-on-year.
But China has debt problems of its own. Local Chinese governments have reportedly piled up about $5.8 billion in debt. An S&P analyst called Chinese debt “an iceberg with titanic credit risks.”
Peter Schiff recently appeared on RT to talk about the US and Chinese debt.
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.
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?
The trade war between the US and China escalated again this week. The US slapped an additional $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods. The tax starts at 10% and will increase to 25% by the end of the year. China retaliated by announcing another $60 billion in tariffs on US goods.
As Peter Schiff noted in his most recent podcast, people still think the US will win this trade war.