The Russians are dumping US Treasuries and buying gold.
As we reported earlier this week, the three largest holders of US Treasuries are not in a buying mood. In fact, they’re selling. The Japanese disposed of $12.3 billion in US debt. Meanwhile, Chinese Treasury holdings fell by $5.8 billion. The Federal Reserve has shed about $70 billion in US bonds since launching its tightening program last fall. So far, individual and institutional investors have picked up the slack.
Lost in the latest data about Treasury holdings was the fact that Russia dumped nearly half of its US debt in April. But even as it divests itself from US bonds, Russia’s total reserves have grown as the country adds to its gold holdings.
The Japanese and Chinese aren’t buying US Treasuries. In fact, both countries reduced their holdings in April.
According to the US Treasury Department, the Japanese disposed of $12.3 billion in US debt. Meanwhile, Chinese Treasury holdings fell by $5.8 billion.
This could be a troubling development for the US government as it scrambles to fund its massive deficits and ever-growing debt.
On Tuesday, the Dow Jones dropped nearly 200 points. Gold fell close to 2% and fell below the $1,300 mark. Meanwhile, bond prices dropped as yields on the 10-year pushed above the 3% level.
In his most recent podcast, Peter Schiff said we’re witnessing a bond breakdown as it gathers momentum.
In fact, the bond market had one of its worst days all year Tuesday.
The US government has hit borrowing levels not seen since the peak of the financial crisis.
The US Treasury’s net borrowing totaled $488 billion from January through March, according to a statement released Monday. That was $47 billion more than the department’s estimate. It was also a record for first quarter borrowing, according to Bloomberg.
He’s been dubbed the “Bond King,” but Jeffery Gundlach isn’t particularly bullish on bonds right now – at least not US government bonds. And he’s certainly not bullish on stocks. Gundlach has his eyes on gold.
Gundlach heads DoubleLine Capital, overseeing some $119 billion in assets. During a speech at the 2018 Sohn Investment Conference last week, he said an “explosive, potential energy” of a huge “head-and-shoulders bottom” base was signaling a move of $1,000 in gold prices.
Last week, Pres. Trump said US markets might have to endure some short-term pain if the trade war with China escalates. But never fear, in the long run, everything will be great!
We have to do things that other people wouldn’t do. So, we may take a hit, but you know what, ultimately, we’re going to be much stronger for it.”
Peter Schiff agreed there is going to be short-term pain. And we’re also going to suffer some long-term pain.
Peter wasn’t focusing so much on the trade war, but a scenario certainly exists where Chinese retaliation could lead to some serious long-term pain for the US economy. It could pull out the ace up its sleeve.
Expectations that the Fed will continue and perhaps even quicken the pace of interest rates hikes have created headwinds for gold. But there another side to the rising interest rate phenomenon that a lot of people in the mainstream seem to be missing. According to a recent Bloomberg report, the prospect of a higher interest rate environment is feeding signs of financial stress among debt-laden consumers.
This doesn’t bode well for the US economy and could spur safe-haven demand for gold.
The Federal Reserve claims to be tightening. According to the conventional wisdom, the Fed will raise interest rates at least three times in 2018 – maybe even four. And last fall, the central bank announced its plan to begin shrinking its balance sheet.
But have you actually looked at the Fed’s balance sheet? Dan Kurz of dkanalytics.com has. In fact, he has dug deep into the Federal Reserves opaque world of financing and concluded all of this talk of shrinking balance sheets and normalized interest rates is pure fantasy.
As sure as night follows day, before all too long the world’s leading central banks will be abandoning both fledgling interest rate increases and QT fantasies (reducing the size of their balance sheets by selling bonds and stocks) out of ‘status quo necessity.'”