The ‘Mystery’ in TIC Is Likely Important Given These Big Numbers

by Jeffrey P. Snider
Alhambra Partners

The “first” part of the TIC data update for January was relatively straightforward, especially since the scale of the net transaction adjustments in both December and January really did match what happened in January (crossing into February). The Treasury Department’s estimate for foreign holdings of US dollar assets were nothing short of remarkable in all the ways that were expected (unless, of course, you are fully committed to “the narrative” and thus find it increasingly difficult to suggest how any of this is really nothing to be concerned about). As noted earlier, the net “selling” of dollar assets, primarily treasuries, was intense owing to the involvement of the “official” sector. The second part is trying to figure out who or where it was, as there is a bit of discrepancy especially for January.

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