And we need a Belgian detective to explain some strange goings-on with recent sales and purchases of US Treasury paper, or IOUs, if you prefer. The gloomy but observant Mr. Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge has spotted that the Chinese have just dumped a huge amount of US securities:
[I]n a nutshell, Chinese Treasury holdings plunged by the most in two
years, after China offloaded some $48 billion in paper, bringing its total to only $1268.9 billion, down from $1316.7 billion, and back to a level last seen in March 2013!
That quote is with Mr. Durden's emphasis, by the way. He also informs us that the Japanese joined in this dumping of US securities as well. This was the second biggest dump by China ever. Don't think the Chinese are short of cash because according to Mr. Durden they have oodles (or noodles?) of the stuff, so the question remains, why have they suddenly become nervous of American paper?
But then the mystery deepens. When the American figures for foreign holdings of theri debt was published it actually increased slightly! Where did the new dosh come from? At this point, call in M. Poirot and his famous "little grey cells" because the country 'that never stops giving' turned out to be - wait for it - Belgium! Eh! What? Belgium? But of course, as Mr. Durden reminds us, the fact is that there is no such place as Belgium anymore:
[...] at a time when America's two largest foreign creditors, China and Japan, went on a buyers strike, the entity that came to the US rescue was Belgium, which as most know is simply another name for... Europe: the continent that has just a
modest amount of its own excess debt to worry about. One wonders what favors were (and are) being exchanged behind the scenes in order to preserve the semblance that "all is well"? [My emphasis this time.]
And what will happen, one wonders, when everyone realises that all is very much not well!