China Trade Deficit Equals Treasury Doom
The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
VANCOUVER, Canada (Bullion Bulls Canada) -- It really is time for Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve to abandon the absurd myth that someone other than Ben Bernanke is still buying Treasuries.
In a recent commentary, I pointed out the obvious implications to the Treasuries market (as well as for the other sovereign deadbeat debtors) of the catastrophe in Japan, and the enormous amount of domestic wealth which would need to be repatriated to fund reconstruction.
Not only does this take Japan completely out of the market as a buyer of Treasuries, but it undoubtedly will be forced to liquidate much of its holdings of U.S. debt (assuming it can find anyone foolish enough to buy it).Now we have China disappearing from the list of "potential buyers" of those bonds as well. Despite the fact that China's economy had ceased to be export-dependent at least as far back as 2008, we continued to see media talking heads parroting the myth that not only was China's economy "dependent" on U.S. consumption, but that China was "forced" to plow most of its "vast trade surpluses" into Treasuries -- as the only means of preventing the appreciation of its currency. Over the weekend, China's government announced its first quarterly trade deficit in seven years. With that single announcement, both of those preceding myths have now been permanently dispelled. Despite its trade deficit, China's economic growth leaves all other nations in its dust. So much for being "export-dependent." Similarly, how many Treasuries is China "forced" to buy with a zero trade surplus? Obviously zero. Thanks to the runaway inflation caused by the reckless money-printing of Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve, there are no longer any nations in the world with both large trade and budget surpluses, meaning there are no more potential "big buyers" for Treasuries. Thus while the supply of Treasuries continues to be ramped up to new records on a quarterly basis, there is no demand. Period. This makes the Federal Reserve's 2011 "April Fools'" joke that it was about to stop buying Treasuries even less funny than its 2010 April Fools' joke that it had stopped buying Treasuries. Try to be original at least!
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