Mark McHugh

Treasury is Re-writing History – Literally

In Open Thread on Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Once upon a time in America, $100 Billion dollar errors were considered a “big deal.”  Not so much anymore.  So if you are one of those confused souls who has no idea who the fuck is buying US Treasuries, take heart.  You are not alone.  Tim Geithner has catapulted himself to tops on that list by revising a few numbers on the “Treasury’s Estimated Ownership of U.S. Treasury Securities” report (TABLE OFS-2) .

Well, actually it was more than a few:

I present the Q1 version of OFS-2 and the Q2 version.  The changes since 2007 are highlighted (there are more…)  The red boxes show the most dramatic revisions:

Private Pension holdings were revised up $91.4 B.  (429.8 from 338.4)

The mysterious “Other Investors” holdings were revised down $126.2 B.  (874.9 from 1,001.4).

Are you trying to tell me that the US Treasury just figured out what the term “Private Pension” means?  I should also point out that these revisions pertain to Q4 2009, eight and a half months and 1.1 Trillion in debt ago.

It gets worse….

Glancing at back issues of the Treasury Bulletin, I can tell you that these are not the first revisions to OFS-2.  Wierd how the WSJ, FT, NYT, Steve Liesman, Erin and all the other jack-off  professional financial journalists never mentioned this before, huh? 

I used to be sort of embarrassed to admit that I take screen shots of things I don’t think the government wants us to see, just in case they should “disappear.”  For example, I know I’ve seen a video of Bernanke scoffing (literally) at a school kid and saying, “Today’s situation is nothing like the great depression.”  Poof. gone.  I’ve even offered a hundred bucks to anyone who can find it, but I digress.

I’d strongly urge concerned citizens to go download the back issues of the Treasury Bulletin now.  Like it or not, believe it or not. the blogoshere is America’s last line of defense.

  1. Mark, it gets even worser.

    “Other Investors” lose 126B in the revisions. But… States and Municipalities (S&M) gain 10, Mutual Funds (those MF’s!) gain 2, Ins. Co’s gain 23, and Private Pensions gain 101. I’m rounding a little with all of these (Rickey don’t do decimal places), but by my Ivy-league (non-Korean) math — which I did on the back of an envelope — that comes out to about 136 B. Where did the extra 10 B come from? Because it’s sure not in the monthly total — those aren’t revised at all.

    Now, I’m not suggesting anything black-helicopter is going on with the 10 B, but WTF? The numbers literally don’t add up.

  2. This is close to what you are looking for.

  3. James,

    I wrote a reply late last night – I guess it got eaten somehow.
    I have private pensions at 91B. There is a 400MM discrepancy in the totals that I didn’t bother to mention. The whole thing is black helicopter as far as I’m concerned…

    What I can’t figure out is why this story isn’t on the front page of the Washington Post. Private pensions? How many people get them anymore? Then consider that this report is telling you that they’ve bought 240 Billion Treasuries in less than three years – a 108% increase? Really? What did they sell to raise that kind of coin?

    Can’t everybody see that this has to be fraud?

  4. Mark,

    Yep, I either read the chart wrong, or I need smarter envelopes.

    That said, the chart is called “Estimated Ownership” — in other words, they don’t really know, and I suspect that “Other Investors” can really be translated as “We Have No Idea Where These Ones Are”. Maybe some other report comes in and they discover later that PP’s or whatever now own more than Treas. knew about in the previous period.

    PP’s buying that many Treasuries? I don’t know. They went from getting creamed in stocks to playing it safe in 2009 (so they could get creamed again in a few years). Of course, they’re getting no yield thanks to Bernanke, but I’ve come to expect incompetence.

    I wonder though, if “Other Investors” isn’t just a holding bin for Treasuries not yet sold by the PD’s?

  5. “I wonder though, if “Other Investors” isn’t just a holding bin for Treasuries not yet sold by the PD’s?”

    Me too. I think that’s what this crusade is about. These aren’t real auctions, the “demand” is artificial, but the debt isn’t.

    We are literally gifting our future to the Fed.

  6. I got a kick outta that!

  7. Hey Mark,

    That link I left yesterday was Bernanke saying, “Today’s situation is nothing like the great depression.” Try it this way, top article from Rueters (Bernanke: economic woes nothing like Depression | Reuters).

  8. Oh – I thought you were making a joke about how stuff disappears!

    You know, I think that time frame (April ’08) is right for when I remember seeing that video clip. 6 months later, that kid looked smarter than Zimbabwe Ben. Wierd how you can’t find it anymore, huh? Because I’d advocate that we put that kid in charge of the Federal Reserve!

  9. Oh – I thought you were making a joke about how stuff disappears!

    Heh, heh. That’s what I thought, too.

  10. No, I wasn’t joking, that kinda blew me away.

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