Kina og Japan står ikke foran brandudsalg af US treasuries

Det amerikanske gældsloft får rigelig omtale. Tre pointer, der er værd at hæfte sig ved:

1. Selvom Reuters i august skrev, at Kina og Japan har solgt kraftigt ud af deres beholdninger af amerikanske statsobligationer – måske på grund af inflationsfrygt eller default risk – så viser Federal Reserve’s egne tal, at faldet i juni 2013 mere ligner et almindeligt udsving end et brandudsalg. Kina og Japan er stadig langt (!) de største udenlandske ejere af amerikanske treasuries.

2. En amerikansk default fører næppe til at Kina og Japan kaster deres statsobligationer fra den ene dag til den anden, da den amerikanske dollar helst ikke skal blive for billig over for kinesiske yuan og japanske yen. Se f.eks. denne forklaring fra Mathew Klein ovre på Bloomberg:

Profit-seeking investors would rightly try to get their money out of a country with such dysfunctional political institutions by selling every dollar-denominated asset they own. The Federal Reserve could offset the impact of these sales on domestic interest rates, but the exchange value of the U.S. currency would plunge against our trading partners. That would be great for U.S. exporters but disastrous for anyone outside the U.S. who wants to sell things to American consumers and businesses. Many countries would feel compelled to intervene and offset the actions of their (and our) private citizens. The seemingly bizarre implication is that China and Japan would probably end up buying far more dollar-denominated assets after a U.S. government default than they do right now.

3. En amerikansk default behøver ikke medføre tab af cash flow i den private sektor. Federal Reserve har ret til at købe obligationer garanteret af den amerikanske stat – uafhængigt værdien af denne garanti. Ergo, kan de købe fra den private sektor og holde dem ind til en betaling formentlig vil finde sted. Sådan lyder det ifølge en kommentar fra Deutsche Bank, der blev citeret på FT Alphaville:

What could the Fed do to promote financial stability? First, the Fed could purchase defaulted Treasury securities. There is nothing immediately evident in the Federal Reserve Act that would preclude the Fed from this action. That is, these securities would still qualify for purchase under Section 14 of the Federal Reserve Act because they would still be guaranteed by the US Government, even if that guarantee weren’t able to be acted on fully for a time. Those securities and accumulated interest would be redeemed at some point.

Photo credits: Wuyouyuan
Photo credits: Wuyouyuan

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