Foreign central banks decreased their US Treasury holding last november

The department of Treasury has released the last monthly TIC data for November 2012. 
As always, we are interested in Foreign Official Institutions (central banks, BIS, etc)

The data for October 2012 have already shown a net decrease for Foreign Official Institutions holding relative to Agency bonds (US$ -13,5 bn). 

We have started to discuss the big drop in TIC flows in our article on geoeconomy of US Treasury.
November data have confirmed this net decrease for Agency bonds (US$ -8,5 bn), and also a net decrease in US Treasury bonds (US$ -2,7 bn) :

This drop is not unique, but rare since 9/11 :

Who were the remaining friends of Treasury last november ? See below :

Source: nowandfutures.com


Stop the European bankers who are very reluctant to follow the new fixings regulation

Let's summarize the facts :
"Euribor-EBF believes that the Euribor benchmark should be run by an independent, non-profit driven structure, with the introduction of public supervision. [...] Euribor-EBF supports the introduction of European public supervision on benchmarks. Supervision should also apply before and after the fixing delivery."
"The European Commission [...] wish[es] to have the Euribor panel as large as possible in order to enhance the credibility of the benchmark. Therefore, they are considering making mandatory for banks with a significant turnover in the money markets to be part of the panel."
"Euribor-EBF agrees with the agencies that more specific controls have to be in place and that banks have to implement strictly the Code of Conduct they subscribe to when contributing to Euribor."
"[...] we are closely following the developments taking place as regards the shrinking number of panel members for establishing EURIBOR and EONIA rates. Given the authorities’ commitment to addressing the shortcomings revealed in the rate-setting process, it is in the interest of markets that banks remain in the panel while the regulatory framework is being amended and behave as responsible market participants, thus preventing potential disruption in the functioning of an important financial market segment."

One bank withdrew from the Euribor panel and four from the Eurepo panel between July and end November 2012. But the list of reluctant bankers is still growing :
  • Dec. 2012: HSBC ceases contributing to the Eurepo Index after 7 December 2012 
  • Dec. 2012: Rabobank stops contributing to the Eurepo & Eonia Swap Index on 11 December 2012 
  • Dec. 2012: DZ Bank stops contributing to the USD Euribor and Eonia Swap Index on 1 January 2013 
  • Jan. 2013: BayernLB has stopped contributing to the Euribor-Eonia, USD Euribor and Eurepo Indexes on 1 January 
  • Jan. 2013: Helaba Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen ceased contributing to the USD Euribor Index on 2 January 2013 
  • Jan. 2013: Banque et Caisse d'Epargne de l'Etat (Luxembourg) will stop contributing to Eurepo after 4 January 2013 
  • Jan. 2013: Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) will stop contributing to Euribor, Eonia, USD Euribor and Eurepo on 15 January 
  • Jan. 2013: Société Générale will stop contributing to the Eonia Swap Index after 15 January
  • Jan. 2013: Citigroup will cease contributing to the Eurepo Index as of 1 February 2013
These banks are clearly defying the regulators and the European Commission, hence harming the EU financial stability and our common interest. This is irresponsible. As citizens, we can boycott these banks. But we can also collectively ask to the european banking regulators to withdraw their banking licences, if the European Commission do not make them mandatory quickly to be part of the panel. If players do not want to play the new rules, they are not the players any more.

Euribor-EBF current Panel Banks
  • Euribor® Panel Banks : here
  • Eonia® Panel Banks : here
  • Eurepo® Panel Banks : here
  • Eoniaswap® Panel Banks : here

Update 02/08/2013 : citizens have been listened by EC 
"The Governing Council of the European Central Bank welcomes the European Commission’s intention to introduce further legislation regulating systemically important reference rates. [...]
The Eurosystem notes the recent decisions of some banks to withdraw from the Euribor panel. [...]
For such rates to remain representative, it is essential that there is an appropriate level of bank participation in the respective panels. The Eurosystem therefore welcomes the Commission’s intention to also include in its legislative proposal the power to compel mandatory submissions for systemically important reference rates, in order to prevent disruptions to their production process."
Source: ECB press release

"The Commission is considering a legal obligation for banks to participate in Euribor. Euribor-EBF considers this as a sensible precautionary measure against which there can be no objection."
Source: Euribor-EBF

Update 02/18/2013 : too-big-to-be-ruled banks (or thinking so) are still defying the EC and Euribor-EBF
  • Feb. 2013: Barclays will cease contributing to the Eurepo Index as of 18 February 2013
  • Feb. 2013: Deutsche Bank will stop contributing to the Eurepo and Eonia Swap Indexes as of 18 February 2013

Update 04/6/2013 : in March others too-big-to-be-ruled banks (or thinking so) again defied the EC and Euribor-EBF, but in April the institutions reacted: the operators of the transactions have to be located in EU or EFTA, targeting international banks. 
  • Feb. 2013: LBBW will cease contributing to the Eurepo and USD Euribor on 22 February
  • Feb. 2013: JP Morgan will cease contributing to the Eurepo Index as of 1 March
  • March 2013: Credit Suisse will stop contributing to the Eurepo Index as of 8 March
  • March 2013: Svenska Handelsbanken will cease contributing to the Euribor-Eonia panel as of 20 March
  • March 2013: UBS will stop contributing to the Euribor-Eonia panel after 28 March

"Eonia is computed as a weighted average of all overnight unsecured lending transactions in the interbank market, undertaken in the European Union and European Free Trade Association  (EFTA) countries by the Panel Banks."
The EFTA countries list is: Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

The Euribor reform will be implemented by mid-June 2013.

Update 05/14/2013 :
  • April 2013: Citibank ceased contributing to the Eonia Swap Index panel as for 16 April
  • May 2013: LandesBank Berlin ceased contributing to Euribor- Eonia and USD Euribor panels on 1 May

Update 05/29/2013 :
  • May 2013: Bank of Ireland will stop contributing to the Eurepo after 31 May
  • May 2013: LBBW will cease contributing to Euribor after 31 May
  • May 2013: Helaba will cease contributing to Euribor after 31 May

Update 06/02/2013 : Euribor and Eonia panels to be differentiated as of 1 June 2013; whatever banks may believe,  or the current practices in other part of the world, they simply cannot win their fight against public regulation in Europe.
"Euribor-EBF takes this opportunity to invite former panel banks to re-join either the Eonia or the Euribor panel of contributing banks. As publicly stated by Commissioner Barnier, the forthcoming European Commission’s proposal on benchmarks will indeed include the power to impose mandatory submissions on banks." 
Source: Euribor-EBF and ECB 

    Update 06/20/2013 :
    • June 2013: ING ceased contributing to the Eurepo after 7 June

    Update 07/06/2013 :
    • June 2013: Allied Irish Bank (AIB) ceased contributing to the Euribor, Eonia and Eurepo fixings after 28 June
    • June 2013: Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (NordLB) ceased contributing to Euribor and USD Euribor after 28 June

    Update 07/23/2013 :
    • July 2013: Credit Agricole ceased contributing to Eurepo as of 1 July 2013 
    • July 2013: HSBC France ceased contributing to the Eonia Swap Index after 12 July 
    • July 2013: Commerzbank ceased contributing to USD Euribor after 19 July 
    • July 2013: Natixis ceased contributing to the USD Euribor as of 5 July 
    • July 2013: Danske Bank ceased contributing to Eonia as of 15 July

    Update 08/23/2013 :
    • August 2013: BNP Paribas will cease to contribute to the Eurepo and Eonia Swap indexes as of 12 August

    Update 09/20/2013 :
    • Sept. 2013: Credit Agricole and Credit Suisse have ceased contributing to the Eonia Swap Index as of 18 September 2013
    09/18/2013: "Euribor-EBF welcomes the European Commission’s Proposal for a Regulation on indices used as benchmarks in financial instruments and financial contracts. The possibility for supervisors to impose mandatory contributions is a positive measure. Until it is in place, it will hopefully lead panel banks and authorities alike to take their responsibilities and ensure that Euribor is not discontinued."

    Update 10/07/2013 :
    • 10/1/2013 : publication and of the new Euribor Code of Conduct, immediately in vigor. The highest possible sanction in case of misconduct is a permanent exclusion from the Euribor panel. 

    Update 10/23/2013 :
    • Oct. 2013 : Erste Group ceased contributing to the Euribor and Eurepo indexes after 11 October 2013.

    Update 11/20/2013 :
    • Oct. 2013 : RBS will ceased contributing to the Eonia Swap Index after 31 October 2013.

    Update 12/15/2013 :
    • Nov. 2013 : KBC has ceased contributing to the Eurepo index as of 13 December 2013.

    Final update 01/7/2014 :
    • list of Euribor panel banks and rates since 2004, by month

    Gold, the renminbi and the multiple-currency reserve system

     The Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum and the World Gold Council have just released a new report called "Gold, the renminbi and the multiple-currency reserve system".

    The foreword is by itself a very good synthesis of the current situation :
    " The world is preparing for possible twin shocks from the parlous position of the two main reserve currencies, the dollar and the euro. As China weighs up its options for joining in the reserve asset game, gold – the official asset that plays no formal part in the monetary system, yet has never really gone away – is poised, once again, to play a pivotal role. [...] No other reserve asset seems safe from the coming dollar shock. "
    If this new international monetary system preparation and the dollar replacement as the major reserve and international currency still looks incredible for you, here are others synthetic views of the current situation :

    ECRI U.S. Weekly Leading Index ;
    data serie from 1967 to 1/4/2013; click to zoom

    Share of AAA-rates assets as part of the total fixed income markets

    ...this is the rush towards new safe assets (for instance below Australian AAA sovereign bonds) :

    ...and out from the U.S. Treasury and Agency securities :

    ...and add to this the reports about gold massively bought and recycled out from LBMA system or newly claimed by Asian countries.

    Now back to the OMFIF report : Chapter 4 summarizes different prospective scenarii for the 2013-2018 timeframe. As usual with prospective-only scenario, they simply ignore the politics, and let the readers do their own choice. More, they do not argument at all why they have chosen these scenario and not others ones, and do not even mention Japan.

    I have then to give my own view, based on previous political anticipation about the strenghtening of the eurozone, more political integration into Euroland+ (i.e. EU less UK plus Scotland), more weakness of the Fed blunt monetary policy, increasing defiance towards Fed monetary policy from others interests, and a new monetary policy from Japan following the recent election (cf Yahoo News). 

    Currency zone
    Macroeconomic developments
    Currency effect
    Impact on gold
    US economy in recession due to fiscal tightening and ineffective policies. Public finances remain weak, as does domestic demand.
    Dollar drops as fast as the new reverse system is taking momentum.
    Gold market manipulation and Euro strength are initially gold negative, but US weakness then cannot avoid to boost gold.
    Eurozone / Euroland+
    Euro area works through its problems and survives intact, thanks to the new integrated policies and macroeconomics tools.
    Euro strengthens as Europe appears to have overcome the crisis.
    Euro strength is gold negative, but US weakness then cannot avoid to boost gold.
    China and South Asia
    China tries to stimulate domestic demand.
    Renminbi decouples from dollar as further de-pegging is seen as attractive.
    Chinese buying continues. Emerging market central banks continue opportunistically to build up gold stocks.
    Japan tries to stimulate domestic economy using a new monetary policy.
    BoJ decouples from Fed policy as further pegging of Yen with Renminbi is seen as attractive.
    BoJ have to buy some gold stocks to back their own currency, and/or sell their U.S. Treasury for others bonds.

    I will discuss UK geoeconomics in a future article, if this priority increases.


    Une bonne année

    Parce que Conscience Sociale, c'est d'abord cela: un projet profondément humain.

    Bonne année à vous tous !

    Remerciements chaleureux et amicaux aux artistes et créateurs qui se reconnaîtront ici ;) et qui ont su, bien mieux que je ne saurais le faire, concocter ces vœux d'un nouvel âge.


    Rapport du Parlement européen sur le programme de la CIA de détention secrète et de torture

    La terreur qui frappe l’Amérique le 11 Septembre 2001 met les institutions des Etats démocratiques à rude épreuve. Le lendemain de l’attentat, les Etats-Unis déclarent ouverte « la guerre contre le terrorisme » et lancent une vaste traque planétaire et clandestine des présumés terroristes. Il s’agit du programme de « restitutions extraordinaires » élaboré par la CIA. Il est agréé par les Etats-membres de l’OTAN et mis en œuvre par leurs services spéciaux entre 2001 et 2006.

    Ses victimes - combien sont-elles ? - ont été kidnappées, torturées, enfermées ; leur intégrité et leur dignité ont été profanées de façon procédurale et systématique. Certaines croupissent toujours, sans espoir de procès, à Guantánamo. A ce jour aucun responsable politique, aucun agent des services d’Etat, aucun président d’entreprise sous-traitante, ni en Europe ni aux USA, n’a été tenu de s’expliquer et de rendre des comptes.

    Partout l’impunité fait loi. En Europe, les Etats ont eu à connaître de cette entreprise criminelle. Ils y ont participé, tacitement ou de façon active, certains jusqu’à autoriser plusieurs centaines de vols clandestins de la CIA dans leur espace aérien, d’autres jusqu’à tolérer sur leur territoire des sites de détention et de torture secrets.

    Onze ans plus tard, après de nombreux rapports, enquêtes, articles et témoignages confondants, les Etats n’ont toujours pas lâché prise : pas de reconnaissance des faits, pas d’excuses ni de réparations aux victimes, pas de responsabilités identifiées. Le rapport adopté le 11 septembre 2012, que j’ai eu la responsabilité de conduire pour le Parlement européen, met les Etats européens au pied du mur de la vérité. Il conforte et légitime les travaux des journalistes, des défenseurs des droits de l’Homme, des parlementaires, des juristes, des experts, des victimes, qui jour après jour, relèvent le défi de vérité.

    Non, le Parlement européen n’accepte pas qu’au nom des citoyens et de leur sécurité, les États développent des pratiques illégales clandestines, violatrices des droits de l’Homme et se dispensent de rendre des comptes. En 2007, mon prédécesseur, Claudio Fava, avait dû affronter les outrances assumées des atlantistes virulents, pour lesquels il n’y aura jamais de plus belle preuve de loyauté envers l’Amérique que le secret gardé sur l’exécution du programme de la CIA. Pendant les travaux de la commission d’enquête, ils avaient déployé tous leurs efforts pour saper la démarche d’enquête, discréditer les témoins auditionnés, protéger les secrets d’État et dénier le besoin de vérité.

    Mais à l’heure où les télégrammes diplomatiques ont pignon sur le net, où les archives des services secrets s’étalent dans les ruines des dictatures déchues, où les victimes des tortures passent du côté du pouvoir, les négationnistes sont moins diserts. Seuls désormais, les Etats tentent de protéger leurs secrets de polichinelle. Poussés à rendre des comptes, ils rechignent, tergiversent, mentent, feignent, retardent, camouflent. Ils se tiennent par la barbichette à qui parlera le dernier !

    Lors de l’audition organisée au Parlement européen en mars 2012, aucune autorité invitée n’est venue défendre son enquête, pas un procureur, pas un ministre, pas un parlementaire. La conjuration nationaliste est-elle trop forte ? Les pressions américaines trop convaincantes ? « L’Etat profond » trop puissant ? L’enquête trop peu crédible ? L’Europe ne doit pas abandonner les Etats à leurs démons. La clause européenne de solidarité et de confiance mutuelle doit être activée, elle est le levier qui peut forcer le couvercle de la vérité.

    L’Europe serait la première victime du déni. Sa promesse de dignité et de démocratie anéantie, elle perdrait toute autorité ! Le lendemain de l’adoption du rapport, le 12 septembre 2012, répondant à la presse, le Président le la République de Roumanie dit : « La Roumanie suivra les recommandations du Parlement européen ». Une onde d’espoir parcourt la planète des « épris de justice ». La vérité viendra.

    Ce texte empreint d'une profonde volonté de renforcer le contrôle démocratique est la préface de la député européenne Hélène Flautre, publiée le 6 décembre 2012, à son livre en libre diffusion :  « Le programme secret de la CIA et le Parlement Européen :  Histoire d'un forfait, histoire d'un sursaut ».
    Je ne saurais trop vous conseiller de télécharger le rapport officiel annexé à ce livre enquête d’Hélène Flautre et de Bertrand Verfaillie ou le visionner avec d'autres vidéos sur le site d’EELV au parlement européen.
    Il s'agit d'une remarquable et si précieuse mise en application d'une parole de Arendt: « Le courage est la première de toutes les vertus politiques ». C'est aussi l'aune à laquelle on mesure la capacité d'un peuple à maîtriser son devenir. Ce rapport est un acte qui grandit tous les Européens, grâce aux vertus des « obstinés de la vérité » et de la transparence.