from Follow the Money

Looking back at 2007

January 2, 2008

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Milestones reached in 2007

The pound traded through two for the first time since September 1992.  Its November highs – 2.11 -- hadn’t been seen since the early 80s.

The Loonie breaks the buck – and stays there through the end of the year.

China adds over $250b to its reserves in half a year

Russia adds over $150b to its reserves in a year – and rapidly approaches half a trillion in reserves.  Not bad for a country than ran out of cash in 1998, when its reserves were less than its debts to the IMF (data in SDR).

China adds $400b to its reserves for the year -- barring a $100b check to the CIC in December.  Reserves were up $389b through October – even with a $40b increase in the foreign currency balance sheet of the state banks in the first ten months of the year and the transfer of around $27b to the CIC in September and October.   

Saudi real interest rates turn negative, joining most of the rest of the Gulf. 

The world’s central banks add over $1,000b to their reserves.   The final data isn’t yet out, but this one is as much in the bag as the New England Patriot’s perfect regular season.  

Milestones almost reached

$1.50 a euro

$100 for a barrel of oil.  That had to wait until the second day of 2008.

$100b in reserve growth for India.  With a week to go, reserves are up $95.47b ($93.75b excluding gold).  But to be honest, a lot of that increase reflects the increase in the dollar value of India’s large holdings of euros and pounds.  On a flow basis, India is only at around $85b for the year …

$100b in reserve growth for Brazil.    Brazil looks to be topping out at about $95b for the year.   Not bad for a country that started the year with $86b in the bank.

$1.5 trillion in Chinese reserves (only a bit over a year after reaching a trillion).  The only thing that kept China from reaching this milestone in 2007 is the (likely) transfer of around $100b to the CIC in December. 

Hidden milestones

GCC countries combine to add over $100b to their central bank reserves (and non-reserve central bank assets)*

A record number of private jet flights from New York to the Gulf …

*likely, but we don’t yet know because the UAE hasn’t released reserves data for q3, let alone q4 … and we don’t yet have data from SAMA for November and December.


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