from Follow the Money

Looking back at 2007

January 2, 2008

Blog Post
Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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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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