Nine Observations on Q3 Reserve Data
January 3, 2013 - 10:11am
The IMF reported Q3 currency composition of foreign exchange reserves at the start of the week when many were on holiday. We offer the following observations. 1. As a whole, central banks drew down reserves during the financial crisis and have been rebuilding them. Total fx reserves stood at $10.78 trillion at the end of Q3 2012. This compares the estimated value of all above-ground gold (@~$1670 an ounce) of $8.49 trillion. 2. This represents a $610 bln increase over Q3 2011. This compares with the estimated value of the new gold produced in 2011 of about $125.5 bln. The bulk of the increase in currency reserves (~3/4 or $414 bln) came from countries that report the allocation of their reserves. China and some Middle East countries are strongly suspected not to report the allocation of their reserves. 3. The Swiss National Bank, which has defended a cap on the franc, appears to have p...
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