‘I’ve Got Plenty Of Buyers’: Steve Mnuchin Says People Are Lining Up To Invest In Trump’s Banana Republic

I’m reluctant to even dignify this with a post, but in light of the worsening tensions between Washington and Beijing and also in the context of the ongoing “Is China a currency manipulator?” debate, it bears mentioning.

This will be purposefully brief.

On Saturday, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the IMF annual meetings in Bali, Indonesia, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin again downplayed concerns about China dumping U.S. debt as a means of punishing the Trump administration for the Peter Navarro-inspired aggressive stance on trade.

After condescendingly noting that China is “free to do what they want to do” with respect to the composition of their reserve holdings, Mnuchin went on to brag about just how compelling U.S. debt is as an investment opportunity.

“We have plenty of buyers for Treasuries”, Steve said, adding that when it comes to his own interactions with China, the prospect of Beijing liquidating Treasurys “has never come up whatsoever.”

That, frankly, is a lie. Even if Mnuchin is telling the truth with regard to China having no intention of selling its Treasury stash, the idea that the subject has “never come up whatsoever” is patently absurd. If nothing else, it’s at least come up in the context of market rumors, even if only for China to dispel the notion.

“I hope [China] thinks it’s good to hold U.S. assets”, Mnuchin continued.

To be sure, it is obviously “good” to hold U.S. assets, because after all, they are denominated in the world’s reserve currency. But from the perspective of whether now is a good time to hold those assets, you’d be forgiven for suggesting that there has never been a worse time.

After all, this is an administration that has decided to balloon the deficit in the interest of piling fiscal stimulus atop an overheating economy, a move that is effectively forcing the Fed to hike that same economy into a recession. Why in God’s name would you borrow to fund stimulus at a time when the unemployment rate just hit a 48-year low? Just look at how anomalous this is:

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Disclosure: None of what I write here is to be construed as advice to buy or sell any kind of asset. It is merely my personal and not my professional opinion. Any asset can go to zero.

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