International holdings of Treasury bonds have nearly doubled since the start of the financial crisis, Asha Bangalore at Northern Trust notes–from $2.2 trillion to $4.1 trillion.

On behalf of the debtor-nation US, we thank you, world.  That’s another $2 trillion we owe you.  On top of the original $2 trillion.

Foreign Holdings Of US Treasuries

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Original source at: Money Game |

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Futures have shot straight higher in the last hour. It seems possible that markets are reacting to the Obama’s new $200 billion business bailout.


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Original source at: Money Game |

Before we get into the core visualizations, here are this week’s key observations:

  • Wheat net spec positions on the CBOT dropped substantially, from a record 36.7k to 25.9k W/W, even as they hit a fresh record on the KCBOT, at 71.6k from 67.6 W/W.
  • After some fireworks earlier in the year, Cocoa net spec positions have plunged to the lowest in the year, and the first negative print in 2010, at -1.6K, compared to 8.1K the week prior.
  • Silver COMEX net specs surged to the highest in 2010, hitting a 2010 record of 44.8K, compared to 34.8K the week prior.
  • Gold Comex net specs came at the second highest print of 2010 at 238K, an increase from 221K the week prior, lower only to the 244K recorded on June 22.
  • Currencies:
    • CHF – jumped to the highest in a month, at 14.3k, from 13.9k W/W
    • GBP – jumped to the lowest in over a month, at -15.3k, from -4.4k W/W
    • JPY – remained flat at 49.9K, compared to 51.0k W/W
    • EUR – short bets continue to increase in straight line, after hitting a 2010 high of -3.7K on August 10, the are now down to -25.6K, compared to -21.6K the week prior.
  • The most interesting observation is the net spec breakdown in 2 Year, 5 Year and 10 Year Treasury: as can be seen on the chart below, 10 Year positions surged Week over Week, jumping by a stunning 80k contracts, to 62.9K from -19.9K the week prior. This was only the first time this series has gone positive for the entire year. This is a major bullish inversion point at a time when the 10 Year is finally starting to decline. Someone may get burned…

And here are select visualized COT’s, courtesy of Libanman Futures

Consolidated commodities (non financials) COT report:


Financial COT report:



Did you know that your grandparents were making just as much money as you in the 70’s? It may not seem like it but apparently it is true. A new study reveals that wage growth for the average U.S. citizen has been stagnant since 1970. We work more hours and for less money than our parents and grandparents did. How is this so when previous generations never made $30,000 or $40,000 dollars per year?

The United States economy may have grown during the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s but the salaries of the middle class have not.  The reason for this is inflation. Factor in inflation and wages have not grown in 40 years. The price of goods and services has been outpacing wage growth. Homes, automobiles, electronics, and food all represent a larger percentage of personal income today.  A dollar today does not buy as much as it did in the 60’s.

Take a look at these statistics:


– The average salary was $7,564.

– A quart of milk was 33 cents.

– A loaf of bread was 25 cents.

– A dozen eggs were 60 cents.

– A pound of ground beef was 80 cents.


– The median wage was $32,390*.

– A quart of milk was $1.49.

– A loaf of bread was $2.00.

– A dozen eggs were $1.99.

– A pound of ground beef was $3.99.

Costs can vary for items depending upon your location and the food product. For example, premium breads can run $4 to $5 dollars. Eggs can get as high as $3.99 and leaner cuts of beef can run $5 to $6 per pound.

The point of this illustration is to demonstrate that wages have not risen at all when you look at their buying power. Individuals are making more money today than a generation ago but they are actually getting less for their dollars. As you can see, middle class Americans have struggled just to keep pace with inflation. The wealth that was gained over the past 40 years has trickled upward and not down to the average worker.

*The U.S. median wage was $32,390 per year, according to the most recent data from the Occupational Employment Statistics

Photo by: bigburpsx3