Yesterday in my post I reviewed the consequences of QE2 on the Federal Reserve balance sheet.
The bottom line: "The ‘net' increase in securities held outright by the Federal Reserve has been $589 billion, pretty close to the $600 billion ‘net' increase promised.
Reserve balances at Federal Reserve banks, a proxy for excess reserves in the banking system, have increased by $584 billion to $1,594 billion over this time period. Actual excess reserves in the banking system averaged $1,610 billion for the two-week period ending June 15, 2011."
Cash assets (excess reserves) at commercial banks in the United States rose by about $800 billion from December 29, 2010 to June 15, 2011 and closed slightly below $1,870 billion on the latter date.
Basically the Federal Reserve pumped all these reserves into the banking system and there they seemingly sit. Yet, the amazing thing is that of the almost $800 billion increase in cash assets in American banks, almost 85 percent of the increase, or about $670 billion, ended up on the balance sheets of Foreign-related Institutions in the United States.
And, what increased on the other side of the balance sheet?
Net deposits due to related foreign offices. These balances rose by almost $500 billion since the end of last year.
In essence, it appears as if much of the monetary stimulus generated by the Federal Reserve System went into the Eurodollar market. This is all part of the "Carry Trade" as foreign branches of an American bank could borrow dollars from the "home" bank creating a Eurodollar deposit. This Eurodollar deposit could be lent to foreign banks or investors and this would not change the immediate dollar holdings of the American bank. This lending and borrowing in Eurodollar deposits could then multiply throughout the world. And, the American bank might be the ‘foreign-related" institution mentioned above and included in the statistical reports.