Foreign Exchange Trading Soars to $6.6 Trillion a Day, US Dollar is Total King

Ginormous numbers, FX swaps and spot trades, USD, EUR, JPY, GBP, Australian & Canadian dollars… but where the heck is China’s CNY?

It happens every three years: The Bank for International Settlements released its Triennial Central Bank Survey about the global foreign exchange (FX) and over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets, as it occurred in April. The numbers are ginormous, and get more ginormous with every survey, with trading volume measured in trillions of dollars per day. This is a huge data trove, and I will focus here on global FX trading.

To start with, there are the amounts. Currencies are traded in pairs, such as the US dollar against the euro. In April 2019, trading in FX markets reached $6.59 trillion per day, up 30% from the prior survey period, April 2016. Trades with the USD on one side of the trade averaged $5.82 trillion per day in April 2019. This was up 31% from the daily average in April 2016 and was over five times the daily average in April 2001:

The sudden appearance of the euro in 2001 as the second largest currency out of nowhere indicates that at that time, it had just replaced five currencies, including the biggie, the Deutsche Mark.

The chart above shows the top 16 most traded currencies. Four have a significant share – USD, EUR, Japanese yen (JPY), and British Pound (GBP). The remaining 12 of the top 16 currencies are the limp spaghetti at the bottom of the chart, including the Chinese renminbi (CNY).

In terms of the share that a currency is on one side of a trade, the US dollar remains total King, at 88.3%. Its share has remained relatively stable over the years, despite three factors:

One, the arrival of the euro, whose share, after a brief surge to 38% between 2001 and 2010, got whacked by the euro debt crisis in 2010-2012, and fell to a series low of 31.4% in 2016. But in 2019, its share ticked up to 32.3%. This slight increase in share was due to higher than market-average growth in trading of the EUR/JPY and the EUR/CHF currency pairs.

Two, the surge of emerging market currencies, including the CNY, from near zero in 2001 to 21% in 2016, and to 24.5% in 2019.

Three, the arrival of the CNY, whose share rose from 0% in 2007 to 4.0% in 2016, but has essentially remained stuck there, at 4.3% in 2019, which puts the currency of the second largest economy in the world just below the currency of a tiny economy, Switzerland.

CNY trading, with a turnover of $284 billion a day, was in eighth place, with the USD being on the other side in 95% of the trades.

The Japanese yen, however, lost 5 percentage points in share since 2016, dropping to a new low of 16.8%, down from 28% in 1999. But it remains the third most actively traded currency. The report notes that the decline in turnover in 2019 was mostly a reflection in the decline of the JPY/USD cross “amid low volatility.”

Brexit or not, the British pound’s share has remained at 12.8%, approximately flat since 2010:

The chart below shows the percent share of the top currencies. Combined, the emerging market currencies weigh in with 24.5%, but individually, their share is small, with the CNY coming out at the top with a 4.3% share. The Mexican peso and the Turkish lira lost share:

In terms of trading pairs, the USD/EUR was by far the most popular trade, with 24% share of the total FX turnover, followed by the USD/JPY:

Turnover grew in all categories:

The bulk of the growth in FX trading came from FX swaps, which jumped by 35% since 2016, to $3.2 trillion per day in April 2019, for a share of 48.6% of total FX market turnover. FX swaps are mostly used to manage funding liquidity and hedge currency risk. The USD was on one side of 91% of all FX swap transactions.

The turnover in spot trades also grew, but only by 20% over the three-year period, to $2.0 trillion per day, and its share fell to 30.2%.

Trading of outright forwards soared by 43% to $1 trillion per day, with a large part of the increase reflecting the surge of non-deliverable forwards (NDFs). This gave them a share of 15.2%.

Trading in FX options and other products rose to $294 billion a day, for a share of 4.5%

Trading in currency swaps ticked up to $108 billion a day for a share of 1.6%.

Where the heck does this data come from? The survey “involved central banks and other authorities in 53 jurisdictions,” which collect data from around 1,300 banks and dealers in their jurisdictions and reported it aggregated by country to the BIS. “Turnover data are reported by the sales desks of reporting dealers, regardless of where a trade is booked, and are reported on an unconsolidated basis, i.e. including trades between related entities that are part of the same group.” Yes, trillions of dollars per day.

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  68 comments for “Foreign Exchange Trading Soars to $6.6 Trillion a Day, US Dollar is Total King

  1. Frederick
    Sep 18, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    So what’s your point It’s a perfect time to sell dollars and buy metals before things turn south ? I’ve got dollars, Euros, Turkish lira, Polish Zloty , Gold and Silver but mostly USD and metals and I’m thinking of lowering my dollar portion soon

    • Sep 18, 2019 at 6:06 pm

      For every trade there is a seller and a buyer. Looks to me like you’re going to be a seller. That’s what makes a market.

      • RobvC
        Sep 19, 2019 at 6:55 am

        Dry, not stirred :^)

      • ZEPPO
        Sep 19, 2019 at 9:37 am

        Spot-on commentary, Wolf. What’s interesting right now is the amount of publicity the currency markets are getting. OTC derivatives (privately created on paper out of thin air, exponentially leveraged, extremely under-regulated, IPO means “Initial Private Offering”) come attached to four spaces: currencies, commodities, credit (mortgages, etc.) and interest rates. The interest rate space is, by far, the largest at approximately 80% of the entire OTC derivatives markets. They have been around since the late 80s-early 90s years. The public, unless it read/saw “The Big Short” or “Too Big To Fail”, remains clueless to the harm the Credit Default Swap (CDS) fiasco did to all of us in the 2007-09 timeframe.

    • Vespa P200E
      Sep 18, 2019 at 6:41 pm

      Gold in Euros hit peak recently. Been buying gold since 2014 maxed on 2 eBay accounts’ 8 to 10% cashback $500 Bucks quarterly offer mostly from APMEX till they began to charge taxes for CA residents. Still buying mostly NGC or gold proofs from mints with certs. Lost money buying ETF GDX since 2015 till recent gold rallies. Was barely even and most of the time losses but up nicely since June. Been loading up on silver mostly from eBay seller Bullion Exchanges on 20 to 25 roll 1 ozs last 2 months and loaded up on silver miner ETF SIL.

      • Dale
        Sep 18, 2019 at 8:57 pm

        Bah! Gold is a dead end. It doesn’t have a dividend. You definitely should *not* have 10% of your portfolio in gold like this loser.

        • CRV
          Sep 19, 2019 at 3:27 am

          My Euro’s and Dollars also don’t pay divident and come with a promise to lose value over time. Also a lot of stocks don’t pay dividend. And bonds also don’t promise a rosy future with more and more negative interests.
          Looking at all the alternatives gold doesn’t look so bad after all.

        • Vespa P200E
          Sep 19, 2019 at 10:54 am

          As ex-GM bondholder with juicy dividends yet got close to complete wipeout when GM was bailed out as Government Motors where UAW got ahead of the ex-bondholders, there are REASONS why some companies pay fat dividend albeit with risks of capital destruction.

          With the whole world headed to ZIRP – more reason to hold PM.

      • raxadian
        Sep 18, 2019 at 9:34 pm

        Silver is a suckers bet. The holders of the most silver literally have them in warehouses hidden somewhere and can’t sell it to avoid the price crashing.

        • Sep 18, 2019 at 10:49 pm

          I heard an alternate view of silver I really liked:
          Silver is the “risk-on” precious metals trade.

          Silver can sit low for long periods and then really starts to spike when people are excited about speculating in precious metals (typically after gold’s been moving). The spike up and drop down tends to be brief, and both occur before gold peaks out. The last silver spike into the low $40’s fell back about 4 months prior to the gold peak.

          With risk comes reward however, I could easily imagine silver testing it’s previous high. I’d sell in the mid 30’s personally, creating a nice double. I’ve been long gold for quite some time, but I won’t be holding my breath for a double from the lows, so it’s a longer bet with a lower return.

          My current plan is to dump silver around $36 or so and dump gold within a couple months of a sharp drop in silver following that spike (probably in increments depending on the technical chart formations).

          One last note – I’m not bearish on the US dollar. The dollar is the yardstick everything is measured in, it remains the #1 safe haven, and the federal reserve still has tighter policy than the other major central banks.

        • Vespa P200E
          Sep 19, 2019 at 10:50 am

          Ah the voices against PM… Never mind that silver tended to trade at few times gold for 5,000 plus years and silver was PM of choice by Chinese for thousand years. And some facts like silver has industrial applications and there are reported to be 8 silver-to-1 gold deposits in earth.

          Anyway time to add more PM whilst masses are against it, kind alike how bitcoin went from few hundred to $20K but hey it’s nothing one can hold bitcoin physically and worthless when there is no electricity like massive EMP attack and all.

      • bungee
        Sep 18, 2019 at 11:19 pm

        The tax should come off for purchases above 1500$. Since gold has passed that point per ounce, its made it cheaper to buy one ounce at a local shop because the tax came off.

  2. Nicko2
    Sep 18, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    Long Live King Dollar! :)

    • Reality
      Sep 18, 2019 at 5:19 pm

      Snap back my aunt Fannie. Negative Rates baked in the pie.

  3. Kasadour
    Sep 18, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    I wish the middle class could tap into the benefits of the royal currency. Rents in Portland have reached impossible levels (ever rising) and homelessness is unmanageable. I won’t even go downtown anymore.

    • bungee
      Sep 18, 2019 at 11:24 pm

      Greetings from San Francisco… You have no idea.

      • RD Blakeslee
        Sep 19, 2019 at 8:39 am

        Greetings from West Virginia.

        Yes I have – that’s why I’m here.

  4. drg1234
    Sep 18, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    “CNY trading, with a turnover of $284 billion a day, was in eighth place, with the USD being on the other side in 95% of the trades.”

    This is pretty surprising. Nobody feels the need to hedge yuan risk in their own currency? That implies that nearly all of China’s trade is settled in dollars, despite all of China’s attempts to the contrary.

    Very nice piece.

    • Wisdom Seeker
      Sep 18, 2019 at 3:35 pm

      @drg, I don’t think your conclusion follows from the data. Someone might prefer to hedge Yuan/dollar and dollar/whatever as two separate trades.

      Also, the forex data is massively inflated by speculative trading. China’s $284B/day is over $100trillion/year, which is probably far more than needed to support China’s actual economic trade.

      And we don’t know if the BIS data see everything done using RMB. See my questions below.

  5. Memento mori
    Sep 18, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    As I have always said here, the dollar will lose its status the day US army losses on the battle field.
    Till then, enjoy the king dollar, printed at will courtesy of the Fed.
    People who don’t understand that the power of the reserve currency comes from the barrel of a gun need to stop living in their bubble.

    • Paulo
      Sep 18, 2019 at 5:59 pm

      Momento,

      I don’t disagree, but If that was the only factor wouldn’t it be all over? Unless you count Iraq as a win, I’m pretty sure the only decisive win since WW2 was Grenada. Without high tech weapons, I’m not sure fighting a war is even possible after the Viet Nam debacle, and it appears that insurgency conflicts can never really be won by any army if you look at Afghanistan for a recent example. In fact, endless war seems to be the death knell of empires as they try and hold on to absolutely everything.

      In my minds eye I always remember the vision of the guy trying to hang on to the skids of the Huey as they evacuated the US Embassy in Saigon, and how they pushed machines off deck into the sea in order to make room for more landings. I wonder what the last evacuations in Afghanistan will look like? Surely, it won’t be orderly the way it’s all unfolding?

      King Dollar is a result of all other economies being wiped out in WW2, and the war effort turned back to product manufacturing with no competition left of any note. Prior to that was the Great Depression with massive unemployment and dislocation, and few supports beyond soup kitchens and the New Deal. As my Minnesota farm town Dad used to say, “We always had enough to eat with the gardens, pigs, and fishing…we just didn’t have any money.

      I guess nowadays they’ll just print more as you said. :-) I don’t think today’s economy and currency trades are anything to take comfort in. As Bob Dylan noted,
      “For the loser now
      Will be later to win
      For the times they are a-changin'”

      regards

      • RD Blakeslee
        Sep 19, 2019 at 8:47 am

        Paulo,

        I note that the discussion above re precious metals is all about measuring their “worth” in terms of fiat dollars.

        Like your daddy’s pigs (and my cattle) the “worth” of an asset independently of a fiat currency price is foreign to most folks.

    • T.J., not the real tj
      Sep 18, 2019 at 6:48 pm

      The endgame probably won’t be nuclear. It will be an EMP and mass starvation.

    • MarkinSF
      Sep 18, 2019 at 9:01 pm

      But seriously, when was the last time the US Army won any of these conflicts? But I totally agree with the premise. I think it’s best described as tribute.

      • Javert Chip
        Sep 18, 2019 at 10:54 pm

        Since you asked:

        Korea (a tie)
        Grenada
        Panama
        Gulf War 1
        Kosovo

      • Javert Chip
        Sep 18, 2019 at 10:55 pm

        …not to mention the Cold War

      • Memento mori
        Sep 19, 2019 at 10:32 am

        USA won the WWII, and the dollar became reserve currency, by which I mean that commodities are priced in USD. That was the most recent war that mattered.
        All others wars are training exercises for the army, they are not wars with high stakes in the army’s perspective. If the stakes were high, the US army could wipe those countries off the map.
        All previous empires mainly collapsed because as the population got richer, people softened up and refused to fight in the army or paid mercenaries to do the bidding. USA needs those low level conflicts to stay sharp, but those aren’t wars that change the fundamentals in any serious way.
        Countries and the leading elite as opposed to normal people have no moral compass, they have only interests and all international relationships are based on strength and power. USA is the worlds cop, thanks to them navigation lanes stay open and free trade is possible and because of this they can print fiat and force other countries to accept it.
        How long do you think the house of Saud will be kings of Saudi Arabia if they tried to price their oil in euros or another currency? The last guy who tried to sell oil in euros was Sadam, then Kaddaffi tried too. It didn’t end very good for them.

    • Nicole
      Sep 26, 2019 at 2:09 pm

      Gold and silver will never lose its value. The gold’s future keeps climbing up and the investment will increase within time. I bought the latest 2020 Kangaroo silver Bullion coin from the Perth Mint series. I love it so much!

  6. Wisdom Seeker
    Sep 18, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    This is an interesting article! Raises a few questions:

    Given the size of trade within the Chinese economy, one wonders why the RMB isn’t a larger share. Is the BIS dataset globally comprehensive? Do the Chinese restrict Forex and related derivatives trading in the RMB?
    Or, since non-economic (speculative trading?) transactions dominate in Forex, perhaps the players in that game prefer to speculate with/against the dollar above all else?

    Cash transactions, anything involving cryptos, and many other dealings will also fall outside of the “53 jurisdictions”. Dollar to bitcoin to RMB and back again, for instance, wouldn’t show up. Ditto for RMB to oil to dollars and back again.

    Is the data double-counted, in the sense that both parties to a transaction report the same trade?

    One last thought: a hypothetical $100T global economy, even if every transaction were an international exchange, would only generate $0.3T/day in transactions. Yet the BIS data show $6.6T/day and most of GDP is not international trade. (On the other hand, to produce a $10 widget to go into GDP will require a lot of underlying transactions.) But the non-economic portion of Forex seems to be far larger than necessary. It’s not my area – why is it so big?

    • Petunia
      Sep 18, 2019 at 7:39 pm

      China has to pay USD in order to buy internationally. Nobody wants RMB which is why they also hoard gold. I understand the deals they make with their new funds transfer system with Russia is gold based. They will trade in their currencies but pay out the net in gold.

      • bungee
        Sep 18, 2019 at 11:40 pm

        They will trade in their currencies but pay out the net in gold
        Thats the future imo. Cause it actually makes sense. Holding foreign reserves of currencies that can be devalued or worse makes zero sense. Do transactions with paper, final settlement with the real thing; physical gold. Deal done. The world wont let another currency be king again after the dollar. They might use the dollar now but it doesn’t mean they like it.
        It would be interesting to see the gold amounts, valuations, and size bars used in the deals you refer to. I bet they dont look up spot on kitco…

  7. nick kelly
    Sep 18, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Looks like all comments so far conflate ‘most traded’ with ‘hardest’ or least likely to lose value.

    In 1978 when everyone was bailing on the US dollar of course it was the most traded. During this period both the Swiss franc and German D-Mark had huge appreciation against the dollar, especially the S franc which was still linked to gold.

    The traditional hard- dollar party in the US was the GOP, who today dare not challenge their Leader who wants the Fed to lower rates to zero. He also told former chief economic adviser Gary Cohn to ‘just print the money’ during a budget discussion.
    BTW: there was no doubt about Cohn being fired. He quit the day after T ignored his advice and placed tariffs on steel and aluminum.

    The US is running deficits of a trillion a year and rising. Germany is running over a 2 % surplus.

    If Germany was to return to the D- Mark, people will still use the US$ as a medium of exchange but few will use it as a store of value.

    • nick kelly
      Sep 18, 2019 at 11:01 pm

      PS: re: the ‘battlefield’. It was US spending in Vietnam, while at the same time not raising taxes to pay for it, that caused Nixon to abandon the dollar’s peg to gold. This paved the way for the run on the dollar a few years later.
      One of early British PM’s remarked it was a good thing war was so expensive because it discouraged war. But he lived when the pound was gold backed.

      • Xabier
        Sep 19, 2019 at 4:45 am

        Misquoted: it was actually the British general the Duke of Wellington who said that it is a good thing that war is so terrible and bloody, or ‘we would come to love it too much’.

        Cost in money didn’t enter into it, just lives – in fact, the British Empire did very well for over a century out of the defeat of Napoleon and French ambitions.

        • nick kelly
          Sep 19, 2019 at 12:19 pm

          A lot of folks (not surprisingly) have lamented the horror of war. More recently Eisenhower was eloquent about seeing ‘men with their guts spilling out’ and adding ‘I hate war.’

          Quotes worrying about costs are more unusual. This one is from Castlereagh, a British Minister of War and PM in the 18 th Century.

      • d
        Sep 19, 2019 at 10:54 am

        “that caused Nixon to abandon the dollar’s peg to gold. ”

        france then just like ccp china now was gaming the system .

        france not Vietnam is what destroyed breton woods.

    • bungee
      Sep 19, 2019 at 12:03 am

      Well said nick Kelly…
      Maybe germany doesn’t need to return to the dmark. Thing about the euro is that gold is marked to market every quarter (i think) and is maintained at a percentage level based on currency price so the ecb will sell some off if the price goes up or buy some if the price drops. Far cry from u.s. leaving gold on the books at 42 bucks an ounce (haha sooooo bizarre).
      Theres lots of talk of the euro failing. But remember, the ecb doesn’t have a dual mandate and they dont worry about employment in the member nations. They only care about the money and will do anything to keep the euro alive… dragging people in europe through the mud if needed. Perhaps it is for a noble end?

      • Cynic
        Sep 19, 2019 at 4:48 am

        Quite: the boasting about the peace and prosperity brought by the Euro, in the face of ever-increasing European impoverishment, above all for the young (horrendous unemployment in many regions) was quite disgusting and unreal, and shows what their true priority is. It is not the prosperity of the mass of the people.

    • Wisdom Seeker
      Sep 19, 2019 at 4:01 pm

      @Nick Kelly – “The US is running deficits of a trillion a year and rising. Germany is running over a 2 % surplus.”

      Which tells you how much stronger the US economy is compared to Europe. Despite trillion-dollar deficits the US dollar has been surging against the Euro. Meanwhile, it’s not the US but the Germans that can’t offer a bond with a positive yield. Although to be fair to the Germans, that’s because their borrowers can’t afford to pay them. But that also tells you the lenders goofed. Badly.

  8. David Hall
    Sep 18, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    I remember using money changers when touring abroad. That is straightforward. I do not understand the FX derivatives. It seems like gambling.

  9. Wes
    Sep 18, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    Excellent information Mr. Richter. Where’s CNY? Well I would venture to say that the PBOC are not ready to turn their currency over to the global investment banks quite yet. The NDF CNY and USD point to this being that the PBOC are exchanging currency valuations at an agreed upon notional value less the spot price. During the intermediate time frame the PBOC have the flexibility to move the CNY whichever way they deem appropriate to fit their business needs. In some ways communists are better capitalists than some might think or believe.

  10. OutLookingIn
    Sep 18, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Relative Valuation

    These FX trades have one thing in common. They are ALL fiat currencies.

    Those 14 most popular traded currencies, along with a further 8 for a total of 22 currencies, have ALL set new record highs in gold.

    The exception being the “king” US dollar! Its the debt.

    • Brant Lee
      Sep 18, 2019 at 6:37 pm

      As precious metal was dropped in all currencies and coinage starting mid-century it seems no one bothered to differentiate between Material ownership and printed I.O.U’s. But up until (soon?), hasn’t it all been glorious.

  11. Dan
    Sep 18, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    A lot of $ action is probably money laundering. Especially the opium
    trade out of Afghanistan run by US Generals.

    • Eucil
      Sep 18, 2019 at 10:11 pm

      Don’t forget that Colombia is once again big with America now too. All the old Contra-war supply routes are running again.

  12. Erle
    Sep 18, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    Do you remenber the old days of FOREX when they were all denominated in gold and did not change much at a;; unless redeemabilty was temporarily out of whack for a short time?
    Of course you don’t as the whole mess has gotten rid of a measurement of the solvency that had a few hundred years of settlement.

  13. Jack
    Sep 18, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    The Next 30years ( maybe 20) will see the Total demise of the following fiat currencies:

    The US dollar
    The Euro
    The Japanese Yen
    The British Pound

    and a whole lot of mishmash of baskets of currently bewildering array of currencies!

    and which trading currencies will survive?

    I’ll have to ( kill you if I tell you)! :)

    • Zantetsu
      Sep 18, 2019 at 7:42 pm

      Why would you even suggest this to be true?

      • Jack
        Sep 19, 2019 at 3:30 am

        Zahntesu,

        What’s happening to the currency exchange markets is very worrying,

        The imbalanced appreciation in the value of the US dollar will spell disaster to the Economies around the world and by extension to the US itself.

        Ever since the Japanese Economy went into stagnation and the Nikki become a joke to invest in! A great majority of the retail as well as corporate Japan started to find ways to invest in “ quality assets “ these quality assets namely US and European stocks and treasury bonds became inflated in some cases or in the case of treasuries they can barely justify investing in.

        The more of this medicine ZIRP and NIRP that continues to be administered to the world financial markets the more we reach points of NO Hope in anything resembling control over imploding Economies.

        The massive amounts of conjured up money bags that the BOJ and ECB will find its way to the Focal point that is the US !

        What do you think will happen if this scenario continues?!

        Always remember the Economy is based on real transactions with justifiable value be it goods or services,.

        what we’re seeing now is Nothing that the history of human societies have experienced.

        there is No justification to a whole spectrum of tangible exchanges let alone the mind boggling snake oil financial BS that’s bought and sold across the globe now!

        Care to tell me how long can this train travel?

        Cesar have crossed the rubicon a while Now. There is No return.

        Cheers

  14. NotReallyThough
    Sep 18, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    The growth in (ND)forwards contracts compared to the rest makes it obvious that there is a lot of hedging going on, vs outright trade. Wonder why that may be…

  15. Sep 18, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    this report discount trade between national currencies (currency swaps done outside Swift) outside the dollar. most CNY trade are done outside Swift and BIS. so before trumpeting long live king dollar, one must look at the world behind the headlines. iran and Venezuela for example now sells oil mostly outside Swift and USD. as us continues to weaponize the dollar the more nations will trade outside from it. the bis report will continue to not reflect this reality. in the future, despite majority of the world not trading in USD by the time the report will still reflect king dollar superiority as the bis will not have data outside to report on. as they say the revolution will not be televised.

    • Sep 18, 2019 at 8:47 pm

      Hendrix Harrison,

      The data in this report has zero to do with SWIFT. SWIFT is a messaging system used for actual fund transfers between banks in different countries. What we’re talking about here are forex trades by traders and algos that have nothing to do with fund transfers between banks in different countries. I explained in the article how this data was collected. So here it is again:

      “The survey “involved central banks and other authorities in 53 jurisdictions,” which collect data from around 1,300 banks and dealers in their jurisdictions and reported it aggregated by country to the BIS. “Turnover data are reported by the sales desks of reporting dealers, regardless of where a trade is booked, and are reported on an unconsolidated basis, i.e. including trades between related entities that are part of the same group.” Yes, trillions of dollars per day.”

      • Sep 18, 2019 at 10:50 pm

        First I want to say great work Wolf. Been a long time reader / follower of your blog, introduced from zerohedge. First time poster, greatly honored with your response. By the way to let you know, China can see your blog without vpn (which means powers here do see value in your content so keep it up).
        However since this is a survey of BIS member banks, it has a prerequisite that the responders are honest. Due to USD weaponization, I will not be surprise if response will omit transactions outside Swift system.
        Similar to people going ‘yada Yada’ which omits activities like sex in the story. After all the responding banks fear the data collection may go to the drunken powers that run the empire. The key point broken in today’s system is trust.

  16. Nostradamus jr
    Sep 18, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    Perhaps in some large macro picture, there are complicated dynamics related to hoarding going on, as in Dollars, reserves, bonds. Even in an abstract way, stock repurchases can be thought of as hoarding for corporations. If there is some pattern to hoarding, maybe China, along with everyone else is laying lower than might be expected, hoping to grow, but unwilling to take on too much risk. This is also like the housing mkt, where people are somewhat stuck in a hesitation mode, thus housing inches forward, but hesitates, just like GDP.

    From the Fed in 2014:

    Indeed, during the prerecession period, for every 1 percentage point decrease in 10-year Treasury note interest rates, the velocity of the monetary base decreased 0.17 points, based on a linear regression model of the velocity onto interest rates. Since 10-year interest rates declined by about 0.5 percentage points between 2008 and 2013, the velocity of the monetary base should have decreased by about 0.085 points. But the actual velocity has gone down by 5.85 points, 69 times larger than predicted. This happened because the nominal interest rate on short-term bonds has declined essentially to zero, and, in this case, the best form of risk-free liquid asset is no longer the short-term government bonds, but money.

    https://www.stlouisfed.org/on-the-economy/2014/september/what-does-money-velocity-tell-us-about-low-inflation-in-the-us

  17. raxadian
    Sep 18, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    No wonder some people want the gold standard to be back.

    Problem is gold is not as rare as it was over a century ago.

    Thing is, with the US rising debt and economic problems, the dollar standard cannot last forever.

    Some decades ago a crude oil standar might have been possible but nowadays shale oil has made that idea ridiculous.

    Maybe we could use a a Platinum standard instead? Since that metal is way rarer and valuable.

    Fun fact, Center America natives used small quantities of Platinum mixed with other metals. And while they didn’t have the technology to melt it, is speculated they just hammered it for hours until it became bland enough to use.

    For now and at least for a few decades, the mighty dollar is here to stay.

  18. exiter
    Sep 18, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Who will be 1st to return to gold-backing in any meaningful form?

    E.g., currently, Yuan/USD at 7 and gold at 14,500 Yuan/oz. …suppose China announces will alternatively accept payment in gold ,on Yuan invoices , with valuation at 21,000 Yuan/oz.

    Could be interesting.

  19. Kassida
    Sep 18, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    Congratulations! The US$100 bill is still the favorite of drug dealers. And their lawyers, of course. Can’t forget the Services sector and focus only on the goods based economy. America should be oh so proud.

  20. DR DOOM
    Sep 19, 2019 at 12:15 am

    Wow ! we are all doing great , +6 trillion a day. It’s good to know what underpins this fantastic economy we have. We are blessed to have the BIS with the CB’s creating so much value out of the fiat system. Voltaire was an idiot. Catherine should have threw that idiot under her horse early in his “visit”.

    • Sep 19, 2019 at 12:29 am

      I hate to disappoint you, DR DOOM. But there isn’t a whole lot of value being created here. These are computers and humans selling to each other, back and forth, highly leveraged digital entities, with one party’s loss being the other party’s profit.

  21. Jeff T
    Sep 19, 2019 at 9:58 am

    So where does money go to die?

    I am a simple person and don’t understand a lot of what goes on, but 6.6 trillion a day is a lot of money churning in relation to buying and selling in world trade and this represents a small portion of money in the world today.

    I have reached the conclusion there is so much money in the world (supply has overwhelmed demand as medium of exchange) that it cannot earn interest any more.

    Thus, possibly the reason we have low to negative interest rates. With so much money out there, why pay interest on it? It explains fracking, stocks that make no money, buying back shares, bubbles in housing, stocks, bonds and many other crazy ideas. Maybe more is not always better.

    • d
      Sep 19, 2019 at 11:26 am

      You are correct there is that much QE created liquidity running around looking for work that people, are willing to buy 100 year bonds, from, ARGENTINA.

      Yet the ECB and PBOC are still covertly and overtly Easing/Printing like crazy.

      There was a time when a $ 1.00 of stimulus brought $ 1.50 in return, now its somewhere around $ 3.00 return.

      And it is continually costing more to create $ 1.00 return every time the easing method is used.

      The FED tried to return to a realistic interest rate environment and cancel out the effects of QE.

      The ECB and PBOC WILL NOT COOPERATE with the FED to the detriment of the whole global financial system.

      I predict FDI restrictions in some sectors/Instruments will be a reality soon as the FED tries to limit the negative effects of safe haven buying of the $, as WAY TO much, PBOC and ECB stimulus, is going straight in $ (T’S), US Equities, and HARD US Assets.

      • d
        Sep 19, 2019 at 8:43 pm

        The above, got edited, or something disappeared.

        “There was a time when a $ 1.00 of stimulus brought $ 1.50 in return, now its somewhere around $ 3.00 return. ”

        Should read:

        There was a time when a $ 1.00 of stimulus brought $ 1.50 in return, now its somewhere around $ 3.00 to get $ 1.00 of return.

  22. Michael Engel
    Sep 19, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Why is the US dollar a king : USD built China.
    1) From Plaza accord DX plunged to its Selling Climax
    on Feb 1991 @ 80.60.
    2) The response was to 98.23 on July 1991.
    3) The dollar backbone is between 80.60 to 98.23. This where we are.
    4) From Apr 1995(L) @ 80.14 DX stated to build China.
    5) Prior to HK transferred, panic foreign investors took their
    money out of HK & China, fearing the communist regime will rule HK.
    6) HK was the main port, shipping Chinese goods all over the world,
    making China rich.
    7) Chinese BK caused DX to reenter the trading range.
    8) From China & Asian Flu backup @ 90.74 on Oct 1998 all the way to 121.29 on July 2001.
    9) Mar 2009 @ 70.80 was spring.
    10) The collapse of DX + commodities in 2008 were too tempting. China moved in !!!
    11) On May 2014 China opened its stock markets to foreign investors.
    12) DX jumped to 100.38 on Mar 2015, above the trading range, showing signs of strength, to build SSEC bubble.
    13) Jan 2018(L) @ 88.25 is a backup.
    14) The dollar was a king when investors moved in to build China.
    15) The dollar is still a king, because China, Europe, EM
    and the rest of the world are dollar short.
    16) When the whole world will default on dollar debt, the dollar will lose its kingdom.

    • Rinaldo
      Sep 19, 2019 at 1:48 pm

      The USD is king since the Saudis agreed to sell their oil only for USD. In exchange the USofA agreed to protect the royal family.

      This makes the recent attack particularly interesting.

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