- Markets fear Russia has cut US treasury bill holding over Ukraine crisis!
by Phillip Inman, theguardian.com
Financial markets were on high alert last night over the Ukraine crisis amid speculation that the Kremlin had pulled its vast US treasury bill holdings out of New York.
News that more than $100bn had been shifted out of the US in the past week – at least three times more than at any time since the financial crisis – prompted fears that Russia is preparing for a western backlash in the form of sanctions and is moving its funds to safe havens beyond US influence.
The bills were transferred out of the US central bank’s deposit vaults last week, as the Obama administration increased the threat of sanctions in response to the growing crisis in east Ukraine. Last year the most moved in a week was $32bn. Analysts said that if the switch can be credited to Russia, it represents about 80% of the country’s holdings in US Treasury bonds.