Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Yesterday, while rooting around in the ABS 5232 National Accounts: Financial Accounts (yes, I'm bored) this blogger turned up an extraordinary fact. Sometime in the June quarter of 2008, the national government appears suddenly to have deposited $12 billion into Australian ADIs.
A quick look at the above chart showing the history of such deposits, clearly illustrates that this was unprecedented.
Interestingly, the ABS records this under its transferable deposits category, suggesting the money is not in a term deposit.
This blogger queried the ABS and received the response that the sudden jump was the result of a 'reporting anomaly'. That is, a shift in the methodology that measures a subject. Apparently there was a re-categorisation of state to federal debt. So there was no net inflow of cash to the bank/s. The fact there has been ongoing high deposit measurements since supports the explanation.
Perhaps it is the recent revelation that the US Federal Reserve and its Term Asset Facility helped bail out NAB and Westpac that has this blogger is feeling suspicious. But the timing of the anomaly is intriguing given it's the quarter leading up to the Lehman bust.
Just to be sure, a clarification has been requested of APRA.