In the above article the Myanmar Military tried to "empty" the account belonging to the Myanmar Central Bank held at the NY Fed. This account is part of Myanmar's foreign exchange reserves and is used to settle international payments according to Reuters. So this account is a deposit liability of the Fed, aka central bank money. Unless they are withdrawing $1B in paper banknotes, they can only move that $1B around to another account held at the Fed. The total amount of deposit liabilities on the Fed's Balance sheet would stay constant.

So how is the transfer of $1B actualized? How can the Myanmar military get the full value of this deposit under their control when theoretically the Fed can reverse any movement of the $1B within it's own system? Since the military is not getting a physical commodity such as paper banknotes or gold, how would they own those dollars that have an ultimate chain of ownership back to the Federal Reserve.

I am very curious about the financial plumbing involved here.

  • 2
    This site is about personal finance. We have a site for Economics which may accept a question like this. Mar 5, 2021 at 15:40
  • 4
    I wouldn’t be surprised if that money turned into someone’s personal finance.
    – gnasher729
    Mar 5, 2021 at 15:55
  • @DJClayworth How can one learn personal finance without understanding the basics of what retail and central banks do? Mar 6, 2021 at 8:24
  • Why can't the Myanmar Military get gold? Take a look at this. Mar 6, 2021 at 8:27