Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Major Foreign Holders of U.S. Treasuries: now with greater country breakouts

MAJOR FOREIGN HOLDERS OF TREASURY SECURITIES (in billions of dollars) Don’t have a lot to say except to note that previous versions of this table lumped together “Oil Producers” and “Caribbean Banking Centers” while this disaggregates them. This leaves the Cayman Islands in third place at $265 bn while putting Saudi Arabia down to 13th […]

Central banks underpin euro and diversify toward "other currencies"

The IMF released its Q3 2010 Currency Composition of Official Foreign Exchange Reserves (COFER) report. The COFER database provides the breakdown of official central bank portfolio holdings by currency across advanced and emerging/developing market economies. The picture is roughly half complete, as 44% of the global reserve positions go unallocated. But the trend in reported […]

Open Question: What is the Optimal Level of U.S. Public Debt?

by Bruce Webb Back in 2000 Alan Greenspan warned Congress about the potential disappearance of the long bond in the face of continuing surpluses. He probably knew at the time that he was just feeding the appetites of tax-cutters, and not say advocating for using those surpluses for something like Universal Single Payer, but he […]

Why China may have slowed Treasury purchases

by Bruce Webb There has been a scattering of stories about how China has slowed or stopped buying U.S. Treasuries. This story offers a possible explanation LA Times: China’s investments in U.S. up sharply Beijing is using its accumulation of billions of American dollars to step up its investments around the globe. In the last […]

Foreign exchange reserves are hot hot hot

by Rebecca The G7 G20 Leader’s statement, number 20., regarding the IMF’s mission and governance (bold font by yours truly): The IMF should continue to strengthen its capacity to help its members cope with financial volatility, reducing the economic disruption from sudden swings in capital flows and the perceived need for excessive reserve accumulation. As […]