All the progressions cited refer to the year 2008.
The consolidated debt was financed by a return of households to Treasury bills in 2009 (+528). The Federal Reserve has not been outdone, it acquired $ 294 billion in the title in 2009. The most recent data available, confirm that these purchases stopped in T-4 2009. Commercial banks, far from finance the economy have purchased treasury bills significantly (+ $ 86 billion) and securitization bonds.
In the battalion of investors who have fled to quality, we can still see the growth of private and public pension funds (+ $ 46 billion), insurance (+ $ 79 billion) that reach households and commercial banks in their support to the Treasury.
In contrast, the contributions of some investors have declined. This is particularly the case for mutual funds and mutual funds (- $ 127 billion), sub-federal governments (- $ 20 billion). In 2009, corporate and noncorporate companies also decreased their contribution.
Foreign financing of the federal market debt in the consolidation phase
Foreign investors by country
Foreign financing of US market debt does not reveal new trends.
Asia remains the region of origin of investors: China, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong alone have more than 50% of the US debt held by foreigners. The contributions of China, Taiwan, and Japan are remarkably stable, but Japan seems to play an increasingly important role as Chinese investments stagnate since March 2009, a point that also applies to Hong Kong.
The stabilization of Great Britain, Russia, Switzerland and Luxemburg, the oil-exporting countries and the Caribbean banks, the latter constituting tax havens for companies and private American fortunes, will be noted.
It is difficult to say whether at the end of the year we are witnessing a relative exhaustion of foreign countries’ capacities or desire for financing. In any case, we must underline a slowdown in their contribution. The increase in holdings of treasury bills by foreigners increased from $ 2979 billion in October 2008 to $ 3498 billion in October 2009. And in recent months, the increase has slowed down: from $ 3427 billion in In July 2009, treasury bills held by foreigners increased to $ 3498 billion in October 2009. The growth rate of market debt, therefore, seems less and less supported by foreign investors. This evolution is not detrimental to the structure of the securities held, T. Bills and T Notes and Bonds maintain the same proportions: one third for short investments and 2/3 for longer investments.
The US can not count for a few months on the massive competition of foreign investors. The market debt is therefore slowly becoming American with all the risks involved. The coverage of the US trade deficit needs to rely on financial investments in treasury bills to offset the weakening of foreign purchases of GSE bonds that sold well before the crisis. The coverage of the trade balance is only realized by FDI and treasury bills, it is an unfortunate situation for the dollar if US Treasuries should continue to sell less well abroad. The lack of coverage of a small but persistent trade deficit can only lead to a slow erosion of the value of the $ on the foreign exchange market.
Foreign investors by quality.
The review of net acquisitions (balance of purchases and sales of treasury bills) confirms the relative alienation of foreign investors in US Treasury debt securities.
Since February, investments in Treasury bills (Red Bar, Total: Private and Official), all categories combined (Bonds, notes, T. Bills) crumble slowly as shown by the red arrow. In October 2009 they line up on the lowest of January. There is a drop in foreign investors’ contributions to treasury bill acquisitions, while the Treasury’s financing needs remain pressing.
The quality of investors, private or public (state, the central bank, sovereign funds) and the difference between good short (Bills) and good notes (Notes and bonds) allow accounting more finely of the disaffection of foreign investors.
Total acquisitions of T. Bills (Dark Green) have been dropping steadily since February 2009; he has sold more than he has bought since June 2009. This fall is simply explained. Private buyers of T. Bills (medium green) have significantly slowed their acquisitions since May; the evolution is stagnant acquisitions or sales marked (10-2009). The official buyers (light green) married this movement with a slight delay. Acquisitions retreat from June, they are negative or stagnant the following months with the exception of July.
We must not draw from this disaffection for the T Bills the conclusion that there is now a marked mistrust of the federal debt. Debt consolidation is done by reducing the volume of existing T. Bills, it is normal that the volume of acquisition of these securities decreases, however, it is not normal that it decreases as much.
Total acquisitions of Notes and Bonds (Dark Blue) are also characterized by a decline that contrasts with their growing role in debt consolidation. If the confidence of foreign investors remains full, it would be logical to see the acquisitions of Notes and Bonds increase sharply. The reverse is true: there has been a slowdown in Notes and bonds acquisitions since June 2009, a deceleration that reflects an undeniable distrust of debt securities issued in very large volumes in order to consolidate debt. The erosion of acquisitions is therefore strong if it is related to the growing volume of note and bond issues by the Treasury.
This finding makes, it is not easy to draw simple conclusions about the attitude of investors. Private investors in Notes and bonds (Light Blue) made increasing acquisitions from January to June. Since the month of July acquisitions is down, private investors are not faithful supporters of consolidated debt Consolidated Treasury. Official investors in bonds and notes (blue) have a more regular acquisition policy, a very slight tendency to erode acquisitions since March also rank them among investors who no longer adhere to the policy consolidation of the federal debt.
We can summarize our comments on the quality of investors as follows: the decrease in Bills purchases is more important than the reduction of their role in the debt structure, purchases of notes and bonds are less important than the role that is theirs by the Treasury in the consolidation of the debt. In either case, debt consolidation will rely more and more heavily on US investors. Unless the international market for US Treasury bills is reversed, payday loan consolidation will have to become more and more American in 2010.