WASHINGTON — The government said Tuesday that foreign demand for U.S. Treasury securities fell by the largest amount on record in December with China reducing its holdings by $34.2 billion.
The reductions in holdings, if they continue, could force the government to make higher interest payments at a time that it is running record federal deficits.
The Treasury Department reported that foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities fell by $53 billion in December, surpassing the previous record of a $44.5 billion drop in April 2009.
The big drop in China’s holdings meant that it lost the top spot in terms of foreign ownership of U.S. Treasuries, dropping to second place behind Japan.
Japan also reduced its holdings of U.S. Treasuries, cutting them by $11.5 billion to $768.8 billion in December, but that amount was still more than China’s December total of $755.4 billion.
The $53 billion decline in holdings of Treasury securities came primarily from a drop in official government holdings, which fell by $52.3 billion. The holdings of foreign private investors fell by $700 million during the month of December.
For all of 2009, foreign holdings of U.S. Treasuries dipped by $500 million. In 2008, foreigners had increased their holdings of U.S. Treasuries by $456 billion as a global financial crisis triggered a flight to the safety of U.S. government debt.
That flight to safety had driven down the interest rates that the government was having to pay on its debt to record lows with rates on some short-term securities dipping into negative territory for brief periods.
The Obama administration on Feb. 1 released a new budget plan which projects that the deficit for this year will total a record $1.56 trillion, surpassing last year’s record of $1.4 trillion deficit. The trillion-dollar-plus deficit have been caused by a deep recession, which has reduced government tax receipts, and the massive spending that has been undertaken to jump-start the economy and stabilize the financial system.
The administration has pledged to begin addressing the huge government deficits with Obama saying he will soon appoint a commission to recommend ways to trim future deficits.
Overall, the Treasury Department said that foreign net purchases of long-term securities totalted $63.3 billion in December, down from $126.4 billion in November. This category covers Treasury securities and private company bonds.
China’s holdings are a result of the huge trade deficits the United States runs with China. The Chinese take the dollars Americans pay for Chinese products and invest them in Treasury securities and other dollar-denomina ted assets.
American manufacturers argue that China’s huge dollar reserve reflect a strategy by the Chinese government to keep its currency artifically low against the dollar as a way to boost Chinese exports and dampen demand in China for American products.
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER
Feb 16, 2009
The US government and the Fed are destroying America:
– Obama Signs Law Raising Public Debt Limit from $12.4 Trillion to $14.3 Trillion
– Societe Generale Chief Strategist Albert Edwards: Theft! Were the US & UK central banks complicit in robbing the middle classes?
– How to invest for a global-debt-bomb explosion; Prepare for an apocalyptic anarchy (Market Watch)
– Marc Faber on CNBC: All Governments Will Default On Their Debt, Including The US
– Cynthia McKinney at Munich Germany NATO Peace Rally: ‘My Country Has Been Hijacked By A Criminal Cabal’
– Report: 1 in 5 US Homeowners Underwater; Foreclosures at Record High
– President Obama’s Pledge Never to Raise Taxes on Anyone Making Less Than $250,000 a Year
– Rep. Alan Grayson: ‘20 Percent Of Our Accumulated Wealth Over The Course Of 2 Centuries Gone in 18 months!’
– Paul Craig Roberts: It Is Now Official: The U.S. Is A Police State
– Prof. Russell Roberts Testifies Before House Committee: ‘I Want My Country Back!’
– Director of National Intelligence Says US May Kill Americans Abroad
– President Obama Ups Pakistan Drone Strikes in Assassination Campaign
– The New Vision of the Obama Administration: War Without End
– Pentagon’s New Record Black Budget Tops $56 Billion
– Rep. Ron Paul on Obama seeking to assassinate ‘US citizens’ he labels as terrorist
– White House to Paint Grim Fiscal Picture: Another Record Budget Deficit
– US: GDP Mirage – The Last Hurrah
– Controller: Pennsylvania Capital Should Weigh Bankruptcy
– Marc Faber: Obama Makes Bush Look Like a Genius
– Obamanomics: Why Did the ‘Stimulus’ Fail to Help the US Economy?
– Paul Craig Roberts: How Wall Street Destroyed Health Care – Greed, Be Thou My God
– Ron Paul: US Foreign Policy is Bankrupting America
– Rep. Ron Paul: State of the Republic Address – ‘Dangerous Times Indeed.’
– America’s Impending Master Class Dictatorship! (MUST-READ!)
– The CFR Controls American News/Media
– Senate Proposes Increasing US Debt Limit to $14.3 Trillion: “If Congress does not enact this legislation, and soon, then the Treasury would default on its debt for the first time in history,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus
– US: Unfunded Benefits Dig States’ $3 Trillion Hole
– Illinois enters a state of insolvency: ‘We’re close to de facto bankruptcy, if not de jure bankruptcy.’
– The No.1 Trend Forecaster Gerald Celente: Financial Mafia Controlling US and Wall Street
– Peter Schiff: The Lunacy of US Government Programs
– Former Dean of Harvard College Harry R. Lewis: Larry Summers, Robert Rubin: Will The Harvard Shadow Elite Bankrupt The University And The Country?
– Experts: Dollar Crisis Looms if US Doesn’t Curb Debt
– Marc Faber on Coming Sovereign Debt Crisis: Next Countries to Default are the US, Japan and the ‘PIIGS’
– Fitch: US Must Cut Spending To Save AAA Rating; US December Deficit Nearly Doubles
– The Coming Sovereign Debt Crisis
– US slides deeper into depression as Wall Street revels
– PIMCO’S Bill Gross: ‘Let’s Get Fisical’ (… or why the US will not make it.)
– Barack Obama’s Health Care Lies And Reversals
– US sheds 85,000 jobs in December; Record 40% Of Unemployed Without Job For 27+ Weeks
– Peter Schiff on Fast Money: ‘America is broke’; ‘The Fed created a currency crisis’; ‘Dollar to collapse 50-70% or more’
– US: Public Pensions Face $2 Trillion Deficit
– U.S. Avoids Technical Default By Three Days
– As an American, I refuse to buy mandatory health insurance … that supports Big Pharma
– The US Government Is Preparing For Collapse: Your Legal Right To Redeem Your Money Market Account Has Been Denied
– Prof. Dr. David Michael Green: Now I’m Really Getting Pissed Off … With Obama
– US Treasuries Post Worst Performance Among Sovereign Markets In 2009
– US losses will top $400 billion on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
– US: More Ammo For The Treasury Bazooka
– US government wants farmers to use coal waste on fields
– The No.1 Trend Forecaster Gerald Celente: The Terror And The Crash of 2010
– We’re Screwed! Hyperinflation like in the Weimar Republic; Great Depression worse than in the 1930s
– US Congress: Banksters Get $4 Trillion Gift From Barney Frank
Traitor in chief:
– Treason: Obama gives INTERPOL immunity from the Constitution (Amending Executive Order 12425)
– Peter Schiff on Obamacare, Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae: The Nightmare Before Christmas
– Obama administration backs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac no matter how big their losses may be
– Rep. Dennis Kucinich: US War Presidents ignore Congress and Constitution
– Obamacare: Big payoffs to senators on health bill stoke public anger
– US: Trillions Of Troubles Ahead
– Chinese central banker Zhu Min: ‘The world does not have so much money to buy more US Treasuries.’
– Obamacare: Change Nobody Believes In
– Obama’s surge comes at a cost: At least $57,077.60 per minute
– US National Debt Tops Debt Limit
Hypocrite in Chief (Funny):
– President Obama: Another Busy Day in The Oval Office!
– Fascism in America: By Political Definition The US Is Now Fascist, Not A Constitutional Republic
– John Williams of Shadowstats: Prepare For The Hyperinflationary Great Depression
Liar in Chief (NOT funny!!!):
– Barack Obama Lies 7 Times In Under 2 Minutes!!!!!
– Robert Fisk, The Independent’s award-winning Middle East correspondent: Obama is a Disaster, Worse than Bush
– Rep. Dennis Kucinich: ‘These Wars Are Corrupting The Heart Of Our Nation!’
– Famous Investor Jim Rogers: Incompetence In Washington, Abolish The Fed And The Treasury
– Rep. Dennis Kucinich: The Truth About Afghanistan
– Obama’s Big Sellout (Rolling Stone Magazine)
– Obama administration to lift debt ceiling by $1.8 trillion
– Climategate: President Obama’s rule by EPA decree is a coup d’etat against Congress, made in Britain
– Obama administration tells Pakistan: Tackle Taliban or we will
– MSNBC Rachel Maddow: War President Obama
– Ron Paul: ‘Obama is Actually Preparing Us For Perpetual War’
– Afghanistan Surge to Cost At Least $40 Billion, That Is $1.333.333 For One US Soldier Per Year
– Rep. Brad Sherman: Geithner rejects $1 trillion limit on bailout power (Section 1204 is unlimited in dollar amount!)
Liar in Chief (Over 300 soldiers died in 2009 because of this lie!!!):
– Obama: ‘I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am President, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank.’