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Financing US Debt: Is There Enough Money in the World – and at What Cost?

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  • John Kitchen
  • Menzie Chinn

Abstract

This paper examines the potential role for foreign official holdings of U.S. Treasury securities and the associated implications for Treasury security interest rates, international portfolio allocations, net international income flows, and the U.S. net international debt position, using a baseline outlook of current and projected U.S. budget deficits and growing debt. The analysis applies empirical results regarding the role of U.S. structural budget deficits and foreign official holdings of U.S. Treasuries in determining Treasury security interest rates. Although initial review of information suggests that the world portfolio could potentially accommodate financing requirements over the intermediate horizon, substantial uncertainty remains about the relationships among foreign official holdings, exchange rates, and trade; the potential effects of “crowding out” in the international portfolio; and how and whether world portfolio allocations would adjust to accommodate higher shares of U.S. assets.
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Suggested Citation

  • John Kitchen & Menzie Chinn, 2011. "Financing US Debt: Is There Enough Money in the World – and at What Cost?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 373-413, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:intfin:v:14:y:2011:i:3:p:373-413
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/infi.2012.14.issue-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sohrab Rafiq, 2015. "How Important are Debt and Growth Expectations for Interest Rates?," IMF Working Papers 15/94, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Steiner, Andreas, 2014. "Current account balance and dollar standard: Exploring the linkages," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 65-94.
    3. Canzoneri, Matthew & Cumby, Robert & Diba, Behzad & López-Salido, David, 2013. "Key currency status: An exorbitant privilege and an extraordinary risk," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 371-393.
    4. James D. Hamilton & Jing Cynthia Wu, 2012. "The Effectiveness of Alternative Monetary Policy Tools in a Zero Lower Bound Environment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44, pages 3-46, February.
    5. Steiner, Andreas, 2017. "Determinants of the Public Budget Balance: The Role of Official Capital Flows," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168184, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E66 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General Outlook and Conditions

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