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Foreign holdings of U.S. Treasuries and U.S. Treasury yields

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  • Beltran, Daniel O.
  • Kretchmer, Maxwell
  • Marquez, Jaime
  • Thomas, Charles P.

Abstract

Foreign official holdings of U.S. Treasuries increased from $400 billion in January 1994 to about $3 trillion in June 2010. Most of this growth is accounted for by a handful of emerging market economies that have been running large current account surpluses. These countries are channeling their savings through the official sector, which is then acquiring foreign exchange reserves. Any shift in policy to reduce their current account surpluses or dampen the rate of reserves accumulation would likely slow the pace of foreign official purchases of U.S. Treasuries. Would such a slowing of foreign official purchases of Treasury notes and bonds affect long-term Treasury yields? Most likely yes, and the effects appear to be large. By our estimates, if foreign official inflows into U.S. Treasuries were to decrease in a given month by $100 billion, 5-year Treasury rates would rise by about 40–60 basis points in the short run. But once we allow foreign private investors to react to the yield change induced by the shock to foreign official inflows, the long-run effect is about 20 basis points.

Suggested Citation

  • Beltran, Daniel O. & Kretchmer, Maxwell & Marquez, Jaime & Thomas, Charles P., 2013. "Foreign holdings of U.S. Treasuries and U.S. Treasury yields," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1120-1143.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:32:y:2013:i:c:p:1120-1143
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jimonfin.2012.09.005
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    Cited by:

    1. Laura Jaramillo & Yuanyan S Zhang, 2013. "Real Money Investors and Sovereign Bond Yields," IMF Working Papers 13/254, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Christian H Ebeke & Yinqiu Lu, 2014. "Emerging Market Local Currency Bond Yields and Foreign Holdings in the Post-Lehman Period - a Fortune or Misfortune?," IMF Working Papers 14/29, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Rod Tyers, 2016. "China and Global Macroeconomic Interdependence," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(11), pages 1674-1702, November.
    4. Serkan Arslanalp & Tigran Poghosyan, 2016. "Foreign Investor Flows and Sovereign Bond Yields in Advanced Economies," Journal of Banking and Financial Economics, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management, vol. 2(6), pages 45-67, June.
    5. Paul De Grauwe & Zhaoyong Zhang & Rod Tyers, 2016. "Slower Growth and Vulnerability to Recession: Updating China's Global Impact," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 63(1), pages 66-88, February.
    6. Jean-Pierre Landau, 2014. "International lender of last resort: some thoughts for the 21st century," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Re-thinking the lender of last resort, volume 79, pages 119-127 Bank for International Settlements.
    7. Jochen R. Andritzky, 2012. "Government Bonds and their Investors; What Are the Facts and Do they Matter?," IMF Working Papers 12/158, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Blattner, Tobias & Joyce, Michael A. S., 2016. "Net debt supply shocks in the euro area and the implications for QE," Working Paper Series 1957, European Central Bank.
    9. Gianluca Cafiso, 2014. "Debt Sustainability in the Case of External Debt. An Analysis Based on Italy's Treasury Auctions," CESifo Working Paper Series 5021, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. 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.
    11. John Nana Francois, 2016. "Foreign Official Holdings of U.S Treasuries, Stock Effect and the Economy: A DSGE Approach," 2016 Papers pfr351, Job Market Papers.
    12. Gianluca Cafiso, 2013. "Public-Debt Financing in the case of External Debt," Working Papers 2013-37, CEPII research center.
    13. Florian Brugger, 2015. "Asia’s Reserve Accumulation: Part of a New Paradigm," Working Paper Series, Social and Economic Sciences 2015-03, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University Graz.
    14. Andreas Steiner, 2013. "A Tale of Two Deficits: Public Budget Balance of Reserve Currency Countries," Working Papers 97, Institute of Empirical Economic Research, Osnabrueck University.
    15. Aytek Malkhozov & Philippe Mueller & Andrea Vedolin & Gyuri Venter, 2013. "Mortgage Hedging in Fixed Income Markets," FMG Discussion Papers dp722, Financial Markets Group.
    16. Florian Brugger, 2016. "Asias Reserve Accumulation: Part of a New Paradigm," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 6(8), pages 457-476, August.
    17. Vipin Arora & Rod Tyers & Ying Zhang, 2014. "Reconstructing the Savings Glut: The Global Implications of Asian Excess Saving," CAMA Working Papers 2014-20, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    18. Carvalho, Daniel & Fidora, Michael, 2015. "Capital inflows and euro area long-term interest rates," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 186-204.
    19. Bank for International Settlements, 2014. "Re-thinking the lender of last resort," BIS Papers, Bank for International Settlements, number 79, November.
    20. Ebeke, Christian & Lu, Yinqiu, 2015. "Emerging market local currency bond yields and foreign holdings – A fortune or misfortune?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 203-219.
    21. Šević, Aleksandar & Brawn, Derek, 2015. "Do demographic changes matter? A cross-country perspective," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 36-61.
    22. Giuseppe Grande & Sergio Masciantonio & Andrea Tiseno, 2014. "The interest-rate sensitivity of the demand for sovereign debt. Evidence from OECD countries (1995-2011)," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 988, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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