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

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

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

  • Daniel O. Beltran & Maxwell Kretchmer & Jaime R. Marquez & Charles P. Thomas, 2012. "Foreign holdings of U.S. Treasuries and U.S. Treasury yields," International Finance Discussion Papers 1041, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:1041
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rod Tyers, 2016. "China and Global Macroeconomic Interdependence," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(11), pages 1674-1702, November.
    2. Andreas Steiner, 2013. "A Tale of Two Deficits: Public Budget Balance of Reserve Currency Countries," IEER Working Papers 97, Institute of Empirical Economic Research, Osnabrueck University.
    3. Jose Vicente Romero & Hernando Vargas-Herrera & Pamela Cardozo & Andrés Murcia, 2020. "Effects of foreign participation in the colombian local public debt market on domestic financial conditions," Borradores de Economia 1115, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    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. José Vicente Romero & Hernando Vargas & Pamela Cardozo & Andrés Murcia, 2020. "How foreign participation in the Colombian local public debt market has influenced domestic financial conditions," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.),Financial market development, monetary policy and financial stability in emerging market economies, volume 113, pages 83-119, Bank for International Settlements.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.

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