By Wolf Richter
The banks and the Federal Reserve have been absorbing Treasuries, and virtually guaranteed losses
The question is particularly hot because Treasuries are now ugly instruments with the worst punishment yields ever.
In face of the incredibly spiking US gross national debt that just hit $30 trillion after having spiked by a mind-boggling $6.5 trillion since March 2020, the steamy-hot question is this: Who the heck is buying and holding all these Treasury securities?
The question is particularly hot because these are very unattractive instruments: Yields are still well below 1% for most short-term Treasury bills, and even the 10-year Treasury maturity yields only around 2%, while CPI inflation has blasted off and hit 7.5%, creating the worst punishment yields ever. To top it off, the most reckless Fed ever is still repressing interest rates and is still, though at a much slower pace, printing money.
The whole thing is a tragic clown-show, and yet every single one of the Treasury securities was bought and is held by some entity. Who are they? This is my quarterly update on who is holding this debt, and it’s an increasingly important question for increasingly iffy times.
Foreign Creditors of the US government.
Foreign holders of Treasuries: $7.74 trillion, a record, up by $790 billion (+11%) since March 2020, and up 9.5% year-over-year, according to the Treasury Department’s Treasury International Capital (TIC) data.