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Friday, June 12, 2009

Setser: Who bought all the recently issued Treasuries?

by Calculated Risk on 6/12/2009 03:03:00 PM

From Brad Setser at Follow the Money: Just who bought all the Treasuries the issued in late 2008 and early 2009?

... the Fed’s flow of funds data leaves little doubt that — at least during the first quarter — the rise in public borrowing was fully offset by a fall in private borrowing.
Who bought all the Treasuries the US government has issued in the last four quarters of data (q2 2008 to q1 2009)? Foreign demand for Treasuries — as we have discussed extensively — hasn’t disappeared, unlike foreign demand for other kinds of US debt. But foreign demand hasn’t increased at the same pace as the Treasury’s need to place debt. The gap was filled largely by a rise in demand for Treasuries from US households.
Before the crisis, foreign purchases formerly accounted for almost all new Treasury issuance. Over the last 12 months, foreign demand accounted for more like half of total issuance even as foreigners bought a record sum of Treasuries. And from what we know about the second quarter, I don’t think the basic story has changed.
And for a great series of charts comparing the current recession to prior recessions (from Paul Swartz): The Recession in Historical Context