United Kingdom Continues To Snap Up US Debt

Earlier this month, the US Treasury Department released their list of the largest major foreign holders of US Treasury securities as of December, 2010.

China continued their stay at the top of the list, as they were reported as owning $891.6 billion in US Treasury securities in December. This is down slightly from the $895.6 billion that they were reported as owning in November of 2010, and down from the $894.8 billion that they owned as of December, 2009.

Japan was number two once again in December, as they were reported as owning $883.6 billion in US Treasury securities. Japan added $6.4 billion from November to December, and now own just $6 billion less than China. Japan has added substantially to their holdings over the past year (they owned $765.7 billion in US Treasury securities in December of 2009).

The big story continues to be the United Kingdom, which was the third largest foreign holder of US Treasury securities in December of 2010. The United Kingdom added nearly $30 billion to their holdings of US Treasury securities in December, bringing their total holdings to $541.3 billion.

In December of 2009, the United Kingdom was reported by the US Treasury Department as owning $180.3 billion of US Treasury securities. This is an unbelievably high 200.22% gain over just the past 12 months. There are some who think that the United Kingdom's dramatically increased holdings are due to the Chinese government buying through accounts that are managed by British money managers. This would result in the purchases showing up as British purchases and not Chinese purchases.

The Oil Exporters, which includes the likes of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Kuwait, came in at #4 on the list in December ($218.0 billion), while Brazil rounded out the top 5 ($180.8 billion).


Here are the top ten foreign holders of US debt in December:

Country, Holdings, Month Over Month (%), Year Over Year (%)

China, $891.6 Billion, -0.45%, -0.36%
Japan, $883.6 Billion, +0.73%, +15.4%
United Kingdom, $541.3 Billion, +5.76%, +200.22%
Oil Exporters, $218.0 Billion, +3.61%, +8.4%
Brazil, $180.8 Billion, -1.95%, +6.86%
Caribbean Banking Centers, $155.6 Billion, +6.36%, +21.37%
All Other, $152.2 Billion, -4.7%, -2.37%
Hong Kong, +$138.2 Billion, -0.5%, -7.06%
Canada, $134.6 Billion, -0.07%, +154.92%
Taiwan, $131.9 Billion, +0.61%, +13.22%

Source: Largest Foreign Holders of US Debt

Filed under: General Knowledge

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