Expert Zone

Straight from the Specialists

U.S. debt and China

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has released an initial estimate of foreign holdings of U.S. securities, including Treasury bonds, as of June 30, 2011. This estimate serves as a correction of monthly figures Treasury publishes, known as the Major Foreign Holders series.

There are three implications of the new data from Treasury:

China continued direct purchases of large quantities of Treasury bonds from June 2010 to June 2011.

The monthly media reporting of the Major Foreign Holders series continues to be misleading and should be largely ignored. True Chinese holdings of Treasuries and other American assets continued to be difficult to pin down.

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