Dumping US Treasuries: The “Nuclear Option” In Global Trade Wars, But Will They?

Foreigners don’t need to liquidate everything or even a majority of their holdings: all they need to do is engage in a sharp, acute selloff which sends yields sharply higher which – as events in early February showed – would also likely led to a stock market crash.

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In response to Trump’s shocking announcement of a global trade war (which may have been  “born out of anger at other simmering issues and the result of a broken internal process”), the age-old question has once again returned front and center: will foreigners retaliate by selling US securities?

First a quick recap: there was $6.3 trillion in US Treasuries held by foreign nations as of Dec. 2017, of which over $4 trillion was held by official accounts: central banks, reserve managers, sovereign wealth funds, and others.

Also recall that much if not all of these official foreign Treasury holdings built up over the years as US trading partners converted dollars from persistent American trade surpluses into US debt.

Which is why, as Reuters’ Richard Leong writes, should China, Japan and other nations, which have recycled their trade dollars through their Treasuries holdings, suddenly decide to whittle them…

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4 thoughts on “Dumping US Treasuries: The “Nuclear Option” In Global Trade Wars, But Will They?

  1. China should dump its 1.8 trillion dollar holdings of U.S. treasuries. The West has declined as a producer and manufacturer of goods. Just take a look at Walmart most of the goods are manufactured China, Vietnam, and other low labor cost countries. The One Belt One Road initiative will make China the heart of the Asian Industrial Revolution of the next generation. Meanwhile, the West relies on money lending. About one-sixth of the S& P 500 are financial companies. The Western banking cartel, along with the “development” banks, such as the Western controlled IMF and World Bank, are the reason why the West dominates the terms of international trade. The ratings agencies for debt such as Moody’s are criticized, even in the Western press, for being political tools. The U.S. military economy can only be dominant with the Western hegemony of the banking cartel. China could dump its Treasuries and fund several international Chinese banks. With fractional two-percent reserve banking, this would equate to 90 trillion in loans (about 1.5 times world GDP). This is how U.S. military hegemony and the dollar as reserve world currency could be replaced by a new order.


  2. Excellent analysis, PeaceFrog. You obviously follow this extremely closely. I’m aware that most of the money issued in China is sovereign money (issued directly by government rather than private banks) and only a small proportion borrowed from Wall Street banks. I have always believed their sovereign monetary system responsible for their immense economic success. I don’t really understand why they borrow any Wall Street money – presumably to prevent the US from instigating a military confrontation. Presumably this risk is declining.


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