Above is a snapshot of the recent TICs report. You can see that China has sold over the past twelve months, $67 billion worth of Treasuries. You can also see that any sign of “systematic selling” was short-lived (five months) last year. It came to a halt when the sell-off in global stocks elevated the risks to global stability (i.e. when risk rises, they and everyone wants to own Treasuries — the safest parking spot for global capital).
You can also see that, over the past twelve months, the other biggest holder of U.S. Treasuries, Japan, was a net buyer (of $34 billion) – as was most of the rest of the world (to the tune of $250 billion).
The take away: Even if China were to “dump” Treasuries there are plenty of buyers. Don’t forget, the Bank of Japan is printing yen to buy assets (domestic and global). They could buy unlimited Treasuries. The Fed can buy more Treasuries (they already own $2 trillion worth).
As we’ve discussed, China’s tool to fight tariffs isn’t the U.S. Treasury market, it’s their currency. And devaluing the yuan increases the value of their dollar-based Treasury holdings (in yuan terms). But any big one-off devaluation of the yuan would likely get China’s other global trading partners more visibly into the fight.
If you haven’t signed up for my Billionaire’s Portfolio, don’t delay … we’ve just had another big exit in our portfolio, and we’ve replaced it with the favorite stock of the most revered investor in corporate America — it’s a stock with double potential.