Foreign Creditors Bail When U.S. Needs Money

The United States borrowed $488 billion in the first quarter of 2018 – a record high for this period. That’s only from January through March. At this rate – over a full year – that’s $2 trillion in more debt.

As I wrote a couple months ago, the rising debt is making the economy very fragile. Especially since all this borrowing is happening during non-recessionary times.

Making matters worse, the United States’ spending increased 300% more than the growth in revenue.

And don’t forget that interest payments due to service the U.S. National Debt is hitting new record highs. . .

One thing is for certain – borrowing is going to keep increasing.

Related: Muni Bond ETFs Take Solace in Fed Stance

Borrowing Keeps Increasing

“Tax and spending measures approved by Congress and President Donald Trump are expected to push the budget gap to $804 billion in the current fiscal year, from $665 billion in fiscal 2017, and then surpass $1 trillion by 2020, according to the Congressional Budget Office.”

You might be asking yourself – like any sane individual – that this huge amount of borrowing is becoming unsustainable.

And you’d be right to do so.


But how does U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin – the man who’s in-charge of the United States bank account – feel about this?

Well, he’s not concerned at all about the rising debt or about the bond markets ability to absorb it all without sending interest rates soaring

“It’s a very large, robust market — it’s the most liquid market in the world [U.S. bond market], and there is a lot of supply,” he said in a Bloomberg TV interview on Monday. “But I think the market can easily handle it… I’m not concerned about that. I think that there are still a lot of buyers for U.S. Treasuries,” he said when asked about the risks of reduced demand for Treasuries and increased supply.”

So, is his unconcern of all this increasing debt – and his assumptions that others will eagerly keep funding U.S. – correct?

No – and he’s dead wrong.

Here’s why. . .

Foreign Central Bank demand for U.S. government debt is declining.

Foreign Creditors Bailing When U.S. Needs More Money

Right now, foreign investors hold roughly 40% of U.S. government debt – the lowest since November 2016.

This trend has continued downwards since its peak at 55% during 2008. . .