Treasury Action: where's Russia?
Treasury Action: where's Russia? Russia dropped off the May TIC report's list of "Major Foreign Holder of Treasury Securities" in the May release. Russia's total security holdings have plunged to $14.9 B (below the $30 B minimum for inclusion) from $48.7 B in April and $96.1 B in March. Total Treasury holdings were as high as $108.7 B in May 2017, and $171.1 B in October 2012. Most of the recent decline was in coupons, which dropped to $9.1 B in May from $48.7 B in April and $94.9 B in March. The timing of the drop is curious as political tensions heat up. But there's never any explanation behind the flows, just the data, although Treasury does caution in it's Methodology section that there are imperfections due to "custodial bias," where some foreign owners entrust their holdings to institutions that are neither in the U.S. nor in the owner's country. There are also "transnational bias" as cross-boarder transactions take place disproportionately in major financial centers. Foreign holders as of May included 33 countries ranging from China with $1.18 tln in Treasuries to Chile with $30.2 B.