The October TIC Data is out (although courtesy of the total and ridiculous redesign of the Treasury's website, is a complete nightmare to navigate). Net foreign purchases of US securities amounted to $54.7 billion, down from a revised $90 billion in September, and even more from $136.3 billion in August. Net foreign purchases, net of adjustments and US purchases of foreign securities, amounted to $7.2 billion, substantially lower than expectations of $51 billion. Digging through the data reveals some interesting trends, namely the purchases of LT Treasurys, while still positive, plummeted from purchases of $78.3 billion and $117 billion in the prior two months. The savings grace is that foreign purchases of Corporate Stocks remained relatively strong, at $16 billion. Looking at China we observe that the country actually sold off Long Term UST (while buying Short Term Bills): this means that the Fed, with its $966 billion in US paper is now untouchable at the top of all holders of US Treasurys.
The chart below presents just monthly purchases of Corporate Stock:
Most importantly looking at the detail in the purchases of the Big 3, we note an interesting development. While total Chinese holdings increased from $883.5 billion to $906.8 billion, more than all of this increased was in Short Term Treasury purchases ($25.4 billion), and in fact China sold $2 billion in Long-Term US Bonds in October.
and total Chinese holdings, spread by Long and Short-Term holdings
The second most important holder of US debt, Japan, bought a modest $13 billion in paper in October:
And as for the shadiest foreign buyer, the UK, which is a stomping ground for the mysterious "direct purchasers" and is either a proxy for China, US Bank, or indirect Fed buying, it was back to its old shenanigans, buying $19 billion in net bonds in October.
Most importantly, however, with October data behind us, the Fed is and continues to be the top institutional holder of US debt.