According to the latest Treasury International Capital release, total foreign holdings of US debt in April increased to just under $4 trillion, or $3,957 billion, a $73 billion increase. This represents 47% of total debt held by public at the end of April of $8,434 billion. And while two of the three usual suspects increased their US debt holdings marginally, China buying $5 billion and Japan buying $11 billion, the "UK's" purchases of US debt continue to grow at an exponential phase: these have now hit $321 billion in April, having tripled over the past 6 months ($108.1 billion in October 2009), and increasing by a whopping $42 billion month over month. We put the UK in parentheses as the end purchaser in this case is anyone but an an austerity-strapped and deficit reducing UK. Whether this is the domain of the mysterious direct bidders, an offshore FRBNY holdco, or just Chinese buyers domiciled in the UK, continues to be unknown. Yet one look at the chart of UK holdings below demonstrates that something is very much wrong with this series.
Total China holdings:
But much more relevantly - total UK holdings, now at $321 billion.
And here is the MoM change action.
and, most mysteriously, the UK: