Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Private capital agrees: the US is an unattractive place to stick your money.

Regular readers of the Globblog already know that foreign capital has been souring on the US all year. It turns out that US capital is looking for greener pastures as well.

For the 12 months ending October 2004, US residents have net purchased $61.4bn in foreign stocks and bonds. This is the highest tally since 1997 -- that is, the highest since the East Asian financial crisis drove all the roaming wild horses back into the American corral.

Back in the mid-1990s, it didn't matter that US portfolio capital wanted out because the US government wasn't racking up massive debt. From 1993 on the Treasury was cutting back on debt sales and by 1999 was even buying debt back from the public. Now, however, Uncle Sam needs every dollar he can panhandle while patriotic American capitalists walk right on by like they don't even see him.

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