Russia's Dumps $100 Billion Holdings Of US Treasury Debt

Collection StoriaBusiness

Russia has rapidly sold off the vast majority of its stash of American debt.

Between March and May, Russia's holdings of US Treasury bonds plummeted by $81 billion, representing 84 percent of its total US debt holdings, according to CNN.

The sudden debt dump may have contributed to a short-term spike in Treasury rates that spooked the market. 10-year Treasury yields topped 3 percent in April for the first time since 2014.

It also sparked a guessing game about Moscow's motivations. Maybe Russia just wanted to diversify its portfolio, as the central bank stated. Or perhaps Russia was seeking revenge for Washington's crippling sanctions on aluminum maker Rusal.

Either way, there's little debate over the long-term impact. Russia's selling has not hurt America's ability to borrow money, adds CNN's report.

That's because investors – particularly life insurers and pension funds that serve aging baby boomers – have a big appetite for fixed income. Treasury rates quickly descended back below 3 percent because demand for bonds continued to grow.

The limited impact from Russia's selling makes sense. It's not a leading creditor of the United States. China is.

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