Tipping point

The moment we've all been waiting for: China stops buying Treasuries.

For the past three years, China has been the financier that kept the American government well-funded. In 2004, it bought a fifth of the U.S. Treasury securities issued, a proportion that rose to 30 percent in 2005 and to 36 percent in 2006.

But according to U.S. government figures, in 2007 China has reversed course and become a net seller of Treasury securities. The U.S. Treasury said this week that China had $388 billion of Treasury bonds at the end of October, or $10 billion less than it had at the end of 2006.

Hang on to them hats and glasses.

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