In today's edition of Le Monde there is an article about the increasing quantity of money in the world, and the problems or benefits that this might yield. In the introduction to the article the authors state that, in contrast to now, the world had managed to collaborate (or at least talk to each other to avoid doing one-sided moves) after the 2008 crisis. In particular, the article says:

C’était l’époque, aussi, où la planète avait réussi à coopérer et était même parvenue à prendre des décisions communes – lutte contre les paradis fiscaux, relance budgétaire concertée, coordination des banques centrales, choix de la Chine de financer les Etats-Unis, etc.

Translation (deepl.com)

It was also the time when the world had succeeded in cooperating and even managed to take joint decisions - the fight against tax havens, concerted fiscal stimulus, central bank coordination, China's choice to finance the United States, etc.

Did China really finance the US? What do the authors mean with this, and was this measure in any way significant?

  • 3
    This sounds like it should be on Economics.SE.
    – Oddthinking
    Aug 8, 2019 at 11:53
  • 1
    I have the impression the statement in the le monde article is too imprecise to really know what they meant. What is the way to proceed in this case on skeptics? Delete the question or close the question?
    – KlausN
    Aug 10, 2019 at 14:43
  • As the author, deleting the question is in your control (at least until there are answers). Closing the question is something others do, which is why it requires a vote.
    – Brythan
    Aug 10, 2019 at 17:41

1 Answer 1


The answer is somewhat trivial, but YES.

The way one government typically "finances" other governments in modern world is by one countries' government (usually via its finance ministry) purchasing sovereign debt issued by the second country.

As per US Department of Treasury, China increased its holdings of US Treasuries by a large amount, consistently, between 2007 and 2011, as illustrated on the following two graphs from CSIS and Investopedia (both sources from US Treasury department, although I was unable to find decent UST source data yet directly)

enter image description here

enter image description here

Now, you may quibble as to whether they "choise" to do so due to vagueness of the wording used in the article, but presumably, they did under any reasonable interpretation of the term you can think of.

Obviously, the purpose of this purchasing from Chinese side was not "to finance" the US - while this is way outside the scope of the claim or question ; there are plenty of resouces explaining why China chooses to buy US Treasuries.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .