Learning to Love Stocks and Bonds

While foreigners have poured billions of dollars into U.S. buildings, banks and blue-chip companies, it is the vast sums they are pumping into America's stock and bond markets that have the greatest impact on its economy. All told, foreigners last year held more than $500 billion worth of U.S. Treasury and other government securities, corporate bonds and shares in publicly traded companies. (They also owned $449 billion deposited in accounts in American banks.) U.S. holdings of foreign stocks and bonds amounted to $269 billion, but foreign holdings are rising faster. The fact is that outsiders are supplying the funds that enable...

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