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Geithner tells China its dollar assets are safe

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Glenn Somerville
Reuters
Monday, June 1, 2009

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Monday reassured the Chinese government that its huge holdings of dollar assets are safe and reaffirmed his faith in a strong U.S. currency.

A major goal of Geithner’s maiden visit to China as Treasury chief is to allay concerns that Washington’s bulging budget deficit and ultra-loose monetary policy will fan inflation, undermining both the dollar and U.S. bonds.

China is the biggest foreign owner of U.S. Treasury bonds. U.S. data shows that it held $768 billion in Treasuries as of March, but some analysts believe China’s total U.S. dollar-denominated investments could be twice as high.

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Geithner tells China its dollar assets are safe 250509BANNER

“Chinese assets are very safe,” Geithner said in response to a question after a speech at Peking University, where he studied Chinese as a student in the 1980s.

His answer drew loud laughter from his student audience, reflecting skepticism in China about the wisdom of a developing country accumulating a vast stockpile of foreign reserves instead of spending the money to raise living standards at home.

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This article was posted: Monday, June 1, 2009 at 9:20 am





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