Saudi Arabia owns a massive amount of US debt.
The Kingdom holds $116.8 billion in US Treasurys as of March, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Saudi holdings of US federal debt have come under scrutiny in recent months, after The Kingdom said if the US Congress passes a bill allowing the families of terror victims to sue foreign countries, possibly including families of 9/11 victims suing Saudi Arabia, the country would liquidate more than $750 billion worth of Treasurys.
The number disclosed today falls well short of the threatened amount, but it may be undershooting the total, according to Bloomberg. For instance, debt could be held by Saudi Arabia in financial instruments set up in other countries, so it would not show up on the Saudi balance sheet.
While there is some scepticism over whether or not Saudi Arabia would go through with the threat, the new information provides a clear picture of just how devastating the move would be for the US debt market.
Previously, the Treasury Department has lumped in Saudi Arabia’s debt with a number of other nations in the monthly report of foreign holdings of US Treasurys including Ecuador, Qatar, Venezuela, Iraq and more. Most other nations are listed individually. As of February 2016, the oil exporters held a combined $281 billion in US debt.
The Treasury’s response today was due to a Freedom of Information Act request, according to the Bloomberg report.
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