Reminder: Here’s Who REALLY Owns The US Debt

china propaganda

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The meme of China the moneylender is proving to be a salient political tool in Washington. Scaremongering about China owning this country is popping up on the left and the right.The Chinese buy our bonds to keep their currency down and exports from China cheap.  Some see this as a reason for the credit bubble of the mid-late 2000s as well.

Yes, China and other foreign countries own a great deal of US government debt, but the lion’s share of the government’s liabilities is owed to other Americans.  Very often, the government owes itself.

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[slide
permalink=”hong-kong-1″
title=”Hong Kong”
content=”Total Holdings of US Treasuries: $121.9 billion

per cent of US Debt that they own: 0.9%

Source: US Treasury
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4de549264bd7c889240c0000″
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[slide
permalink=”caribbean-banking-centers-2″
title=”Caribbean Banking centres”
content=”Total Holdings of US Treasuries: $148.3 billion

per cent of US Debt that they own: 1%

The Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Netherlands Antilles and Panama, and British Virgin Islands all function as offshore financial centres. Of course, they invest in Treasury Securities as well.

Source: US Treasury
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[slide
permalink=”taiwan-3″
title=”Taiwan”
content=”Total Holdings of US Treasuries: $153.4 billion

per cent of US Debt that they own: 1.1%

Source: US Treasury
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4afd6d5c00000000001433e8″
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[slide
permalink=”brazil-4″
title=”Brazil”
content=”Total Holdings of Treasuries: $211.4 billion

per cent of US Debt that they own: 1.5%

Source: US Treasury
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4cf5658bcadcbb3132020000″
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[slide
permalink=”oil-exporting-countries-5″
title=”Oil Exporting Countries”
content=”Total holdings of Treasuries: $229.8 billion

per cent of US Debt that they own: 1.6%

Oil exporters include Ecuador, Venezuela, Indonesia, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Gabon, Libya, and Nigeria.

Source: US Treasury
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e0d984049e2aed66d170000″
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[slide
permalink=”mutual-funds-6″
title=”Mutual Funds”
content=”Total Holdings of US Treasuries: $300.5 billion

per cent of US Debt that they own: 2%

Source: Federal Reserve Flow of Funds Accounts Note: Latest Statistics are as of March 2011″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ae8a30700000000006fcc29″
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[slide
permalink=”commercial-banks-7″
title=”Commercial Banks”
content=”Total Holdings of US Treasuries: $301.8 billion

per cent of US Debt that they own: 2.1%

Source: Federal Reserve Flow of Funds Accounts Note: Latest Statistics are as of March 2011″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bf167867f8b9ad451d40100″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”state-local-and-federal-retirement-funds-8″
title=”State, Local, and Federal Retirement Funds”
content=”Total Holdings of US Treasuries: $320.9 billion

per cent of US Debt that they own: 2.2%

Source: Federal Reserve Flow of Funds Accounts Note: Latest Statistics are as of March 2011″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4cc05dbbcadcbbbe5b030000″
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[slide
permalink=”money-market-mutual-funds-9″
title=”Money Market Mutual Funds”
content=”Total Holdings of US Treasuries: $337.7 billion

per cent of US Debt that they own: 2.4%

Source: Federal Reserve Flow of Funds Accounts Note: Latest Statistics are as of March 2011″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b2935f700000000008c1246″
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[slide
permalink=”united-kingdom-10″
title=”United Kingdom”
content=”Total Holdings of Treasuries: $346.5 billion

per cent of US Debt that they own: 2.4%

Source: US Treasury
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b0bf0de000000000031cb28″
caption=””
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]
[slide
permalink=”private-pension-funds-11″
title=”Private Pension Funds”
content=”Total Holdings of US Treasuries: $504.7 billion

per cent of US Debt that they own: 3.5%

Source: Federal Reserve Flow of Funds Accounts Note: Latest Statistics are as of March 2011″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e15cb554bd7c87a59080000″
caption=””
credit=””
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[slide
permalink=”state-and-local-governments-12″
title=”State and Local Governments”
content=”Total Holdings of US Treasuries: $506.1 billion

per cent of US Debt that they own: 3.5%

Source: Federal Reserve Flow of Funds Accounts Note: Latest Statistics are as of March 2011″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4caa59877f8b9a803db50000″
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[slide
permalink=”japan-13″
title=”Japan”
content=”Total Holdings of Treasuries: $912.4 billion

per cent of US Debt that they own: 6.4%

Source: US Treasury
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dc185cfcadcbb4d4c160000″
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[slide
permalink=”us-households-14″
title=”US Households”
content=”Total Holdings of US Treasuries: $959.4 billion

per cent of US Debt that they own: 6.6%

The ‘Household Sector’ does include hedge funds, by the way.

Source: Federal Reserve Flow of Funds Accounts Note: Latest Statistics are as of March 2011″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e243c8bcadcbb420c0b0000″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”china-15″
title=”China”
content=”Total Holdings of Treasuries: $1.16 trillion

per cent of US Debt that they own: 8%

Source: US Treasury
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ce55819cadcbb2b4a070000″
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]
[slide
permalink=”the-federal-reserve-16″
title=”The Federal Reserve”
content=”The Treasury owes the Fed $1.63 trillion in Treasuries, much of which were bought for the Quantitative Easing programs.

That’s 11.3% of US debt, much more than China.

Source: Federal Reserve
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bba91597f8b9a484d960600″
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[slide
permalink=”social-security-trust-fund-17″
title=”Social Security Trust Fund”
content=”Total Holdings of US Treasuries: $2.67 trillion

per cent of US Debt that they own: 19%

The Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds invest exclusively in special issue bonds that are only available to the Social Security trust fund. These are not publicly traded securities, but they still constitute a huge amount of debt.

Source: Social Security Administration
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[slide
permalink=”in-all-the-treasury-owes-foreigners-and-foreign-governments-4514-trillion-dollars-18″
title=”In all, the Treasury owes foreigners and foreign governments $4.514 trillion dollars”
content=”But Americans own most of their own country’s $14,342,909,569,328.74 of debt.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d555e4ccadcbbb24e0f0000″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”these-countries-are-in-more-trouble-19″
title=”These countries are in more trouble”
content=”The 15 Most Indebted Countries >
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b439cc30000000000b25beb”
caption=””
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[/slideshow]