Unexpectedly Intriguing!
March 15, 2011

Back in January, we featured a post where we looked at just who are the largest holders of the U.S. national debt. Since that time, the U.S. Treasury has revised their data, specifically to identify who the real foreign owners of the U.S. national debt are. Here are how things really stood at the end of the U.S. government's 2010 fiscal year on September 30, 2010:

To Whom Does the U.S. Really Owe Money, as of the end of FY2010

The main differences from the chart we previously featured are that China's holdings are much greater, while the United Kingdom's holdings are much smaller, which is a result of a number of Chinese institutions using banks in the United Kingdom as intermediaries for purchasing and holding U.S. government-issued debt. As a result, China's real U.S. debt holdings now account for 9.5% of the entire U.S. national debt outstanding (nearly 1 out of every 10 dollars the U.S. government has borrowed), instead of the 7.5% that was previously recorded.

Meanwhile, the U.K.'s recorded holdings have shrunk by a corresponding 2.0% of the entire U.S. national debt as a result of this accounting adjustment.

Finally, one question that came up after our original post was "How much of the national debt held by U.S. individuals and institutions is owned by the U.S. Federal Reserve?"

We found that as of September 29, 2010, the Federal Reserve held 966 billion dollars of the U.S. national debt in the form of U.S. Treasury Securities or Federal Agency Debt Securities, which represents 16.9% of all U.S. individual or institutional debt holdings, or approximately 7.1% of the total national debt.

So when it comes to who owns the U.S. national debt, the U.S. Federal Reserve owns less than China does....

Notes

"All Other Foreign Nations" are all those except China (for which we've included Hong Kong), Japan, United Kingdom, Brazil and "Oil Exporters."

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

The "U.S. Civil Service Retirement Fund" is the Federal Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. The "U.S. Military Retirement Fund" is the Department of Defense Retirement Fund. The "Social Security Trust Fund" is the Federal Old-Age Survivors and Disability Insurance Trust Fund.

Data Sources

U.S. Treasury Department. Monthly Statement of the Public Debt of the United States, September 30, 2010. Table III - Detail of Treasury Securities Outstanding, September 30, 2010.

U.S. Treasury Department. Major Foreign Holders of Treasury Securities. (At end of September 2010). Accessed 11 March 2011.

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Monthly Report on Credit and Liquidity Programs and the Balance Sheet, October 2010. Table 1. Assets, Liabilities, and Capital of the Federal Reserve System.

Labels:

About Political Calculations



blog advertising
is good for you

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

Thanks in advance!

Recent Posts

Applications

This year, we'll be experimenting with a number of apps to bring more of a current events focus to Political Calculations - we're test driving the app(s) below!

Most Popular Posts
Quick Index

Site Data

This site is primarily powered by:

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Visitors since December 6, 2004:

CSS Validation

Valid CSS!

RSS Site Feed

AddThis Feed Button

JavaScript

The tools on this site are built using JavaScript. If you would like to learn more, one of the best free resources on the web is available at W3Schools.com.

Other Cool Resources

Blog Roll

Market Links
Charities We Support
Recommended Reading
Recommended Viewing
Recently Shopped

Seeking Alpha Certified

Archives
Legal Disclaimer

Materials on this website are published by Political Calculations to provide visitors with free information and insights regarding the incentives created by the laws and policies described. However, this website is not designed for the purpose of providing legal, medical or financial advice to individuals. Visitors should not rely upon information on this website as a substitute for personal legal, medical or financial advice. While we make every effort to provide accurate website information, laws can change and inaccuracies happen despite our best efforts. If you have an individual problem, you should seek advice from a licensed professional in your state, i.e., by a competent authority with specialized knowledge who can apply it to the particular circumstances of your case.