Check Out The Full Breakdown Of The Top 18 Who Own America’s Debt

by • July 30, 2011 • PoliticsComments (0)3842

By this coming Tuesday the U.S. government has to figure out a way of raising its credit card limit or it won’t be able to pay its bills.  So who do they owe all this money to exactly?  Turns out they mostly owe themself: more than 50% of America’s debt is owed to the Federal Reserve, “intragovernmental holdings” (such as the Social Security Trust Fund, domestic investment accounts, and U.S. households).  As far as the “public debt” is concerned (i.e. debt held outside the federal government), foreign countries and investors own about half.  Here’s the full breakdown:

18. HONG KONG holds $121.9 billion of U.S. treasuries (they own 0.9% of U.S. debt).
17. BRAZIL holds $121.9 billion of U.S. treasuries (they own 0.9% of total U.S. debt).
16. CARIBBEAN BANKING CENTERS hold $148.3 billion of U.S. treasuries (they own 1% of total U.S. debt).  The Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Netherlands Antilles and Panama, and British Virgin Islands all function as offshore financial centers. Of course, they invest in Treasury Securities as well.
15. TAIWAN holds $153.4 billion of U.S. treasuries (they own 1.1% of U.S. debt).
14. BRAZIL holds $211.4 billion of U.S. treasuries (they own 1.5% of U.S. debt).
13. OIL EXPORTING COUNTRIES hold $229.8 billion of U.S. treasuries (they own 1.6% of U.S. debt).  These countries include Ecuador, Venezuela, Indonesia, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Gabon, Libya, and Nigeria.
12. MUTUAL FUNDS hold $300.5 billion of U.S. treasuries (they own 2% of U.S. debt).
11. COMMERCIAL BANKS hold $301.8 billion of U.S. treasuries (they own 2.1% of U.S. debt).
10. STATE, LOCAL & FEDERAL RETIREMENT FUNDS hold $320.9 billion of U.S. treasuries (they own 2.2% of U.S. debt).
9. MONEY MARKET MUTUAL FUNDS hold $337.7 billion of U.S. treasuries (they own 2.4% of U.S. debt).
8. UNITED KINGDOM holds $346.5 billion of U.S. treasuries (they own 2.4% of U.S. debt).
7. PRIVATE PENSION FUNDS hold $504.7 billion of U.S. treasuries (they own 3.5% of U.S. debt).
6. STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENTS hold $506.1 billion of U.S. treasuries (they own 3.5% of U.S. debt).
5. JAPAN holds $912.4 billion of U.S. treasuries (they own 6.4% of U.S. debt).
4. AMERICAN HOUSEHOLDS hold $959.4 billion of U.S. treasuries (they own 6.6% of U.S. debt).  The household sector includes hedge funds.
3. CHINA holds $1.16 trillion of U.S. treasuries (they own 8% of U.S. debt).
2. THE FEDERAL RESERVE holds $1.63 trillion in U.S. treasuries (they own 11.3% of U.S. debt).  Much of this debt was bought for the Quantitative Easing programs.
1. SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND holds $2.67 trillion of U.S. treasuries (they own 19% of U.S. debt).  These are not publicly-traded securities, but it’s a massive chunk nonetheless.

Source: Yahoo Finance

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