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We owe HOW MUCH? New report reveals U.S. government owes $6 trillion to foreign entities

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
9/3/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

China, Japan hold largest shares of U.S. debt

Foreign interests now own more than $6 trillion in U.S. government debt, a recent Treasury Department report on major foreign debt holders revealed.

Foreign interests, including nations and businesses, own more than $6 trillion of U.S. government debt.

Foreign interests, including nations and businesses, own more than $6 trillion of U.S. government debt.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
9/3/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Business & Economics

Keywords: Economics, Finance, U.S., Market, News, China, Japan


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As of the end of June 2014, foreign-held debt totaled $6,013,200,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities, up from $5,976,500,000,000 as of the end of May.

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At the end of June in 2001, foreign-held debt was only $983,300,000,000, and was even seeing a downward trend for four months. Since that time 13 years ago, it has grown more than six-fold.

A recent Treasury Department report on major foreign debt holders revealed that foreign interests no

A recent Treasury Department report on major foreign debt holders revealed that foreign interests now own more than $6 trillion in U.S. government debt.


Of the $6,013,200,000,000 foreign-held U.S. government debt, $4,108,200,000,000 was categorized by the Treasury as "foreign official" debt holdings-meaning it was owned by institutions controlled by foreign governments.

A recent Treasury Department report on major foreign debt holders revealed that foreign interests no

A recent Treasury Department report on major foreign debt holders revealed that foreign interests now own more than $6 trillion in U.S. government debt.

A recent Treasury Department report on major foreign debt holders revealed that foreign interests no

A recent Treasury Department report on major foreign debt holders revealed that foreign interests now own more than $6 trillion in U.S. government debt.


"Foreign official institutions," says the Treasury, "include the following: 1. Treasuries, including ministries of finance, or corresponding departments of national governments; central banks, including all departments thereof; stabilization funds, including official exchange control offices or other government exchange authorities; and diplomatic and consular establishments and other departments and agencies of national governments. 2. International and regional organizations. 3. Banks, corporations, or other agencies (including development banks and other institutions that are majority-owned by central governments) that are fiscal agents of national governments and perform activities similar to those of a treasury, central bank, stabilization fund, or exchange control authority."

China holds the single largest share of foreign-own debt with $1,268,400,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities as of the end of June. Hong Kong holds another $158,200,000,000 in interest.

Japan holds the second largest share of the foreign-owned U.S. government debt, with $1,219,500,000,000.

The third largest share of debt is held by interests in Belgium, which owns $364,100,000,000 in Treasury securities as of the end of June.

The four largest share was held by what the Treasury calls "Caribbean Banking Centers" like the Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Netherlands Antilles, Panama, and the British Virgin Islands, which owns $308,300,000,000 in debt.

Oil Exporters like Ecuador, Venezuela, Indonesia, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Gabon, Libya and Nigeria hold the fifth largest share with $262,100,000,000 in Treasury securities.

A 2013 Congressional Research Service report on Chinese holdings of U.S. government debt noted distinct efforts by the administration of President Barack Obama to reassure the Chinese government that U.S. government debt is a good investment.

"Since the beginning of the global financial crisis in 2008, U.S. government officials have increasingly sought to offer assurances to Chinese officials regarding the safety of China's holdings of U.S. government debt securities and to encourage China to continue to purchase U.S. securities," said the CRS report.

"For example, during her first visit to China on February 21, 2009, (then) Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was quoted as saying that she appreciated 'greatly the Chinese government's continuing confidence in the United States Treasuries,' and she urged the government to continue to buy U.S. debt."

The CRS report continued: "However on March 13, 2009, (then) Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at a news conference stated: 'We've lent a huge amount of capital to the United States, and of course we're concerned about the security of our assets. And to speak truthfully, I am a little bit worried. I would like to call on the United States to honor its words, stay a credible nation and ensure the safety of Chinese assets."

"The U.S. debt issue was a major topic during Vice President Joe Biden's trip to China in August 2011," said the CRS report. "At a meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on August 19, 2011, Vice President Biden stated that 'we appreciate and welcome your concluding that the United States is such a safe haven because we appreciate your investment in U.S. treasuries. And very sincerely, I want to make clear that you have nothing to worry about in terms of their-their viability."

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