In response to:

Who Really Owns the U.S. National Debt?

johnm h Wrote: Jan 21, 2013 8:14 AM
If the fed had not financed expansion of government spending interest rates would have increased and the government would have had to restrain spending. The article is misleading and implies that the fed has reduced external debt,not at all. Foreign debt was increased and the debt overhang greatly increased. TH go back to school.
Corbett_ Wrote: Jan 21, 2013 10:34 AM
The article is not misleading. It points out that the amount of foreign debt as a PERCENTAGE of the total has gone down because of the Fed. The article points out that the Fed has been buying US debt BECAUSE FOREIGNERS REFUSE TO DO SO. In other words, they have lost confidence in our ability and willingness to repay.
johnm h Wrote: Jan 21, 2013 1:28 PM
Their share has decreased but the absolute amount has gone up, but most important, and it is consistent with what you say, is that had the Fed not bought up the debt, interest rates would have to go up for the Treasury to sell the debt here and abroad and since the total debt has increased, the debt overhang and therefore the interest rate that will result from selling treasuries will be higher than it would have been. The Fed is financing the takeover of the economy and by doing so makes us more vulnerable; so vulnerable that only stagnation can prevent run away inflation or an interest rate spike that would allow markets to clear and the real position unambiguous.

Today, we're taking a preliminary look at just who owns all the debt issued by the U.S. federal government through 30 September 2012 - the end of the U.S. government's fiscal year. Our chart below visualizes what we found.

The information presented in our chart above is preliminary, as the U.S. Treasury typically revises its foreign entity debt ownership data in March of each year.

Overall, U.S. entities own just 65.8% of all debt issued by the U.S. federal government. Ranking the major U.S. entities from low to high, we find that: