In response to:

Who Really Owns the U.S. National Debt?

Larry1764 Wrote: Jan 22, 2013 9:00 PM
Am I the only money-ignoramous here who doesn't understand how the Fed (which is us) buying the debt (which is ours) is possible? I think like this: The leader of my scout troop holds all our money for the weekend hike expenses; the leader spends it to buy himself a smart-phone, putting an IOU note in his wallet; when we complain that our money is gone, he calls his wife (the Fed) and she "buys" his IOU note. With money? What money? or if not money, with what? We scouts still don't get the money. Please, tell me what I'm missing.

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: