Foreign Holdings of US Debt Hit Record High

Monday, April 15th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Debt, News

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The gross federal debt stands at $16.8 trillion, up from $10.6 trillion when Obama took office.  The total public debt is almost $12 trillion, double what it was when Obama was inaugurated.  The most destructive part of the public debt is the share of foreign owned treasuries.  According to the Treasury Department, the share of foreign holdings in U.S. treasuries has reached a record high – $5.66 trillion.  

The Treasury Department said Monday that foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities increased 0.3 percent in February from January to a record $5.66 trillion. It was the 14th straight monthly increase.

China, the top foreign owner of Treasury debt, increased its holdings 0.7 percent to $1.22 trillion. Japan, the second-larger holder, trimmed its holdings 0.6 percent to $1.1 trillion.

Overall demand kept rising despite sharp disagreements between Congress and President Barack Obama over tax and spending issues. Still, Congress approved a measure to temporarily suspend the borrowing limit until May 19. That has allowed the government to take on more debt while the debate continues.

The increase left total holdings 10.8 percent higher than a year ago. Out of the total foreign holdings, 72 percent is owned by foreign governments including foreign central banks.

Aside for the obvious concerns about such a large share of our debt being held by countries like China, there are also concerns about the overspending in Washington crowding out real foreign investments.  Think about it, instead of investing in more productive aspects of the American economy, foreign countries have invested $5.66 trillion to service our debt so politicians can grow government and create dependency.  What a waste.  Imagine if those investments would be in American products and services?