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Who owns America? Hint: It’s not China

A close-up look at who holds America’s debt.

, July 20, 2011 17:45

Truth is elusive.  But it’s a good thing we have math.

Our friends at Business Insider know this, and put those two principles to work today in this excellent and highly informative little slideshow, made even more timely by the ongoing talks in Washington, D.C. aimed at staving off a U.S. debt default.

. . . . . . .

America owes foreigners about $4.5 trillion in debt. But America owes America $9.8 trillion.

Phi Beta Iota:  Details below.  The lies and misrepresentation from all sides in Washington are reprehensible.   The distance between the truth and those in power has never been greater.  It turns out the US owes the largest chuck (30.3%) to the US Treasury and the Social Security fund; next up is 6.6% to US households, and then a plethora of banks and funds that could easily be stiffed for a year.

US holders of US debt:

US Commercial banks: $301.8 billion (2.1 percent)
US Money market mutual funds: $337.7 billion (2.4 percent)
US Mutual funds: $300.5 billion (2 percent)
US Private pension funds: $504.7 billion (3.5 percent)
US Social Security trust fund: $2.67 trillion (19 percent)
US State and local governments: $506.1 billion (3.5 percent)
US State, local and federal retirement funds: $320.9 billion (2.2 percent)
US The U.S. Treasury: $1.63 trillion (11.3 percent)
US U.S. households: $959.4 billion (6.6 percent)

Foreign holders of US debt:

China: $1.16 trillion (8 percent)
Hong Kong: $121.9 billion (0.9 percent)
Japan: $912.4 billion (6.4 percent)
Oil exporting countries: $229.8 billion (1.6 percent)
Taiwan: $153.4 billion (1.1 percent)
United Kingdom: $346.5 billion(2.4 percent)

Note:  The math in the original source does not add up.  Above comes to52.6 percent and 20.4 percent, for a total of 73%.  Further investigation is needed, but the core point appears valid.  The crisis is being misrepresented.