featured a post where we looked at just who are the largest holders of the U.S. national debt. Since that time, the U.S. Treasury has revised their data, specifically to identify who the real foreign owners of the U.S. national debt are. Here are how things really stood at the end of the U.S. government's 2010 fiscal year on September 30, 2010:
The main differences from the chart we previously featured are that
China's holdings are much greater, while the United Kingdom's holdings
are much smaller, which is a result of a number of Chinese institutions
using banks in the United Kingdom as intermediaries for purchasing and
holding U.S. government-issued debt. As a result, China's real U.S.
debt holdings now account for 9.5% of the entire U.S. national debt
outstanding (nearly 1 out of every 10 dollars the U.S. government has
borrowed), instead of the 7.5% that was previously recorded.
Meanwhile, the U.K.'s recorded holdings have shrunk by a
corresponding 2.0% of the entire U.S. national debt as a result of this
Finally, one question that came up after our original post was "How much of the national debt held by U.S. individuals and institutions is owned by the U.S. Federal Reserve?"
We found that as of September 29, 2010, the Federal Reserve held 966 billion dollars
of the U.S. national debt in the form of U.S. Treasury Securities or
Federal Agency Debt Securities, which represents 16.9% of all U.S.
individual or institutional debt holdings, or approximately 7.1% of the
total national debt.
So when it comes to who owns the U.S. national debt, the U.S. Federal Reserve owns less than China does....