Sunday, November 27, 2011

US debt: how big is it and who owns it?

Who owns US debt around the world - and how big is it? Find out how China got to own over $1.4 trillion - and see which other countries have a slice.

Is the US economy going to avoid a $14tn debt meltdown? Barack Obama stepped up pressure on Republicans to sign up to a deficit reduction deal on Monday, warning that he will deploy his presidential veto to prevent them blocking billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts that are now scheduled to start in 2013.

The cuts to military and domestic spending were triggged by the collapse of the congressional super committee set up to reach a compromise on reducing the national deficit. How big is the national debt?

So, how does the US borrow money? Treasury bonds are how the US - and all governments for that matter - borrow hard cash: they issue government securities, which other countries and institutions buy. So, the US national debt is owned mostly in the US - and the $4tn foreign-owned debt is owned predominantly by Asian economies. Read more....

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