July 27th, 2011
01:48 PM GMT
Share this on:

With the U.S. Federal Debt topping $14 trillion, it's worth taking a look at who actually lends the U.S. all this money.

The biggest creditor is the U.S. itself.

Of the total debt, 42% is held by the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve, according to March statistics from the U.S. Treasury.

Of that, the biggest chunk – $2.6 trillion – is held by the Social Security Agency, the U.S. government's program for retirees. Big lenders after that include the Federal Reserve and the trust funds that administer U.S. federal employee benefits.

The next chunk, 32%, is in foreign hands. That's why so many other nations have a stake in this debt standoff.

China is the largest lender, buying up $1.3 trillion in U.S. Treasuries, followed by Japan and the United Kingdom. To find out how much U.S. debt your country holds, take a look here.

The rest of the debt – 26% – is in private hands. That includes vehicles like mutual, bond and pension funds, savings bonds and institutional investors.

Lots of national governments and private investors have long chosen U.S. Treasuries because they were considered a safe haven. In times of uncertainty and crisis, the U.S. government was one of the most reliable places to park your cash. It may not be much longer.

Filed under: Business

soundoff (One Response)
  1. rodney

    the debt crisis will if not attacked hard will affect global markets but i believe in a simple approach to get us started.
    ASK FOR HELP !!! I recently broke my back and shoulder and ribs from a tree limb fell on me cleaning up storm damage to my uncles house in alabama. i didn't ask for help. i didn't have to ! friends, family, and churches have all been so helpful to my family. i would be willing to GIVE the govt a couple of days pay to help the deficit therefore boosting the economy. what if everyone did this including corporations and so many millionaires+ !!! in this country.

    July 27, 2011 at 6:50 pm |

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About Business 360

CNN International's business anchors and correspondents get to grips with the issues affecting world business, and they want your questions and feedback.

Powered by WordPress.com VIP