Tuesday, January 18, 2011

U.S. National Debt Held By Foreigners

Americans should be concerned about the explosion of debt owed to foreigners. Like it or not, this will affect the future sovereignty of the United States. Decisions of national security will increasingly have to consider the impact on foreign entities who have a stake in our government/country.

In order to fund our massive deficits, the U.S. has had to borrow heavily from foreign governments and foreign central banks. The money we get to finance the Debt and deficits is raised through the sale of U.S. Treasury Securities (i.e., government bonds and government notes).

Currently, foreigners hold over $4.34 trillion in U.S. government debt (i.e. Treasury Securities). We owe them this money!

Back in January 2001 (when George W. Bush took office), foreigners held $1.01 trillion in U.S. government debt. By the time he left office this figure had ballooned to $3.07 trillion. Most of the tax cuts and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was financed by debt owed to foreigners.

Of particular note, in China now holds $900 billion and OPEC now holds $210 billion of our debt.

The National Debt situation is bad enough, but the U.S. banking and financial industry is now completely infiltrated by foreign investors and relies on foreign investment in order to operate. I have my opinion about the risks and benefits of giving foreigners more control of our debt and thus more control of our economic independence. You can look at the numbers and decide for yourself if you think it is wise.

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