Sunday, December 13, 2009

who owns us

be patient with this one, it takes a minute to load...

Who Owns America's Debt - A Dynamic Perspective on Major Foreign Holders of Treasury Securities (2002-Present) from Michael J Bommarito II on Vimeo.

Three Things to Notice

(1) China Passes Japan — This dynamic visual demonstrates how in the fall of 2008 China surpassed Japan as the top foreign holder of U.S. Debt.

(2) The Rise of Russia – Notice how Russia becomes a significant holder of U.S. Debt between late-2006 and mid-2007.

(3) The Increasing Amount of U.S. Debt Held Abroad — The pie chart is sized by the total debt held by the current top ten debt holders. As a function of U.S. expenditures over the relevant time period, this pie grows in nearly every time period. In the bottom right corner, we track the total debts held by the current top debt holders. Of course, this alone does not represent the complete picture as there is additional U.S. debt held by a variety of other other countries. Therefore, we also track the grand total of all debts held abroad in the bottom right corner of the visual.

Dynamic Perspective on the Increasing Amount of American Debt Held Abroad

Focusing upon the ”Major Foreign Holders of Treasury Securities,” we were interested in considering how today’s major debt holders acquired their top position. The data used the generate the visual above is drawn from United States Department of Treasury. For those interested in replicating our results, the current data is located here and the historical data is located here.

related post: A Decade of Debt — The American Dream and the Road to Riches?


  1. While we all intuitively knew that China was the country that held the largest amount of US debt, what most people are unaware of is that if you put aside nationalities, China is actually the 3rd largest holder of total US debt. Mutual Funds are #2. Care to guess who #1 is? this one should scare you.... And make you stop and think (refer to this week's Ron Paul's blog)

  2. i dont thinks anyone who's been paying attention isnt aware that the Fed is the largest holder of US debt...the question is where do those debt instruments go when the Fed tries to unwind its "queasing"...