Government's Foreign Debt Hits Record $5.29 Trillion

Thursday, 16 Aug 2012 04:22 PM

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The U.S. government's debt held by foreign entities hit a record $5.2923 trillion in June, CNSNews.com reported, citing Treasury Department data.

The government’s indebtedness to foreign entities has shot up 72.3 percent since President Barack Obama took office.

In January 2009 the U.S. government owed $3.0717 trillion to foreigners entities, the news service added.

China was the top creditor to the U.S. government, though Japanese entities were a close second.

Editor's Note: Economist Warns: ‘Money From Heaven a Path to Hell.’ See Evidence.

In June, the Chinese held $1.1643 trillion in U.S. government debt, up slightly from $1.1640 trillion in May.

Chinese ownership of U.S. government debt peaked at $1.3149 trillion in July of last year, with lending trending down since then.

Japanese entities, meanwhile, have been buying more U.S. government debt. In June, the Japanese owned $1.1193 trillion, up from $1.1089 trillion in May. A year ago, in June 2011, the Japanese owned only $881.5 in U.S. government debt.

The Chinese aren't the largest owners of U.S. debt.

"Although the Chinese maintained their place as the top foreign owners of U.S. debt in June, they are not the top owners of U.S. debt in the world," CNSNews.com reported.

"That distinction belongs to the U.S. Federal Reserve, which according to its July monthly report, owned $1.667 trillion in U.S. government debt in June."

The Fed has dramatically increased its holdings of U.S. Treasury securities as part of a monetary-policy effort to push interest rates down to spur recovery. As of the end of June, the federal government's total debt came to $15.86 trillion.

Calls have grown for the government to address its fiscal health.

"If you take last year 100 percent of the revenue that came into the country, every nickel, every single dollar that came into the country last year was spent on our mandatory spending and interest on the debt," Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to President Clinton, told CNBC recently.

"Mandatory spending is principally the entitlement programs — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. What that means is every single dollar that we spent last year on these two wars, national defense, homeland security, education, infrastructure, high value-added research, every single dollar was borrowed and half of it was borrowed from foreign countries," Bowles added. "That is crazy. It's a formula for failure in any organization."

Along with former Senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), Bowles co-chaired the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

Editor's Note: Economist Warns: ‘Money From Heaven a Path to Hell.’ See Evidence.

© 2014 Moneynews. All rights reserved.

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