Holders of Sovereign Debt

Here’s a great chart just released by the International Monetary Fund.   Note that almost half — 47 percent –  of the US$14.7 trillion U.S. federal government debt is held by the Federal Reserve and the government itself, such as the Social Security trust fund.   Add to that the 22 percent foreign official holdings (mainly central banks)  and almost 70 percent of the debt of the U.S. government is held by non-market/non-profit oriented public sector entities.   Stunning!

It’s also interesting to hear Europeans quote the $14.7 trillion (apx. 100% of GDP) figure while U.S. officials like to refer to marketable or debt held by the public, which totals US$10.1 trillion (apx. 75% of GDP).   We’ll be back to you with more on this issue.

(click on the chart to enlarge)

(click here if chart is not observable)

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9 Responses to Holders of Sovereign Debt

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  4. Antoine says:

    Where did you get the graph from? IMF GFSR?

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  8. Jason says:

    Macromon, thanks for the great chart. There certainly is a large difference in who owns the debt between the U.S. and the European nations listed. We are discussing this chart at http://thepoliticalforums.com/threads/1533-Who-Owns-the-National-Debt and wondering if you might know what comprises the “other” section of the pie chart. Do you know of any examples which would fit under this section? Much appreciated!

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