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US Government Debt

US Government Debt

| May 23, 2022
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The U.S. gross national debt has now reached $30.4 trillion, following a massive $7.0 trillion spike since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in March 2020.  Every one of these debt securities had to be purchased and held by an entity such as a bank, a pension fund, a foreign government, or even an individual investor.  So, who exactly is holding $30.4 trillion of Treasury securities?  Wolf Richter at Wolfstreet.com parsed the data and created a beautiful graph to explain.  In short, while foreign holdings of U.S. Treasuries have declined from 34% in 2016 to just 25% now, both the Federal Reserve and U.S. institutional and individual investors have picked up the slack and expanded their buying.  The Federal Reserve now holds 19% of all government debt. (Chart from wolfstreet.com)

Jeffrey Cerny

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