Bond holders

Now who are the creditors of all the us government debt, who owns how much bonds? This question is interesting, because a single large (foreign) creditor may be able to put pressure on the US. Below you see a breakdown of the us government debt owners. More then half of the debt is hold by the public, the rest by 'internal' entities, meaning government funds, special funds and revolving funds.

Breakdown of US bond holders

Of the public bond holders, which own at the moment about 7.8 trillion $ of us governement debt, about the half are US residents, companies or fonds. The other half of the debt is hold by foreign countries, mostly central banks. Below you see the proportions of the foreign debt owners.

US debt hold by major central banks

It is interesting to see how that has changed in the last 10 years, depicted in the next graphic. Japans relative part has decreased, while chinas part became much bigger. We also see countries like russia or brazil have emerged as major holders in the recent years.

You can see from these graphics where the $ flows to, the asian countries have many $ dollar bonds, because they are the 'worlds workbench' and export many goods to the US, receiving $ which they put in bonds. Countries like switzerland, luxembourg or the caribbean offshore banks hold bonds because they chose them as investment. The oil producers, russia and brazil will mostlikley have gotten their $ from exporting raw materials, oil and gas to the US.

Major US bond holders