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CRS — Foreign Holdings of Federal Debt

January 17, 2013

Foreign Holdings of Federal Debt (PDF)

Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

This report presents current data on estimated ownership of U.S. Treasury securities and major holders of federal debt by country. Federal debt represents the accumulated balance of borrowing by the federal government. To finance federal borrowing, U.S. Treasury securities are sold to investors. Treasury securities may be purchased directly from the Treasury or on the secondary market by individual private investors, financial institutions in the United States or overseas, and foreign, state, or local governments. Foreign investment in federal debt has grown in recent years, prompting questions on the location of the foreign holders and how much debt they hold.

This report will be updated annually or as events warrant.

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