Who Owns the United States?

Of the country's $14 trillion debt, $4.4 trillion is held by foreign governments.

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hu20and20obama
President Obama and his counterpart Hu Jintao

Greg Bocquet of Yahoo's Main Street is calling attention to just how much the United States in in debt to foreign interests. He reports, "While most of the country's $14 trillion debt is held by private banks in the U.S., the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board estimate that, as of December, about $4.4 trillion of it was held by foreign governments that purchase our Treasury securities, much as an investor buys shares in a company and comes to own his or her little chunk of the organization."

According to the article, a few overall characteristics show some interesting trends among the top international creditors: Three of the top 10 spots are held by China and its constituent parts, and while two of our biggest creditors are fellow English-speaking democracies, a considerable share of our debt is held by oil exporters that tend to be decidedly less friendly in other areas of international relations. Check out the top 10 below:

1. Mainland China
2. Japan
3. The United Kingdom
4. Oil exporters (Ecuador, Venezuela, Indonesia, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Gabon, Libya and Nigeria)
5. Brazil
6. Caribbean banking centers
7. Hong Kong
8. Canada
9. Taiwan
10. Russia

If you don't think China's recent visit to the U.S. or the pro-democracy movement in the Middle East has anything to do directly with you, you might want to think again. Better yet, check out the gas prices.

Read more at Yahoo.

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