Foreign Holdings of Federal Debt. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Marc Labonte and Jared C. Nagel. May 28, 2015.
The 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 investors have held slightly less than half of the publicly held federal debt in recent years, prompting questions on the location of the foreign holders and how much debt they hold.
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