Who exactly is American debt owed to? From the expected retirees to the circular and truly bizarre, here is a look at who is owed the over $21 trillion in US government debt.
$6.9 trillion (33%) US Investors come in at number one and if you have a treasury bond, you are part of this.
$6.2 trillion (29%) Foreign investors own another third, with China and Japan leading the pack at a trillion each. This is anything from private people, to banks, to the governments themselves. Brazil and Ireland are tied at $0.3 trillion, and the UK comes in at $0.275 trillion. Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Cayman Islands are next, but those are likely fronts for others.
$5.7 trillion (27%) US Government owns about a quarter of the debt. Social security, pensions, and other funds park their money in treasuries, which are then paid off with taxes, so you are paying taxes on top of taxes to earn interest. Try and wrap your head around that.
$2.4 trillion (11%) Our favorite entity, the Federal Reserve, lender of last resort, takes all the banks deposited money and buys treasuries, or when it creates money from thin air, it does the same thing.
Ultimately, those who buy treasuries do so because they are stable and reliable. It is presumed that the US government will always be able to steal money to service the interest, so there is no worry. So far, this has proven accurate for nearly 250 years.