After China, the Fed's Now the Largest Owner of US Treasuries

Just this week an inevitable milestone came to pass, the Federal Reserve surged ahead of Japan as the second largest owner in the world of US debt… second only to China. Of course, the funds used to generate that massive debt position have only been made possible through the smoke and mirrors of quantitative easing. Zero Hedge notes this, and two other generally under-reported US debt facts, in a recent post.

Here’s the short version:

“#1: The US Fed is now the second largest owner of US Treasuries… Setting aside the fact that this is abject lunacy, this policy is trashing our currency which has fallen 13% since June… as in four months ago…

“#2: ‘There are only about $550 billion of Treasuries outstanding with a remaining maturity of greater than 10 years.’ […] the US has entered a debt spiral: a time in which fewer and fewer investors are willing to lend to us for any long period of time… at the exact same time that we must roll over trillions in old debt and issue an additional $100-150 billion in NEW debt per month in order to finance our massive deficit… So we’re talking about TRILLIONS of old debt coming due in the next decade…

“#3: The US will Default on its Debt… either that or experience hyperinflation. There is simply no other option. We can NEVER pay off our debts. To do so would require every US family to pay $31,000 a year for 75 years… Obviously that ain’t going to happen…”

The last point should be no surprise to any regular Daily Reckoning reader… but the extent to which the Fed has been purchasing Treasuries is appalling, as is the maturity of the Treasuries. You can read a more detailed description of these three issues in Zero Hedge’s coverage of three horrifying facts about US debt.


Rocky Vega,
The Daily Reckoning