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12 Largest Holders of U.S. Debt

As the government shutdown continues into its second week, there are 12 holders of U.S. Treasuries with over $250 billion in U.S. government debt that would have the most to lose if the country defaulted by going over the debt ceiling on Oct. 17.

In fact, two of the largest holders of the Federal government's debt, Japan and China, separately called upon the U.S. to resolve the political gridlock and warned of the dire consequences that may result if policymaker can't reach a compromise.

Japanese finance minister Taro Aso noted on Tuesday, "The U.S. must avoid a situation where it cannot pay [for its debt] and its triple-A ranking plunges all of a sudden. The U.S. must be fully aware that if that happens, the U.S. would fall into fiscal crisis." 

The slideshow below notes the 12 largest holders of U.S. debt -- who are all likely becoming more and more worried with each passing day as the United States approaches its debt limit.

More about the debt
The U.S. government has piled on more than $10 trillion of new debt since 2000. Annual deficits topped $1 trillion after the financial crisis. Millions of Americans have asked: What the heck is going on? The Motley Fool's new free report, "Everything You Need to Know About the National Debt," walks you through with step-by-step explanations about how the government spends your money, where it gets tax revenue from, the future of spending, and what a $16 trillion debt means for our future. Click here to read the full report!


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  • Report this Comment On October 08, 2013, at 8:03 PM, Mathman6577 wrote:

    The chances of the US defaulting is zero. The media and Wall Street seem way too focused on this.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2013, at 8:29 AM, CluckChicken wrote:

    "The chances of the US defaulting is zero. The media and Wall Street seem way too focused on this."

    I wouldn't be too sure about this. It defiantly seems that the GOP is more than willing to trash the economy to get everything they want. There is more than one GOP member saying that they think a US default would stabilize the world economy and interest rates. It is really scary what some of these people are saying.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2013, at 11:26 AM, CatchTwentyTwo wrote:

    I have seen other reports saying that Federal reserve is number 2...and social security was number 1 with about 3 trillion owed.

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