Sunday, November 6, 2011

New and improved US Debt charts with China---always stunning to see how it has changed in just 10 years...

Don't know why I like debt graphs/charts as they relate to China.  I suppose it is because of the shocking rise of it such a short period of time. 

The first one (smaller one with yellow bars) shows the dollar amount of US Treasury's owned by China ( I assume by the Govt and/or its citizens). The second part of the graph shows the total US PUBLIC debt of $10 Trillion. This excludes the portion of the total National Debt (approx $5 Trillion) that is called PRIVATE debt. This is the debt incurred by the Federal Govt as it borrows from various Trust Funds, such as Social Security, that the Federal Govt administers. In other words, money the Federal Govt borrows from itself (that is another story for another day).
Source: Christian Science Monitor
The next chart shows in the same time period, China's change in direct investment outside of its borders (the US and elsewhere). This could include other financial investments stocks, commodities, bonds (how much of YOUR house or student loans or car is owed to them??) or investments in physical properties (businesses, land, natural resources, etc).
Source: Christian Science Monitor

You might be asking yourself: "Where do they get all this money since 2001 to loan us or to invest?"

This chart shows the difference between what we EXPORT (BLUE line) and what we IMPORT (RED line) from China.  You can easily see US Net Exports ($$$ Exports minus $$$ Imports) is negative. We import much more from China than we export to them.

The net flow of dollars on merchandise and services between our two countries is we send many more dollars to China than they return back to the US to buy our merchandise and services.  What do they do with all those surplus dollars? Go back to the beginning of this posting and start again---it is a continous loop. Those dollars we send them don't just disappear. A good number of them come back to the US to buy our debt instead of our merchandise. Crazy system, ain't it??? :)

FRED Graph
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