According to Wikipedia, a United States Treasury security is an IOU from the US Government, (which you can buy). It is a government debt instrument issued by the United States Department of the Treasury to finance government spending as an alternative to taxation. Think of it as Uncle Sam borrowing a few bob from you, swearing that he’s good for it while also paying you the interest on it every couple of years until he decides to buy that IOU back from you for the cash you gave him. Now multiply that by trillions and you have treasury bonds.
Debt is a two-headed beast. If you are in debt, then that debt is a liability whereas if you are owed money, then the debt becomes an asset. So the sales of US bonds raise money for the US but they also become a debt the US owes. In 2017, the United States had a total public national debt of 20.25 trillion U.S. dollars. In 2016, the total interest expense on debt held by the public of the United States reached 273 billion U.S. dollars, Of the 20.25 trillion in US debt, foreign countries held a total of 6.29 trillion U.S. dollars in U.S. treasury securities as of March 2017.
All fine so far. But I ask you, in your opinion, which countries hold those bonds and who has the biggest share of them? It must surely be no surprise that the Chinese and the Japanese are the biggest holders of US debt, $1,187.7Bn and $1,043.5Bn respectively. Guess which country on Earth is the next largest holder of US debt? You are not going to believe this! The third biggest holder of US Treasury Bonds is non other than little Ireland!!!!!
How da fuck? ……………. What in Jaesus name? …………….. Nah, nah, nah, it can’t be! ………… Oh but it is. We Irish hold $317.9 billion dollars in US bonds or to put it another way, the USA owes Ireland $317.9 billion or about €280 billion. Now, to put that in perspective for you, Saudi Arabia holds £151.2, (versus Ireland $317.9 billion), Russia £96.1 (versus Ireland $317.9 billion), France $80.9 (versus Ireland $317.9 billion), Gemany $76.5 (versus Ireland $317.9 billion) and even the U.A.E. has less than us at $59.2, (versus Ireland $317.9 billion). I notice that Israel, that fanatical supporter of all things American, isn’t even on the list. But I must say, I’m staggered by this simple piece of statistical information. I mean, where the fuck did we get $317.9 billion from? We are the second most indebted Nation on Earth after Japan and just behind the Japs as well on this list. We apparently owe €200bn+ and we are paying huge interest annually on it. it’s why the health service is in meltdown and why we have a homeless crisis among other things. So why don’t we just cash in our chips with Uncle Sam, take the €280 billion owed to us and pay off the €200 billion we owe? We’d still have €80 or billion to play around with and absolutely no debt.
At this point, I must put on the record here that I am no financial whizz so in this instance I can only look at the stark statistics from “Statista” and speculate. But I know deep down that there is no way in hell that we, as a country, have that much money owing to us. So how come we are listed in third place? I can only guess that it must be big money skullduggery in high finance and in Ireland, that means the I.F.S.C. Dublin’s IFSC, which was set up by the Irish Government with EU approval in 1987, is globally recognised as a leading location for a range of internationally traded financial services, including banking, asset financing, fund management, corporate treasury management, investment management, custody and administration and specialised insurance operations.
More than 500 operations were approved to trade in under the IFSC programme. The centre is host to half of the world’s top 50 banks and to half of the top 20 insurance companies. Merrill Lynch, Sumitomo Bank, ABN Amro, Citibank, AIG, JP Morgan (Chase), Commerzbank,BNP Paribas and EMRO are just some of the big-name operations that have chosen to locate in the area. A sophisticated support network, including shared services centres, software development, and legal and accountancy companies, has also developed around the IFSC. So Yup! a veritable viper’s nest of big money skullduggery right on our shores. We are told that billions pass through this place everyday. Two years ago there was a piece in the paper with a photograph of a nondescript door. It was a one room office that allegedly traded several billion in financial instruments during the previous twelve months, even though that door never opened once.
If I am right, and I can only suspect that I am, then I have to confess to being quite relieved that we do not have $317.9 billion in US bonds. For one thing, those bonds are raised and sold by the US to fund the wars they are raging around the world. Secondly, the dollar is on very shaky ground right now. See here and here to learn more.
International experts have said that the only thing between the dollar collapsing and America going back to the stone age, is Saudi Arabia and their insistence on the petrodollar. So how stable the dollar is is also how stable you believe the sand Kings to be. At present, the Saudi’s are at war with the very small and very poor Yemen and are actively creating a situation of widespread famine in that country. If, as that article suggests, Saudi Arabia does collapse sooner rather than later, the overnight, the American dollar becomes worthless. It will be backed by nothing at all in a country that owes the world $20.25 trillion. In that scenario, our $317.9 billion in US bonds would go up in a puff of smoke …………. if we had them.
Of course, if the dollar goes, the Euro goes as well as does the £STG and the Japanese Yen. It would be a world in chaos so maybe, just maybe, the US is too big to fail, (where have I heard that expression before?).