It’s Better To Owe Money To A Friend Than To Owe Money To Someone Who Is Not Your Friend

America’s runaway spending is a problem. So far no one in Washington has either the power or the will to bring that spending to a screeching halt. But at least we are being a little wiser in our borrowing habits.

CNS News posted an article today with the following headline, “Japan Surpasses China as Top Foreign Holder of U.S. Debt.” It would be better if we had no debt, but at least the majority of our debt is held by a country that is not out to destroy us.

The article reports:

In May of this year, the Chinese owned $1,110,200,000,000 in U.S Treasury securities and the Japanese owned $1,101,000,000,000. In June, however, Chinese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities rose only to $1,112,500,000,000 and Japanese ownership climbed to $1,122,900,000,000.

That marked the first time since May 2017 that entities in Japan have owned more U.S. Treasury securities, as estimated by the U.S. Treasury, than entities in China.

In May 2017, the Japanese owned $1,111,500,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities and the Chinese owned $1,102,200,000,000. In June 2017, Chinese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities increased to $1,146,500,000,000 and Japanese ownership declined to $1,090,300,000.000.

Chinese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities, according to the estimates, peaked in November 2013 at $1,316,700,000,000.

…The Federal Reserve owns more U.S. Treasury securities than either Japan or China. As of June 27, according to the Federal Reserve’s balance statement, the Federal Reserve owned $2,110,256,000,000 in Treasury securities.

U.S. Treasury securities held by entities in Hong Kong are counted separately from those in Mainland China. According to the Treasury’s estimate, entities in Hong Kong owned $215,600,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities in June.

Entities in the United Kingdom were the third largest foreign holders of U.S. Treasury securities after Japan and China. In June, entities in the U.K. owned $341,100,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities.

The article concludes:

In explaining its methodology for estimating foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities, the Treasury explained that some countries have higher numbers because owners of Treasury securities from third countries “entrust the safekeeping of their securities” to institutions in these countries.

“Imperfections caused by ‘custodial bias’remain in the current MFH [Major Foreign Holders of U.S. Treasury Securities] table,” said the methodology statement. “Some foreign owners entrust the safekeeping of their securities to institutions that are neither in the United States nor in the owner’s country of residence. For example, a German investor may buy a U.S. security and place it in the custody of a Swiss bank. In both the SLT and the periodic surveys of holdings of long-term securities, such a holding will typically be recorded vis-a-vis Switzerland rather than Germany. This ‘custodial bias’ contributes to the large recorded holdings in major custodial centers including Belgium, the Caribbean banking centers, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.”

It truly is time to cut our spending. We owe too many people too much money.

Who Holds Our Debt?

CNS News is reporting today:

Chinese holdings of U.S. Treasury securities are 11.5 percent below their peak level which was attained in November 2013, according to data published by the U.S. Treasury.

U.S. government debt held by entities in the People’s Republic of China peaked at $1,316,700,000,000 in November 2013, according to the Treasury. As of August 2018, according to the latest date released by the Treasury this month, China held $1,165,100,000,000 in U.S. Treasury.

That is a drop of $151,600,000,000 from the November 2013 peak.

We are still carrying way too much national debt, and that will be a more serious problem as the federal reserve raises interest rates. However, although China is holding less of our debt, it is still the the top foreign holder of U.S. Treasury securities.

The article concludes:

While China remains the top foreign owner of U.S. government debt—despite its declining holdings—the Federal Reserve still owns far more. As of the end of November, according to the Federal Reserve, it owned $2,324,589,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities.

China’s $1,165,100,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities was only 50.1 percent of the Fed’s holdings.

It’s time to cut government spending and get out of debt!

 

 

Our Relationship With Saudi Arabia Is Getting Complicated

There is a price America pays for not being energy independent. It impacts the cost of living in America, but it also has a very negative impact on our freedom to make decisions about who are friends are around the world. Saudi Arabia is an example of one friend who has done some questionable things. The good thing that the Saudis have been responsible for is making sure oil is traded in American dollars. That is one of a few reasons America has not gone bankrupt. However, the Saudis are also a major player in the Wahabi sect of Islam. This is the sect that was responsible for 9/11 and is a major fund source for mosques and schools in America. There was a recent dust-up in Newton, Massachusetts, about a Saudi-funded social studies program that was teaching things about the Middle East that simply are not true. There are also a lot of questions about what is being taught in Saudi-funded mosques in America.

There are a few recent events that illustrate how complex America’s relationship with the Saudis is. The first event has to do with the families of the victims of 9/11 who want to sue Saudi Arabia as the source of the attack.

The U.K. Daily Mail reports the following:

Officials in Saudi Arabia have reportedly told the Obama administration they will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars of American assets if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible for any role in the September 11 attacks.

The warning was delivered by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir last month during a visit to Washington, the New York Times reported.

The minister said his country would sell up to $750 billion in US treasury securities and other assets before the bill puts them in jeopardy. 

These people play hard ball.

The article cites a New York Times article that states:

The administration has tried to stop Congress from passing the legislation, a bipartisan Senate bill.

Al-Juberi purportedly informed the lawmakers during a trip to Washington that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell a huge chunk of American financial assets on the world market, fearing the legislation could become law and U.S. courts would then freeze the assets.

The Times said Riyadh’s resolve to actually deliver on the threat is dubious, since selling off those assets would be technically challenging and would damage the dollar, against which the Saudi national currency is pegged. 

Under the current US law, foreign nations have a degree of immunity from being sued in American courts.

I don’t agree with The New York Times. I think this move by the Saudis would sink the American economy.

Also keep in mind that there are 28 pages of the 9/11 Congressional investigation that are still secret. Popular wisdom states that those pages have to do with the role of Saudi Arabia in 9/11. It will be interesting to see if those pages get released. President Obama has said that he will release them sometime in the next sixty days.

Meanwhile, President Obama has released nine Guantanamo prisoners to Saudi Arabia.

The Hill posted an article yesterday about the release. The article included the following statement by the Pentagon:

“The United States is grateful to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility,” the Pentagon statement said. “The United States coordinated with government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure these transfers took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.”

I could fertilize my garden with the above statement. First of all, the Saudi government is not known for its humane treatment of prisoners. Second of all, if Saudi Arabia is interested in closing down Guantanamo, they are interested because they want their terrorists back. This is ridiculous, and it is a shame that the Pentagon has been politicized under President Obama to the point where they would make that statement.

The main job of  a government is to keep its people safe. It seems as if that is the only job the Obama Administration is not interested in doing.