Top Customer: Under Obama, Fed’s Holdings of U.S. Debt Have Jumped 452%

June 7, 2012 - 12:00 PM
Ben Bernanke, Barack Obama

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and President Barack Obama (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

(CNSNews.com) -  Since President Barack Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, the Federal Reserve’s holdings of U.S. government debt have quintupled, according to the Fed’s official monthly balance sheet.

On Jan. 28, 2009, a week after Obama’s nomination, the Fed owned $302 billion in U.S. Treasury securities. On April 25, 2012, the latest date reported, the Fed owned five and a half time that much in U.S. Treasury securities--$1.668 trillion.

That is an increase from January 2009 of $1.366 trillion—or 452 percent.

Under Obama, the Federal Reserve has become the single largest owner of U.S. government debt. When Obama entered office, entities in the People’s Republic of China were the largest holders, followed by entities in Japan. At the end of January 2009, China owned $739.6 billion in U.S. government debt and Japan owned $634.8 billion.

By the end of March 2012, China’s holdings of U.S. debt had grown to $1.1699 trillion and Japan’s holdings had grown to $1.083 trillion.

Together, the Federal Reserve, China and Japan had increased their holdings of U.S. debt by $2.2445 trillion since Obama took office.

The total U.S. government debt grew from $10.6179 trillion to $15.6233 between Jan. 28, 2009 and April 25, 2012. Leaving out the intragovernmental debt—which the federal government owes itself—the publicly owned part of the U.S. government debt has climbed from $6.2955 trillion to $10.8607 trillion, an increase of $4.5652 trillion.

The $2.2445 trillion of that new publicly owned U.S. government debt that was purchased by the Fed, China and Japan equals 49 percent of all the new debt the U.S. government has sold to the public since Obama took office.