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OT/ Who Do We Owe?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by JBrooks, Mar 13, 2007.

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  1. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    From time to time, comments appear here that claim the US is in dire straits because we "owe so much to the Chinese" etc, etc. So, when I came across this website, I was surprised at who we owe and who is actually buying our Treasury Bills and Bonds. Turns out, it is us!

    In fact, if the Chinese decided to sell all the US debt that they own, we,(the US Gov't and US citizens), could buy all of it within 7 months. Of course, if they even tried to sell any significant percentage, they would have to take such a discount on the price that it would be a tremendous bargain for us to buy it.

    So, the next time someone says "we owe too much money to the Chinese",(or anyone else for that matter), just smile and say, "do you like 7 1/2s or 8s?"
     
  2. lumper

    lumper TS Member

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    You would be surprised at what forn companies actually own in this country. Some buildings that have US government leased space for various offices around the US are actually owned by forn companies.

    Sometimes I wonder if they actually own more US properties than the US does.
     
  3. J.P.

    J.P. TS Member

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    The Dutch own the most. Not a problem except the Muslims all but run that country. Try to break us you bankrupt yourself!!
     
  4. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    Here you go lumper. Dboy, where do you get your info?
     
  5. front242

    front242 Member

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    What the hell is a "forn" country?

    Does "forn" = foreign?

    F242
     
  6. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

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    Then they carry on about the national debt being 7 - 8 trillion dollars when just the other day Bank of America was on TV bragging about having over 3/4 of a trillion out in home loans - one bank!
     
  7. dennis (nj)

    dennis (nj) Guest

    This is really funny . I heard years ago that the Japanese bought the town of George , Washington !!! Lock , stock and barrel . I don`t know if it is true so maybe someone from that state can fill us in .
     
  8. lumper

    lumper TS Member

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    Might I ask ... go again means what?

    There is a major portion of commercial real estate in this country owned by foreign (forn or fern) investors. I read an article that said that as of 2001 foreign investors had over $8Trillion invested in US real estate.

    In 2001 money and using the aprox 2005 value of the Sears Tower in Chicago that would be equal to forn investors owning 8400 Sears Towers.

    Now go forth and do some research, you might be shocked at just how much and what fern investors own in this country Mr Brooks. You would also be shocked as to just how many of what we think are US companies that are actually owned by foreign holding companies.
     
  9. wew3

    wew3 TS Member

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    Actually, as this article from the WSJ points out, Japan is the biggest owner of US debt.

    You need a paid subscription to access the link.

    Bill Walker

    Protectionists Never Learn
    By RUSSELL ROBERTS
    March 12, 2007; Page A15

    I'm thinking of a country. America's trade deficit with this country just reached an all-time high. This country holds more U.S. Treasuries than any other foreign country. It's one of the world's largest economies. And the name of that country is?

    Japan.

    Japan? Yes. Remember when Japan was a big threat to the American economy? You have to go back to the late 1980s. Back then, every politician in the mood for pandering to economic ignorance could scare a bunch of folks with worries about how the Japanese were stealing our jobs. How our trade deficit with Japan was going to destroy the American economy. How the Japanese economy was soon going to pass America's. How the Japanese auto industry was part of a sinister strategy to destroy our core competencies.


    Job thief
    You'd think Japan would still make good political fodder. The story of the baseball off-season is the Red Sox spending $100 million to bring Daisuke Matsuzaka from Japan to the United States. Dice-K, as he's known, is the ultimate import. He takes away a job from an American pitcher. And the Japanese baseball teams discriminate against American players with strict quotas. But even though America's trade deficit with Japan just hit that all-time high, no one uses Dice-K as a symbol of unfair Japanese trade policy.

    Why not? Instead, it's China all the time. We're told that China cheats on its currency, stealing America's manufacturing capacity and destroying American jobs. China's holdings of U.S Treasuries threaten our sovereignty, according to Hillary Clinton, even though Japanese holdings are almost twice as big.

    Why isn't Japan just as scary as China? One answer is that Matsuzaka smiles too much. He's only scary if you're 60 feet 6 inches away from him, trying to hit his famous gyroball with a wooden stick in your hand. And unlike other imports, it's easy to see how he doesn't just help his relatives in Japan with all that money he's getting from the Red Sox. He helps the Red Sox. Trade makes both parties to the trade better off.

    But still. Why isn't Japan scary?

    One answer is that the doom-and-gloomers already tried, but nothing happened. They told us that Japan was going to destroy our economy. They told us we needed a plan to cope with brilliant Japanese economic strategies. But then the Japanese economy hiccupped and played Rip Van Winkle for a decade, while America kept growing.

    The real reason Japan isn't scary is because it wasn't and isn't a threat to our standard of living. Trade makes both parties better off, remember? But when Japan slumps and the U.S. surges, it's too hard to fool people with bad economics.

    So when the sky didn't fall, a new candidate had to be found. Mexico and Nafta fit the bill. Not Canada, even though Canada was part of Nafta. Evidently, politicians and some voters find Mexicans more scary than Canadians. So it was Mexico. When that great "sucking sound" was never heard, a new sinister foreign nation had to be found. And so it's the turn of the Chinese.

    Yes, China holds a lot of our bonds. But Japan holds more. Yes, we run a big trade deficit with China. But that lets us buy lots of inexpensive stuff instead of having to make it for ourselves. Yes, there are more than a billion Chinese. I guess that means they can take all of our jobs four times! But our economy keeps growing. We have more jobs than ever before. And contrary to popular belief, the American standard of living and the American middle class are thriving.

    We were told that at a minimum China (and India with its own billion-strong population) would take all our high-tech jobs. But the high-tech sector bounced back from its downturn (a downturn that had nothing to do with outsourcing) and is growing again, partly because we can get some of the simplest database and programming tasks done so cheaply by Indians and Chinese.

    So why can politicians still make China scary? Why didn't Americans learn from the previous sky-is-falling episodes? The simple answer is that if you don't understand economics, you might be convinced by a politician who says that trade with China is bad for America.

    The next time you find yourself losing sleep over China, remember that you were worried about Japan and Mexico and everything turned out OK. Then ask yourself if America would be a richer country if China cut itself off from the rest of the world.

    Mr. Roberts is professor of economics at George Mason University and a research fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution.

    URL for this article:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117366082518233744.html

    Copyright 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies
     
  10. dennis (nj)

    dennis (nj) Guest

    Next time you go and buy something for your son , daughter , grand child or any item from the discount store which everyone buys from regardless of what they need and it`s made in China . Everything you pick up is made in China . They are nickle and diming us to death . I`ll bet there isn`t anything in their market that have a made in USA tag on it ???? Where is the fair trade agreement ??
     
  11. Dove Commander

    Dove Commander TS Member

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    Economy is based on trade, trade is based on cost, cost is based on labor and material. No trade, no economy, no jobs. Do you really think America's economy would survive within itself? without trade?
     
  12. Dutchboy

    Dutchboy TS Member

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    There is a very simple reason so many Japanese own US treasuries: Japanese treasuries pay 0.5%. You can borrow in Japan for a percent or two, invest in US treasuries, and pocket the difference.

    Only problem is a falling US greenback. It'll wipe out any profits in a hurry.

    As far as real estate, a lot of property is owned by foreign entities. Just like Americans own a lot of foreign real estate. Somehow, that's never brought up. FWIW, Dutch.
     
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