The US government has borrowed $4.2 trillion in the last 12 months, pushing the total national debt to over $27 trillion. In order for Uncle Sam to borrow, somebody has to lend.
So, who is buying all of these government bonds?
Foreign and domestic investors, commercial banks and US government entities all buy US debt, but increasingly, the Federal Reserve is backstopping the market and making this borrowing binge possible.
In Q3, the Fed bought $240 billion in US Treasuries. That brought its total Treasury holdings to $4.44 trillion. The central bank now holds a record 16.5% of the US debt load.