Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke issues the warning. Asian nations, China and India first, are no longer willing to purchase securities issued by the US Treasury, which this year has about $ 2 trillion short-term debt to refinance. Beijing is buying gold instead.
By the end of 2010, the US Treasury will have to refinance US$ 2 trillion in short-term debt, plus additional deficit spending for this year, estimated to be around US$ 1.5 trillion. Together, the US Treasury will need to borrow US$ 3.5 trillion (US$ 3.6 according to this writer) in just one year.
Foreigners hold 44% of $ 2 trillion short-term US debt; that is $ 880 billion. Total domestic savings in the United States are only around $ 600 billion annually. If the United States needs to sell $ 3.5 trillion (or $ 3.6 trillion) in Treasury bills, and all domestic savings combined are put into US Treasury debt, the United States will still fall short by nearly $ 3 trillion. Where is the rest of the money going to come from?
1 trillion = 1.000.000.000.000
Nor China, nor India or any other Asian countries. Last year, China has in fact proportionately reduced its holdings in US Treasury bills in relation to rest of its reserves.
US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S Bernanke is warning the US Congress about the danger. In a statement before the House Financial Services Committee, he said that the US public debt might no longer be sustainable very soon.
Bernanke says the United States is likely to face a debt crisis like the one in Greece sooner than later, “not something that is 10 years away”.