America's External Debt
Gross External Debt Position: as of March 31, 2018
U.S. Dollars in Millions
General Government 6,546,130
Central Bank 730,845
Deposit-Taking Corporations 2,983,039
Other Sectors 7,108,374
Direct Investment: 1,812,466
Gross External Debt Position 19,180,854
the external debt is what america owns to the foreigners.
Dick Cheney once said: "debt and deficit don't matter". well, that's certainly an interesting point. but to a big debtor like the US, the capacity to finance the deficits and the cost to service the debt certainly matter a lot.
take the current 5% prime rate as the mean rate, then the US needs 1 trillion every year to service its external debt. and the "twin-deficits": 1 trillion budget defict and 800 billion trade deficit need significant foreign financing.
the US need big foreign capital inflow to keep going, and China can set the "dollar house" on fire.