$1,728,477,000,000: Fed’s Holdings of U.S. Debt Hit Another Record

By Terence P. Jeffrey | February 15, 2013 | 10:25am EST

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

(CNSNews.com) - The Federal Reserve's holdings of U.S. government debt climbed to yet another record this week, hitting $1,728,477,000,000.00 by the close of business Wednesday, Feb. 13, according to data released late Thursday by the Fed.

That was an increase of $10,734,000,000.00 from the close of business on the previous Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, the total debt of the federal government was $16,524,304,599,079.04. That included $11,668,602,027,147.93 in debt held by the public and $4,855,702,571,931.11 in intragovernmental debt, which is money the Treasury has taken out of government trust funds—such as the Social Security Trust Fund—and spent on other government programs.

Since Jan. 2 of this year, the Federal Reserve has increased its holdings of U.S. government debt by $62,359,000,000.00 At the same time, the Treasury has increased the overall debt held by the public by $87,084,476,752.86. Thus, the Federal Reserve has bought up the equivalent of 71.6 percent of the publicly held debt that has been issued by the Treasury so far this calendar year, and 14.8 percent of all of the U.S. government's publicly held debt that is now extant.

On Jan. 30, the Fed said it intended to buy $45 billion in federal government debt per month with the aim of helping to insure economic growth at what it called a “moderate pace” as well as an unemployment rate that would “gradually decline.”

In the fourth quarter of 2012, the U.S. economy did not grow, according to the Bureau of Economic Analsysis. On the contrary real GDP declined by 0.1 percent. In January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment did not decline. In fact, it ticked up from 7.8 percent in December to 7.9 percent in January.

“The Committee expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic growth will proceed at a moderate pace and the unemployment rate will gradually decline toward levels the Committee judges consistent with its dual mandate,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in a press release.

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