Saudi Arabia’s Secret Holdings of U.S. Debt Are Suddenly a Big Deal

It’s a secret of the vast U.S. Treasury market, a holdover from an age of oil shortages and mighty petrodollars: Just how much of America’s debt does Saudi Arabia own?
But now that question — unanswered since the 1970s, under an unusual blackout by the U.S. Treasury Department — has come to the fore as Saudi Arabia is pressured by plunging oil prices and costly wars in the Middle East.

In the past year alone, Saudi Arabia burned through about $100 billion of foreign-exchange reserves to plug its biggest budget shortfall in a quarter-century. For the first time, it’s also considering selling a piece of its crown jewel — state oil company Saudi Aramco. The signs of strain are prompting concern over Saudi Arabia’s outsize position in the world’s largest and most important bond market.

h/t XX

  • Exile1981

    1st off selling bonds to hostile countries is dumb and reckless.
    2nd who with a brain would buy Saudi Aramco?
    3rd The Saudis started the price war and they want sympathy for how it’s hurting their economy?

    • The Saudis started the price war. And the American oil men kicked their butts. Too f*cken bad, rag heads.

  • If the 9/11 commission’s redacted portions implicate Saudi Arabia, all their money should be “zero toleranced”.

    If zero tolerance is good enough for a poor black kid in the ghetto, it ought to be good enough for the Saudi cultists.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    A forceful leader of the free world can now push the Saudis into joining civilization.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      You’re far too optimistic about them arabs.

    • Physics grad

      you can not take the islam out of a muslim

      they will never be civilized

  • simus1

    I can think of a country with plenty of US$ reserves that would be very interested in acquiring a minority interest in Aramco. Of course the US would go bananas.

  • Ron MacDonald

    Saudi Arabia should have written that debt off as it has been paid back tenfold in American blood.

  • Hard Little Machine

    In a few years when the easy-to-get oil plays out, the KSA’s source of income will be commercial and financial holdings of overseas businesses and sovereign debt

  • Blacksmith

    Just one more way the shit is going to hit the fan, how much longer can the house of cards stand?