Mark McHugh at Across the Street asks a question that has been the topic of some hushed speculation around here: Who is actually buying all the government's new debt? McHugh makes a game effort to dope out the identities of the "other investors" from Treasury Department's Treasury's 2010 Q1 Bulletin ("incomplete, as I'm sure most of Secretary Tim Geithner's homework assignments were") and the Federal Reserve's Flow of Funds report ("an exercise in convolution"). But he ends up making a plea for some distributed intelligence in tracking down what should be readily available data:
By the end of 2010, Other Investors will own more than 10% of the US public debt (1.5 Trillion or so). They bought more than 45% of the new debt in Q1. At what point does this kind of opacity become unacceptable? Why can't the Treasury fill out its own bulletin with information already available? Why do we have to wait five months for information that is so vague, you can't even call it information with a straight face?
Full of fine Saxon words like "analality" and "Turbo." Courtesy of Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge, whose own commenters also help build your vocabulary with brilliant coinages like "spendulus" and "Paulie Krugnuts." (Funny bidness like that may make it easier to ignore this important question with implications for the security of the nation and the welfare of the citizens. But it's still pretty funny.)