US To End 2010 With $13.9 Trillion In Debt, Total Debt Incurred Since Great Financial Crash: $4.4 Trillion

Tyler Durden's picture

Now that all recent bond auctions have settled, and with no further bond
auctions scheduled until the rest of the year, we can look at the final
tally of US total debt: the number - $13,879,785,000,000. This represents a $1.568 trillion increase in total US debt held by the public for 2010, and $4.388 trillion since the collapse of Lehman. This
is in essence the cost to US taxpayers to keep the financial system
solvent, as the US has become the biggest marginal leveraging actor in
the world, with everyone else, notably US consumers, and Europe, doing
all they can to strip as much debt as they possible can. Of course,
since this money does not have to be repaid any time soon, or ever,
nobody seems to mind, especially not the politicians in Washington. As
we have said before, and pro forma for the Obama tax deal, we expect
total debt issuance in 2011 to accelerate once again, and to hit just
under $2 trillion, putting total US debt at the end of next year at
around $16 trillion. We also fully expect the Fed to monetize the bulk
of that issuance. We can't wait to hear the positive spin on this one.

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papaswamp's picture

ZH must have reset.

Here is how congress should settle issues...throw down like they do in the Ukraine parliament!

karzai_luver's picture

Somehow I think the idea of everyone working(or not) at the foot of the Fed is just a bit off the idealogical path when this former republic was begun.


Sad times for this shell corp of the FED.


Weimar Ben Bernanke's picture

Yeah we are number one!!!! Woohoo!!! They should add the obligations we have for Fannie and Freddie. It should be $17 trillion!!!! We are America history and the laws of economics do not and will not apply to us!!!!! Nothing can possibly go wrong!!

Sarcasm off


DoChenRollingBearing's picture

$4.4 trillion of extra debt, if my math is functioning OK, that would work out to some $12,000 for each man, woman and child in the USA.

Why not have just have mailed the 36k (3 of us) to our place, we would have used the money more wisely than the Fed and Treasury.

I could have bought a decent amount more of gold with that 36k...

gwar5's picture

No need to panic. The Fed has taken control of the government


cranky-old-geezer's picture

That happened around 1913 as I recall, when feds created the Fed and gave currency control to it. Legally it was circa 1933 when feds were declared bankrupt.  They've been operating in receivership ever since.

markmotive's picture
The question is this...when will judgement day happen? Tomorrow? Next year? Never? There are so many variables and interdependencies that it is difficult to predict. The best we can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. US will lose AAA credit rating, says M&G's Jim Leaviss
karzai_luver's picture

We are only waiting on the sentencing now.


economessed's picture

We ride the escalator of debt accumulation, but take the elevator down to the level of resolution.

The way I look at this, we've entrenched these behaviors in our society over the past 35 years.  It's not like they are going to come undone in a few months.  We aren't even pretending to be serious yet.  We just awarded ourselves another round of tax cuts and more open-ended monetization by the Fed.  It will need to get substantially worse before the wheels fall off.  We're picking up speed -- you shouldn't need to wait another decade to see how it ends.

ToddGak's picture

Yeah, pretty funny how after all the huffing and puffing, basically it's just business as difficult decisions, no sacrifice, just more debt, more giveaways to the wealthy, more transfer payments to the unemployed, no political will to make the tough choices.  Now that the "free money for everybody" cat is out of the bag, it's hard to see how we'll ever be able to go the other direction....DOW 36,000, AU $2500 here we come!

LoneCapitalist's picture

I know they say a weak dollar is good for exports( exchange rate gives other currencies an advantage in buying U.S. goods). But doesnt the weaker dollar also mean an increase in U.S. prices. Seems like a wash. What am I missing?

Old Europe Avant-Garde's picture

But what is the US exporting that the world wants to buy anyway? It certainly isn't cars.

SayTabserb's picture

One comment that got lost was someone's very intelligent observation that 2011 could very well be a year of reckoning because of the (a) exploding debt and (b) the simultaneous swelling of the Social Security and Medicare rolls, forcing the govt. to increasingly resort to the "general tax fund" (that is, borrowing and printing, no particular order) in order to keep these things afloat. It's going to achieve criticality. As B. Krasting has pointed out, Soc. Security is already cash negative. The trust fund is a myth. Now they've reduced general revenues. Somethin's gotta give.

karzai_luver's picture

SS has been used to make the general look better for a long time.

I am not looking for a death star type crackup anytime soon.


It's much worse than that, just a slow grinding loss of opportunity and freedom in exchange for a police state enforced Fed-bankster-CONgres scum wall-off of the have from the never had and never will haves.

Blast Wall america.


Dr_Dazed's picture

I have to agree that a "slow grinding loss of opportunity and freedom" seems like the most likely outcome, but given recent history it could also come after some sort of "tipping point" collapse.  The old Soviet Union imploded first and then things went downhill.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Translation (and consider that the real U.S. debt, according to David Walker, is 55 trillion - minimally):

If you're < 20 = You're fucked by every policy maker so far

If you're < 30 = See above

If you're < 40 = See above

If you're < 50 = See above

If between 50 and 60 = There is a chance you may realize some benefits, such as Social Security, but it really depends on the laws of monetary physics, or in lieu thereof, how long a very large Madoff-esque Ponzi Scheme at the national level can last.


SayTabserb's picture

I think there was a chance that the 50-62 crowd could have counted on a decade or so of Social Security until this tax deal was passed. Now, not so much. The GOP majority in the House is not going to miss the fact that Soc. Security is now cash negative, and Obama played right into their hands by making the prob. worse. They won't tolerate a "general fund" drain for long before they hammer the benefits or "rescind" the trust fund out of existence. The good news: an immediate $2.5 trillion reduction in the national debt!

Weimar Ben Bernanke's picture

I'm 19 and I am beyond fucked! I wonder what the nation will look like when I'm 34. I shudder to think but I see something like the breakup of the USSR except it will be bloody or like Yugoslavia.

marcos's picture

Good thing that the Tea Party got elected, because we know that the Republicans are going to take their cues from the voters and cut the massive federal debt that we're going to pass on, not just to our children, BUT TO OUR GRANDCHILDREN AS WELL.


sarcasm off.


tick, tick, tick, tick.

Thoreau's picture

"Trillion" is so 2010. Wake me when we're talking about some "real" money.

Frederic Bastiat's picture

That's 4.3 trillion in wealthy peoples money saved--because bondholders should NEVER lose their money.  That my friends is wealth redistribution.

Ned Zeppelin's picture

Hey, you'd want the rules set up that way if you were in charge too. <biting sarcasm off>

Live_Free's picture

Wohooo Credit Cards!!

Debt- The American Way

Don Levit's picture


I gave a presentation on the funding of Social and Medicare's trust funds last Sunday.

They are a very liberal group, of which I am a part.

Anyway, I seemed to pretty much convince them that the trust funds were a sham.

Here's the excerpt that seemed to nail it, from the Social Security Administration itself!

From a paper entitled "SSA's FY 2010 Performance and Accountability Report,"

Page 111   "The U.S. Treasury does not set aside financial assets to cover its liabilities associated with the OASI and DI Trust Funds.  The cash received from the OASI and DI Trust Funds for investment in these secirities is used by the Treasury for general Government expenses.  Treasury special securities provide the OASI and DI Trust Funds with authority to draw upon the U.S. Treasury to make future benefit payments.  When the OASI and DI trust funds require redemption of these securities to make expenditures, THE GOVERNMENT FINANCES THOSE EXPENDITURES OUT OF ACCUMULATED CASH BALANCES, BY RAISING TAXES, OR OTHER RECEIPTS, BY BORROWING FROM THE PUBLIC OR REPAYING LESS DEBT, OR BY CURTAILING OTHER EXPENDITURES.  THIS IS THE SAME WAY THAT THE GOVERNMENT FINANCES ALL OTHER EXPENDITURES."

Thus, the trust fund makes it no easier to pay beneficiaries than it does to pay for battleships.

What difference does it make what the balance is?

It is simply a draw on the Treasury without the need for an appropriation.  How convenient!

By the way, I asked for a show of hands as to who the Unitarian Universalists had more faith in  -  God or the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government.

It was a tie!

Don Levit


SayTabserb's picture

Thanks for posting that. Had not seen the Treasury's own admission so blatantly stated before. Out of the list of "sources," however, seems to me that only "borrowing from the public" is available without Congressional action. There is no accumulated cash to speak of, the Treasury can't raise taxes, repaying less debt = default, and curtailing other expenditures is another budgetary action.  Thus, only the Ponzi solution is actually available to the Treasury.

trav7777's picture mean these people didn't KNOW this already?  I find it amazing that people believe there is some cash pool sitting out there in a bank account somewhere that they've "paid into" their whole lives and so they want their money back or something.

Encroaching Darkness's picture

I go to a UU church also - they tolerate my attempts at singing in the choir. I pledge a modest amount - being a student, can't afford too much. Preacher is extremely left-wing, as is almost all the congregation - only a few token conservatives, mostly in the closet, just to show that we can be "tolerant" too.

They support refugees (good) and illegal immigrants (unwise); one member threw a monkeywrench in a government auction (and is going to be tried for it). All in all, I think the UUs mean well but have no clue about what's coming; preparedness, PMs and crisis investing don't come up unless I mention it first.

Sigh. Can't save the world - and not sure large parts are worth keeping. Maybe I need a Mogambo Guru bunker, at least then something can be preserved to rebuild with. Have to hide it well for several years, until the flames of Progressivism burn themselves (and each other) out.

Your mileage may vary - but I hope enough people of intelligence and good will survive to keep the darkness period short. Where is the Second Foundation when we need it?

Ned Zeppelin's picture

"We can't wait to hear the positive spin on this one."

Hmmm, says right here in the Rules of the Masters of The Universe for Dummies, Chapter Two - Basics of Propaganda, page 17:

"That which cannot be spun favorably shall be ignored." 

trav7777's picture

But I thought NeObama was going to cut this deficit and all that...I mean it sure seems like issuance has spiked since Busch left office.  Surely, the GOP with their TP mandate are right on track to cut it, yes?  I mean this 850B tax cut extension isn't going to make those red bars bigger?

Or, could it be that all parties are lying?  There's no way to cut this deficit.  Devaluation is it.

theyenguy's picture

There is a limit on all things, such debt leverage cannot be maintained.

The stimulus given to the small cap US companies, that is the Russell 2000, traded by the ETF IWM, appears to have maxed out as it rose 0.4% manifesting three white soldiers, a reversal signal, to close at 78.48.

The global investment bubble was likely pricked December 16, 2010, when the European Leaders, as John Mauldin said, kicked the can down the road, having failed to provide a comprehensive solution to the European Sovereign Debt and Bank Debt Crisis.

Debt deflation is the contraction and crisis that follows credit expansion.  One of the most famous quotations of Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises is from page 572 of Human Action: “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion.  The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency involved.”

Global Debt Deflation commenced on April 26, 2010, when the value shares failed to outperform the growth shares with the onset of the European Sovereign Debt Crisis. Now with the European Leaders having failed to provide a comprehensive solution to the sovereign crisis, we have likely entered into the age of deleveraging. I expect debt deflation to get underway soon, with the small cap value shares, RZV, falling very rapidly in value, marking a new and dramatic bout of Global Debt Deflation

cjhowe's picture

I don't believe that's the correct number.  There's an end of the year transfer "payment" to Social Security for the last six months of interest.  It was $166.5 Billion last year.