US Closes 2011 With Record $15.22 Trillion In Debt, Officially At 100.3% Debt/GDP, $14 Billion From Breaching Debt Ceiling

Tyler Durden's picture


While not news to Zero Hedge readers who knew about the final debt settlement of US debt about 10 days ahead of schedule, it is now official: according to the US Treasury, America has closed the books on 2011 with debt at an all time record $15,222,940,045,451.09. And, as was observed here first in all of the press, US debt to GDP is now officially over 100%, or 100.3% to be specific, a fact which the US government decided to delay exposing until the very end of the calendar year. We wonder, rhetorically, just how prominent of a talking point this historic event will be in any upcoming GOP primary debates. And yes, technically this number is greater than the debt ceiling but it excludes various accounting gimmicks. When accounting for those, the US has a debt ceiling buffer of... $14 billion, or one third the size of a typical bond auction.

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Tue, 01/03/2012 - 17:51 | 2030516 redpill
redpill's picture

OT: Oh Snap!  Santorum's nephew endorses Ron Paul!

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 17:56 | 2030541 Thomas
Thomas's picture

And then there's that frothy mix of unfunded liabilities. 

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 18:07 | 2030589 Chief KnocAHoma
Chief KnocAHoma's picture

Just send me the bill for my share. I'll try to pay it off by performing sexual favors on attractive divorces or heiresses. I may take me a while though. I'm not as young as I once was.

I am The Chief

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 19:43 | 2030800 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

All Timmah needs to do is rehypothecate public pension funds for a minute until they raise the debt ceiling.  Oh hey, there's that word again!

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 19:45 | 2030826 sheeple
sheeple's picture

Timmah might need to try rehypothecate all of Europe's public pension funds as well

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 20:16 | 2030897 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

The Rehypothecation Game

Coming to theaters near you!  2012!

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 20:44 | 2030940 trav7777
trav7777's picture

so how much did Bama rack up?

TreasuryDirect says 10.6T on 1/18/2008, now 15.2.  That is a cool 4.6T just on the headline number.  Give this guy another 4 years of this and he will have doubled the debt in around 8 and change years.  This is historically DEAD ON with the 9-year doubling interval I have previously discussed as having been relatively constant over the past few decades.

That suggests, yes, an 8% growth rate using rule of 72.  On a log scale, Bama isn't a bigger spender than Busch

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 20:52 | 2030991 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Not in percentage terms.  In nominal terms he is, but we know that matters little.  Since the dollar has held onto DXY 80, the real rate is also the same.  I am pretty amazed at Central Planning right now, but I had thought for years that people would wake up.  I don't know if that will happen until the wheels fall off and the world is in the middle of WWIII, $500 p/b oil, $100 silver, and $3k gold.  Who knows anymore though.....

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 21:45 | 2031193 Comay Mierda
Comay Mierda's picture

Dont worry, my phd keynesian economics professor said debt and deficits don't matter, and that they will actually make you and me more rich. I paid a lot of money for that class so he must be right

Wed, 01/04/2012 - 01:31 | 2031871 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

So what's the problem? That's about 15 US dollars when valued in 1924 Reichsmarks...

No sweat...

So what's a good price for gold then?

Wed, 01/04/2012 - 13:07 | 2033064 TheSilverJournal
TheSilverJournal's picture

According to Bernanke, Obama, and Krugman, the best way to solve a debt problems is by going deeper into debt.

Wed, 01/04/2012 - 10:46 | 2032314 Shocker
Shocker's picture

Your right, It seems so simple but some people just don't want to listen no matter what.

People know, they just don't want to seem like they are not part of the norm.



Tue, 01/03/2012 - 22:01 | 2031231 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture




so how much did Bama rack up?

TreasuryDirect says 10.6T on 1/18/2008, now 15.2. That is a cool 4.6T just on the headline number. Give this guy another 4 years of this and he will have doubled the debt in around 8 and change years. This is historically DEAD ON with the 9-year doubling interval I have previously discussed as having been relatively constant over the past few decades.

That suggests, yes, an 8% growth rate using rule of 72. On a log scale, Bama isn't a bigger spender than Busch

Obama did not have control of the Budget until well after the election..

But the thing that should be noted is..

Obama dd the same thing Bush did.

Exactly the same and worse.

So if the Liberal Democrat of Hope and Change did NOT! change the Status Quo?

Until We the People decide that Constitution is more interesting that Dacing wiff da Starz.. America will suffer.. and as ignorant as the Masses are.. "We the People" may want to consider taking up a hobby.. cause this wait is going to be a while.

I dont think I will see change in my life time any more. Honestly.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 22:39 | 2031336 Captain Kink
Captain Kink's picture

Yeah, i know what you mean...depressing.  

I intend to make my own change.  Get out of the rat race, tune out, turn off, disappear and live the country life.


And, btw, the way I figure it, the debt should grow at a faster and faster rate;  if the growth in the cost (size) of government is constant, you would have the neat linear (on a log scale) increase.  the problem is that all that debt also has interest associated with it.  The total debt would be much higher even now if we had not had ZIRP for 2 years.  How much faster does it grow when rates "normalize"?  and then go higher still?

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 22:40 | 2031357 Captain Kink
Captain Kink's picture


Tue, 01/03/2012 - 23:21 | 2031506 Van Halen
Van Halen's picture

Wouldn't the debt rise much faster over the next four years because it's actually beginning to rise exponentially now? In other words, even though small, the rise from 10-14 is slower than say, the rise from 14 to 20. I'm thinking of this in the same way that it takes a long time to get from $10,000 to $100,000 dollars, but once over $100,000 the interest on the ever growing sum of now-larger amounts of money helps the money grow faster.

Someone out there can explain the math better on this than I can.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 18:26 | 2030639 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture



Don't worry!!

The US should just print another 15 trillion,



Tue, 01/03/2012 - 19:13 | 2030740 sheeple
sheeple's picture

gold...and silver...bitchez

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 23:22 | 2031509 Van Halen
Van Halen's picture

Any of you guys buying platinum?

Wed, 01/04/2012 - 01:32 | 2031874 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

they can't eat platinum

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 19:46 | 2030829 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

This comment seems needlessly provocative. I LOVE it! Of course thank God the Treasury market is rigged otherwise someone might have to actually pay for that! Yet another reason to think interest rates will fall further!

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 20:22 | 2030903 lemonobrien
lemonobrien's picture

i'm not stupid; buy gold, vote 'bama; unless, Paul actually gets the nomination. I think they'll shoot him first, though.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 20:29 | 2030924 Vagabond
Vagabond's picture

If we lose, we can just try again with 30 trillion.  

But fuck that breakeven strategy. I say we start with 16 trillion, and if that fails go with 33 trillion, then 67... etc  That way the longer we lose, the more we end up making!  It's a strategy that makes perfect sense for this financial world.  Unfortunately when I tried it in the online blackjack world I eventually ended up bankrupting myself...  a nearly impossible feat with fiat!

Wed, 01/04/2012 - 04:57 | 2032143 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I once lost 15K in a casino with that system... while being drunk like a sailor...


Tue, 01/03/2012 - 20:46 | 2030959 trav7777
trav7777's picture

at an 8% growth rate, doubling of the debt should be EXPECTED every 9 years.  This isn't hard shit.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 20:00 | 2030863 kito
kito's picture

for all those optimists, this is the u.s. debt load in 2015. YES 2015!! debt gdp 135 PERCENT!!!  U.S. DEBT, JUST UNDER 24 TRILLION!!!  THATS 3 YEARS AWAY PEOPLE!!!!!

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 20:48 | 2030968 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

$8 trillion of new bond issuance in 2012 is about $1,150 for each of the world's 6.928 billion inhabitants.

For the large portion of the world that makes less than $1/day, they'll break even about the time $24 trillion is reached in three years.

We need someone like David Stockman to get us from this point to solvency again... what? ... Oh, he's been traveling and speaking and saying what?


Tue, 01/03/2012 - 22:04 | 2031240 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture



Your maff is fuzzy!

what you mean.. is!

out of the $8 Trillion dollars in bonus monies to Wall Street.. it only bought America a year or so.. so expect more printng..

Wall Street has to pay for a war in Iran! the first American Privatized War! (or second if you count Iraq, but that info is still top secret.. so we wil stick with 1st!)

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 22:14 | 2031286 economics1996
economics1996's picture

Obumer has another $1.2 trillion to spend getting reelected.  $16.4 trillion by November.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 18:02 | 2030568 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

@ redpill: ha ha!

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 19:23 | 2030765 Blue Dingo
Blue Dingo's picture

Debt > GDP ?

yahtzee !

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 18:16 | 2030616 Parabolic
Parabolic's picture

"John Garver is a 19-year-old student at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. John is a strong supporter of Ron Paul despite his love for family member Rick Santorum."


Gotta love the disclaimer for old Uncle RDick
Tue, 01/03/2012 - 19:40 | 2030815 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Uncle John!  I wanted to wish you the best, but I am also writing to inform you that I will openly be supporting Ron Paul for President.  I love ya Uncle Rick, but you totally suck at being a politician.


Tue, 01/03/2012 - 18:59 | 2030705 peekcrackers
peekcrackers's picture

I dont care for the Drudge report . But there is a online pole taking place

you can VOTE Ron Paul .. is  up 31%

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 19:41 | 2030817 Mr Lennon Hendrix
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Ron Paul is the only one who hasn't wept on stage.  Just sayin'

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 20:25 | 2030911 peekcrackers
peekcrackers's picture


are they crying because they will not have ther'er zionest bought govement  anymore and the ppl are tierd of the lies and theft of ther'er lives .

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 20:30 | 2030926 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

That and the fact that they have been B'nTFD on PM's and they know if Paul wins PM skyrockets.  No one can ever be rich enough.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 22:05 | 2031244 peekcrackers
peekcrackers's picture

I am with you there Mrlennon .. But I buy PMs becuase I hate the fucking lies teh Gov feeds us and the ass raping we all take in taxes.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 20:55 | 2031002 supafuckinmingster
supafuckinmingster's picture

"Ron Paul is the only one who hasn't wept on stage"

In other words, Ron Paul is the only one of the candidates that has overtly distanced himself from your typical America's next top model/x-factor/the bigges loser candidate..........and that, people, is in itself a reason for voting for him.


That is all.


You may now return to the mundane drudgery of your normal "lives".

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 22:03 | 2031233 peekcrackers
peekcrackers's picture


 who would you pick >?

 I am tierd of haveing a shadow goverment ... I am tierd  of watching bubbles make only the inside guys money and my cash rip off .. I am tierd of watching ppl getting brian washed and lied to all the time threw  media ..  Fuck off  show me a better person to vote for.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 17:51 | 2030518 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture


Tue, 01/03/2012 - 17:55 | 2030536 Au_Ag_CuPbCu
Au_Ag_CuPbCu's picture

This is not a problem, everyone needs to shut the hell up....and eat their IPads.  /sarc

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 18:25 | 2030636 d_senti
d_senti's picture

Hey Tyler, I was wondering, would it be possible for you to put an open thread post out every day? That way those of us, like myself, who enjoy them (and often go off-topic) would have somewhere to comment for the day. Just a thought. Occurred to me just before I was about to post yet another possible thread-hijacking comment. 

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 18:56 | 2030699 SheepleLOVEched...
SheepleLOVEcheddarbaybiscuits's picture

where the fuck are the green shoots?

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 19:12 | 2030735 carguym14
carguym14's picture

They were transitory.Now it's time for green peas.......

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 19:28 | 2030761 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Goddamn sheep ate them all!!

We need a second debt clock because the first one is FULL!!

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 20:34 | 2030932 URZIZMINE
URZIZMINE's picture

String Theory Grasshopper... There is an infinate number of Debt Clocks.

Wed, 01/04/2012 - 04:20 | 2032118 deKevelioc
deKevelioc's picture

The gold market, the last time I looked.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 17:51 | 2030521 tmosley
tmosley's picture

You know, thinking about it, it might not be too late.  The US had a higher debt/GDP ratio after WWII.  With RP doing so well in the polling, perhaps there is a chance.

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 17:54 | 2030534 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

I agree Tom, but at a minimum we would have to return to the post WWII spending AND tax rates.  How much of your silver stash are you willing to bet on that happening?

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