How The Fed "Mysteriously" Eliminated $7 Trillion In US Debt

Anyone looking at the Federal Reserve's own data set, that provided with the generous "free" funding of the US taxpayer by way of the St. Louis Fed's FRED database, will notice something quite welcome, if magical: total US debt held by the public - that which is not part of intragovernment holdings, read Social Security - has mysteriously collapsed from $12 trillion to $5 trillion. Somehow, with nobody looking, the Fed managed to reduce US total debt by $7 trillion.

Alas, upon an even cursory examination, what becomes readily apparent is that total US debt, that including the intragovernment holdings, hasn't budged by a penny.

In fact, what has happened is that the brilliant central planners of the US, the people who hold the fate of the world in their monetary policy hands, simply copied and pasted a wrong series into what is probably the most important historical data metric of the US, with data for Total Debt Held By The Public somehow being replaced with the debt from "Intragovernmental Holdings" beginning in Q2 2013 and continuing for the next 4 quarters.

So the next time your favorite credit card company advise that your debt is about 100% higher than where it should be, just copy and paste the wrong total debt number and send it to them as proof of your spending frugality. And just let someone else figure it out.