2012   Financial Report of the United States Government

Notes to the Financial Statements

Note 14. Federal Debt Securities Held by the Public and Accrued Interest

Federal Debt Securities Held by the Public and Accrued Interest
(In billions of dollars)
September 30,
September 30,
Average Interest
Treasury securities (public):
Marketable securities:
  Treasury bills 1,475.6 137.4 1,613.0 0.1% 0.1%
  Treasury notes 6,407.0 708.0 7,115.0 2.0% 2.3%
  Treasury bonds 1,016.4 178.3 1,194.7 5.4% 5.8%
  Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS) 705.3 102.2 807.5 1.4% 1.9%
Total marketable Treasury securities 9,604.3 1.125.9 10,730.2    
Nonmarketable securities 522.7 16.7 539.4 2.1% 2.8%
  Net unamortized premiums/(discounts) (29.5) 10.3 (19.2)    
Total Treasury securities, net (public) 10,097.5 1,152.9 11,250.4    
Agency securities:
  Tennessee Valley Authority 24.4 (0.4) 24.0    
  All other agencies 0.3 - 0.3    
Total agency securities, net of
unamortized premiums and discounts
24.7 (0.4) 24.3    
Accrued interest payable 51.9 5.7 57.6    
  Total Federal debt securities
    held by the public and accrued interest
10,174.1 1,158.2 11,332.3    
Types of marketable securities:
Bills—Short-term obligations issued with a term of 1 year or less.
Notes—Medium-term obligations issued with a term of at least 1 year, but not more than 10 years.
Bonds—Long-term obligations of more than 10 years.
TIPS—Term of more than 5 years.

Federal debt securities held by the public outside the Government are held by individuals, corporations, State or local governments, FRBs, foreign governments, and other entities outside the Federal Government. The above table details Government borrowing primarily to finance operations and shows marketable and nonmarketable securities at face value less net unamortized premiums and discounts including accrued interest.

Securities that represent Federal debt held by the public are issued primarily by the Treasury and include:

Section 3111 of Title 31, United States Code (U.S.C.) authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to use money received from the sale of an obligation and other money in the General Fund of the Treasury to buy, redeem, or refund, at or before maturity, outstanding bonds, notes, certificates of indebtedness, Treasury bills, or savings certificates of the Government. There were no buyback operations in fiscal years 2012 and 2011.

Gross Federal debt (with some adjustments) is subject to a statutory ceiling (i.e., the debt limit). Prior to 1917, the Congress approved each debt issuance. In 1917, to facilitate planning in World War I, Congress and the President first enacted a statutory dollar ceiling for Federal borrowing. With the Public Debt Act of 1941 (Public Law 77-7), Congress and the President set an overall limit of $65 billion on Treasury debt obligations that could be outstanding at any one time; since then, Congress and the President have enacted a number of debt limit increases. Most recently, on August 2, 2011, Public Law 112-25 was enacted, which increased the statutory debt limit to $14,694.0 billion on August 2, 2011, $15,194.0 billion after close of business on September 21, 2011, and $16,394.0 billion after close of business on January 27, 2012. Prior to the August 2011 and January 2012 increases, Treasury faced a period that required it to depart from its normal debt management procedures and to invoke legal authorities to avoid exceeding the statutory debt limit. As of September 30, 2012, and 2011, debt subject to the statutory debt limit was $16,027.0 billion and $14,746.6 billion, respectively. The debt subject to the limit includes Treasury securities held by the public and Government guaranteed debt of Federal agencies (shown in the table above) and intragovernmental debt holdings (shown in the following table). Please see Note 28—Subsequent Events for additional information.

Intragovernmental Debt Holdings: Federal Debt Securities
Held as Investments by Government Accounts as of September 30, 2011, and 2010
(In billions of dollars)
Fiscal Year
Social Security Administration, Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund 2,492.5 94.2 2,586.7
Office of Personnel Management, Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund 803.8 22.7 826.5
Department of Defense, Military Retirement Fund 326.0 50.4 376.4
Department of Health and Human Services, Federal Hospital Insurance Fund 245.9 (17.6) 228.3
Department of Defense, Medicare-Eligible Retiree Health Care Fund 161.7 14.4 176.1
Social Security Administration, Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund 162.0 (29.7) 132.3
Department of Health and Human Services, Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund 70.4 (1.1) 69.3
Department of Energy, Nuclear Waste Disposal Fund 48.6 1.0 49.6
Office of Personnel Management, Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund 43.7 1.6 45.3
Office of Personnel Management, Employees Life Insurance Fund 39.7 1.6 41.3
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Funds 45.6 (4.6) 41.0
Department of the Treasury, Exchange Stabilization Fund 22.7 - 22.7
Office of Personnel Management, Employees Health Benefits Fund 19.2 2.1 21.3
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Fund 21.0 0.1 21.1
Department of Labor, Unemployment Trust Fund 16.0 4.7 20.7
Department of State, Foreign Service Retirement and Disability Fund 16.4 0.5 16.9
Department of Transportation, Airport and Airway Trust Fund 8.6 1.8 10.4
National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund 10.7 (0.4) 10.3
Department of Transportation, Highway Trust Fund 16.3 (6.3) 10.0
All other programs and funds 92.5 (2.1) 90.4
Subtotal 4,663.3 133.3 4,796.6
Total Net Unamortized Premiums/Discounts for Intragovernmental 47.6 8.7 56.3
Total intragovernmental debt holdings, net 4,710.9 142.0 4,852.9

Intragovernmental debt holdings represent the portion of the gross Federal debt held as investments by Government entities such as trust funds, revolving funds, and special funds. This includes trust funds that are earmarked funds. For more information on earmarked funds, see Note 24—Earmarked Funds. These intragovernmental debt holdings are eliminated in the consolidation of these financial statements.

Last Updated:  February 27, 2013