2012   Financial Report of the United States Government

Notes to the Financial Statements

Note 2. Cash and Other Monetary Assets

Cash and Other Monetary Assets as of September 30, 2012, and 2011
(In billions of dollars)
2012
2011
Unrestricted cash:
Cash held by Treasury for Governmentwide operations 79.2 49.8
  Other 5.9 8.3
Restricted cash - Other 20.9 18.8
  Total cash 106 76.9
International monetary assets 76.8 76.6
Gold and silver 11.1 11.1
Foreign currency 12.3 12.4
  Total cash and other monetary assets 206.2 177

Unrestricted cash includes cash held by Treasury for Governmentwide operations (Operating Cash) and all other unrestricted cash held by the Federal agencies. Operating Cash represents balances from tax collections, other revenue, Federal debt receipts, and other various receipts net of cash outflows for budget outlays and other payments. Operating Cash includes balances invested with commercial depositaries in Treasury Tax and Loan Accounts (including funds invested through the Term Investment Option program and the Repo Pilot program). Treasury checks outstanding are netted against Operating Cash until they are cleared by the Federal Reserve System. Other unrestricted cash not included in Treasury’s Operating Cash balance includes balances representing cash, cash equivalents, and other funds held by agencies, such as undeposited collections, deposits in transit, demand deposits, amounts held in trust, imprest funds, and amounts representing the balances of petty cash. Operating Cash held by the Treasury increased by $29.4 billion (an increase of approximately 60 percent) in fiscal year 2012 due to Treasury’s investment and borrowing decisions to manage the balance and timing of the Government’s cash position.

Restricted cash is restricted due to the imposition on cash deposits by law, regulation, or agreement. Restricted cash is primarily composed of cash held by the Executive Office of the President (EOP) Foreign Military Sales programs. The Foreign Military Sales program included $20.1 billion and $18.2 billion as of September 30, 2012, and 2011, respectively.

International monetary assets include the U.S. reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and U.S. holdings of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). The U.S. reserve position in the IMF is an interest-bearing claim on the IMF that includes the reserve asset portion of the financial subscription that the United States has paid in as part of its participation in the IMF as well as any amounts drawn by the IMF from a letter of credit made available by the United States as part of its financial subscription to the IMF. The IMF promotes international monetary cooperation and a stable payment system to facilitate growth in the world economy. Its primary activities are surveillance of member economies, financial assistance as appropriate and technical assistance.

Only a portion of the U.S. financial subscriptions to the IMF is made in the form of reserve assets; the remainder is provided in the form of a letter of credit from the United States to the IMF. The balance available under the letter of credit totaled $41.3 billion and $43.0 billion as of September 30, 2012, and 2011, respectively. The U.S. reserve position in the IMF has a U.S. dollar equivalent of $23.5 billion and $22.7 billion as of September 30, 2012, and 2011, respectively.

The SDR is an international reserves asset created by the IMF to supplement the existing reserve assets of its members. These interest-bearing assets can be obtained by IMF allocations, transactions with IMF member countries, or in the form of interest earnings on SDR holdings and reserve position in the IMF. U.S. SDR holdings are an interest-bearing asset of Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF). The total amount of SDR holdings of the United States was the equivalent of $55.2 billion and $55.9 billion as of September 30, 2012, and 2011, respectively.

The IMF allocates SDRs to its members in proportion to each member’s quota in the IMF. The SDR Act, enacted in 1968, authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to issue SDR Certificates (SDRCs) to the Federal Reserve in exchange for dollars. The amount of SDRCs outstanding cannot exceed the dollar value of SDR holdings. The Secretary of the Treasury determines when Treasury will issue or redeem SDRCs. SDRCs outstanding totaled $5.2 billion as of September 30, 2012, and 2011, and are included in Note 19—Other Liabilities.

As of September 30, 2012, and 2011, other liabilities included $54.5 billion and $55.1 billion of interest-bearing liability to the IMF for SDR allocations. The SDR allocation item represents the cumulative total of SDRs distributed by the IMF to the United States in allocations that occurred in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1979, 1980, 1981, and 2009. The United States has received no SDR allocations since 2009.

Gold is valued at the statutory price of $42.2222 per fine troy ounce. The number of fine troy ounces of gold was 261,498,927 and 261,498,900 as of September 30, 2012, and 2011, respectively. The market value of gold on the London Fixing was $1,776 and $1,620 per fine troy ounce as of September 30, 2012, and 2011, respectively. In addition, silver is valued at the statutory price of $1.2929 per fine troy ounce. The number of fine troy ounces of silver was 16,000,000 as of September 30, 2012, and 2011. The market value of silver on the London Fixing was $34.65 and $30.45 per fine troy ounce as of September 30, 2012, and 2011, respectively. Gold totaling $11.0 billion as of September 30, 2012, and 2011, was pledged as collateral for gold certificates issued and authorized to the FRBs by the Secretary of the Treasury. Gold certificates were valued at $11.0 billion as of September 30, 2012, and 2011, which are included in Note 19—Other Liabilities. Treasury may redeem the gold certificates at any time. Foreign currency is translated into U.S. dollars at the exchange rate at fiscal yearend. The foreign currency is maintained by the ESF and various U.S. Federal agencies and foreign banks.


Last Updated:  February 27, 2013