No. 11: Oil exporters
Estimated ownership of U.S. government debt: $211.9 billion. Countries that export a lot of oil naturally build up large reserves of dollars since petroleum is priced in U.S. dollars all around the world. Buying Treasurys gives them a way to recycle some of those dollars by sending them back to the U.S. in exchange for the safety of the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. This group includes: Ecuador, Venezuela, Indonesia, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Gabon, Libya, and Nigeria.