A U.S. bailout means loans from China, Japan, UK, Caribbean and oil exporters

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China now owns more U.S. public debt than any other nation — about one out of every 10 debt dollars — a reflection of its growing global economic influence. Blame wars, bailouts and stimulus plans — all big-ticket and unbudgeted expenses. With China buying our debt, it is, in effect, boosting the U.S. dollar relative to the yuan, making imports cheaper (and more attractive). The United States has imported five times as much as it has exported to China this year.

Top owners of U.S. public debt (as of Sept. 2008):
China $585 billion
Japan $573 billion
United Kingdom $338.4 billion
Caribbean Banking Centers* $185.3 billion
Oil-Exporting Nations** $182.2 billion
Brazil $141.9 billion

* Includes Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Netherlands Antilles, Panama, British Virgin Islands
** Includes Ecuador, Venezuela, Indonesia, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Gabon, Libya, Nigeria