Ritholtz.com has posted a stunning pie chart by Political Calculations. Stunning because it reveals something that runs completely counter to conventional wisdom.
Their pie chart shows the differing percentages of U.S government debt (totaling more than $13.5 trillion) owed to various foreign countries, financial institutions, and business entities. The graph is pulled from U.S. Treasury Department data as of September 30, 2010.
What's the big surprise, you ask? U.S. debt to China accounts for a mere 9.5% of the total.
This very much debunks the myth that China has such tremendous leverage over the U.S. If anything, the American people do, judging by the 42.1% plurality stake owed to "U.S. Individuals and Institutions."