Brazil Holding $200B in U.S. Treasuries

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Latin America is worried about U.S. debt.

Brazil is the fourth largest sovereign creditor of the US, holding more than $200 billion in Treasuries, which is good news for Brazil, since its economy has been growing enough that the country can do so:

Brazil, the region's economic powerhouse, which just a decade ago had to come to Washington to ask the International Monetary Fund for a bailout, is now the United States' fourth-biggest sovereign creditor -- holding about $211 billion in U.S. Treasury securities, according to U.S. data from May.

As you may recall, a little over two years ago, Lula, then-president of Brazil, was lecturing President Obama about the dangers of protectionism and the benefits of free trade. Unfortunately Obama didn't listen:

These days, Latin America's economy as a whole is expected to expand about 4.7 percent in 2011 -- almost twice the expected rate in the United States -- thanks to strong demand for the region's commodities and a decade of mostly prudent fiscal management, itself the product of many hard-learned lessons of the past.

Hence, we have a chorus of clowns mocking the U.S. economy:

"When did the American dream become a nightmare?" gloated Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez, whose own country defaulted on about $100 billion in debt a decade ago.

In a speech at the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange on Monday, she contended that Argentina had prospered since then by focusing on exports and controlling financial speculation -- a lesson that Washington has yet to learn, she said.

Cristina forgot to mention that she raided private pensions a few years ago (2008) to avoid default.

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