If The EU Debt Crisis Is so Important, Why Don't We Hear More About it?

Why is it that we don't see more media coverage in the U.S. about the debt crisis in the Eurozone?

Getty Images

If the world is truly Flat and Wired and Globalized, how come we don't hear more about a crisis that threatens to tear asunder the fabric of European Union?

Such questions often have complex cultural, geopolitical explanations.

But maybe not this time. The answer may be as simple as this: Because it's not our money.

Let's begin with a specific example.

Despite the continuing deterioration of Spain's sovereign credit quality, we continue to hear a very limited account of the story here in the states.

(True, the financial press does cover the story — but it's not exactly dinner conversation.)

In a report today in The Financial Times Alphaville, Tracy Alloway reports on a new report out from Goldman Sachs .

According to the Goldman report: "Looking at Spain first, at the end of 2009, foreign investors held the equivalent of $1 trillion of Spanish debt securities, of which more than 76 percent in the hands of other Eurozone investors."

And when you expand that to include "other Europeans outside the Eurozone ," then "the percentage rises to over 85 percent."

Then you have to net out Asian investors, like the Chinese—who are notoriously hungry for international sovereign paper.

At the end of the day, how much Spanish debt does the U.S. hold?

According to the Goldman report: "US holdings of Spanish debt securities were particularly small, accounting only for about $26bn or 2.5% of all foreign holdings."

To put that number in perspective, "That’s about a tenth of France’s holdings, which stood at 24.5% or $252bn."

Calculated by GDP, the French economy is only about 20% as large as the U.S. economy.

So that means, on a GDP basis, France has invested in Spanish debt at a rate fifty times higher than the U.S.

And that statistic alone may go a long way to providing us with an explanation for why we don't hear more about this story.


Questions? Comments? Email us atNetNet@cnbc.com

Follow NetNet on Twitter @ twitter.com/CNBCnetnet

Facebook us @ www.facebook.com/NetNetCNBC