No one. Interest is the price of credit and, as in any competitive market, prices are determined by supply and demand. The Federal Reserve — the nation's central bank — auctions the securities on behalf of the U.S. Treasury. The securities go to the highest bidders.
SOURCE: Federal Reserve Bank of New York
National Debt Glossary
Looks up the key terms for understanding America's financial crisis
Frequently Asked Questions: National Debt
- How did the national debt get to be so big?
- What's the difference between the debt and the deficit?
- Why can't the government just print more money to get out of debt?
- How much U.S. debt is owned by foreign countries?