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2011 Financial Report of the United States Government

Financial Statements

Balance Sheets

The balance sheets show the Government’s assets, liabilities, and net position. When combined with stewardship information, this information presents a more comprehensive understanding of the Government’s financial position. The net position for earmarked funds is shown separately.


Assets included on the balance sheets are resources of the Government that remain available to meet future needs. The most significant assets that are reported on the balance sheets are property, plant, and equipment (PP&E), net; inventories and related property, net; cash and other monetary assets; loans receivable and mortgage-backed securities, net; and Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) direct loans and equity investments, net. There are, however, other significant resources available to the Government that extend beyond the assets presented in these financial statements. Those resources include stewardship assets, including natural resources, and the Government’s sovereign powers to tax, regulate commerce, set monetary policy, and the power to print additional currency.

Liabilities and Net Position

Liabilities are obligations of the Government resulting from prior actions that will require financial resources. The most significant liabilities reported on the balance sheets are Federal debt securities held by the public and accrued interest and Federal employee and veteran benefits payable. Liabilities also include environmental and disposal liabilities, liabilities to Government-Sponsored Enterprises, and benefits due and payable as of the reporting date.

As with reported assets, the Government’s responsibilities, policy commitments, and contingencies are much broader than these reported balance sheet liabilities. They include the social insurance programs in the Statements of Social Insurance disclosed in the Supplemental Information—Social Insurance section, the fiscal long-term projections of non-interest spending disclosed in the Supplemental Information—Statement of Fiscal Projections for the U.S. Government section, and a wide range of other programs under which the Government provides benefits and services to the people of this Nation, as well as certain future loss contingencies.

The Government has entered into contractual commitments requiring the future use of financial resources and has unresolved contingencies where existing conditions, situations, or circumstances create uncertainty about future losses. Commitments, as well as contingencies that do not meet the criteria for recognition as liabilities on the balance sheets, but for which there is at least a reasonable possibility that losses have been incurred, are disclosed in Note 22—Contingencies and Note 23—Commitments.

The collection of earmarked taxes and other earmarked revenue is credited to the corresponding Earmarked Fund that will use these funds to meet a particular Government purpose. If the collections from taxes and other sources exceed the payments to the beneficiaries, the excess revenue is invested in Treasury securities or “loaned” to Treasury’s General Fund; therefore, the trust fund balances do not represent cash. An explanation of the trust funds for social insurance and many of the other large trust funds is included in Note 24—Earmarked Funds. That note also contains information about trust fund receipts, disbursements, and assets.

Because of its sovereign power to tax and borrow, and the country’s wide economic base, the Government has unique access to financial resources through generating tax revenues and issuing Federal debt securities. This provides the Government with the ability to meet present obligations and those that are anticipated from future operations and are not reflected in net position.

Net position is the residual difference between assets and liabilities and is the cumulative results of operations since inception. For detailed components that comprise the net position, refer to the section “Statement of Operations and Changes in Net Position.”

United States Government
Balance Sheets
as of September 30
(In billions of dollars)
  Cash and other monetary assets (Note 2) 177.0 428.6
  Accounts and taxes receivable, net (Note 3) 106.3 94.6
  Loans receivable and mortgage backed securities, net (Note 4) 772.1 688.6
  TARP direct loans and equity investments, net (Note 5) 80.1 144.7
  Non-TARP Investments in American International Group, Inc.(Note 6) 10.9 20.8
  Inventories and related property, net (Note 7) 296.1 286.2
  Property, plant, and equipment, net (Note 8) 852.8 828.9
  Debt and equity securities (Note 9) 99.7 98.9
  Investments in Government-Sponsored Enterprises (Note 11) 133.0 109.2
  Other assets (Notes 10 and 12) 179.3 183.3
    Total assets 2,707.3 2,883.8
Stewardship land and heritage assets (Note 27)
  Accounts payable (Note 13) 63.4 72.9
  Federal debt securities held by the public and accrued interest (Note 14) 10,174.1 9,060.0
  Federal employee and veteran benefits payable (Note 15) 5,792.2 5,720.3
  Environmental and disposal liabilities (Note 16) 324.1 321.3
  Benefits due and payable (Note 17) 171.0 164.3
  Insurance and guarantee program liabilities (Note 18) 161.7 175.6
  Loan guarantee liabilities (Note 4) 63.0 65.8
  Liabilities to Government-Sponsored Enterprises (Note 11) 316.2 359.9
  Other liabilities (Notes 10 and 19) 427.0 416.5
    Total liabilities 17,492.7 16,356.6
Contingencies (Note 22) and Commitments (Note 23)
Net position:
  Earmarked funds (Note 24) 748.2 646.9
  Non-earmarked funds (15,533.6) (14,119.7)
    Total net position (14,785.4) (13,472.8)
    Total liabilities and net position 2,707.3 2,883.8

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.

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