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> ... and richest countries

That's considering $18 trillion of its debt?

Yes. Countries debt is an asset, it's not like household debt. US Treasury Bonds are a bedrock of the global financial system.

it is an asset to who holds it, to the US government it is a liability

The net worth of the US is around $124 trillion. That is after subtracting all debts and other liabilities (which are significantly larger than $18T).

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