In fact, these events apparently may comprise a functioning, long-term accounting identity. From the link:
"In finance and economics, an accounting identity is an equality that must be true regardless of the value of its variables, or a statement that by definition (or construction) must be true. The term is also used in economics to refer to equalities that are by definition or construction true, such as the balance of payments. Where an accounting identity applies, any deviation from the identity signifies an error in formulation, calculation or measurement."
So here we can summarize, for a mathematical accounting identity to be true, the terms must achieve equality; and to disprove an identity, you must show how the terms do not result in an equality, the terms cannot be equal.
Fortunately, the US government makes the data available for us to be able to test this identity.
For one side of the identity equation, we can take the total increase in foreign holdings of US Treasury securities over a significant period of time from the Z.1 "Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States" Report, released quarterly by the US Federal Reserve.
The snip below is from the latest Z.1 report, Table L.209 and shows the closing balances of US Treasury security ownership worldwide. Sub-line 11 identifies the amount of Treasury securities owned by the "Rest of the World" (ROW), or what some call "foreigners". This is the line the debt doomsday crowd uses to motivate their cries of: "Foreigners are lendin' us money ...we're a debtor nation!..."
I've identified two points in time that are separated by four years, Point 'A' which is the balance of ROW UST ownership ($2126B) on January 1, 2007 and point 'B' which is the balance of ROW UST ownership ($4314B) on December 31, 2010. Using the data from these two points in time, we can see how much foreign ownership of Treasury securities has increased over the four year period (by computing the difference between these numbers).
Now for the other side of our equation we can go to US Census Dept. data on foreign trade. Below are two snips from the latest US International Trade report, which identify the US trade deficits over our four year period of investigation, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010.
So now we can test our identity: Over the four year period of Jan. 1, 2007 thru Dec. 31, 2010; does the total increase in ROW holdings of US Treasury securities equal the US Trade Deficit. According to MMT, it should.
ROW UST Ownership @ 'A': $2126B
ROW UST Ownership @ 'B': $4394B
Increase in ROW Ownership: $2268B
2007 US Trade Deficit: $ 702B
2008: $ 698B
2009: $ 374B
2010: $ 495B
So how do you like that. Off by only $1B, and this after over $9 Trillion of imports and just under $7 Trillion of exports over our four year period of investigation.
I'd say close enough!
What say you deficit terrorists?