Well done map/analytics from the Economist on total amounts and distribution of Global Debt. You can see various depictions of this by year, by country comparisons, per capita or as a % of GDP.


click for updated debt clock

Source: the Economist


Category: Credit, Digital Media

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

16 Responses to “Global Debt”

  1. rd says:

    Looks like we should be following the typical public expenditure and taxation policies of the African continent.

  2. Frilton Miedman says:

    I’d like to see a map of private debt to GDP, IMO that’s a much more substantial economic variable.

  3. holulu says:

    Something is not right with concept of DEBT here.

    My understanding of debt is that some people lend money that they have to others (debtors). If debtors have lots of debt then it means that some other people must have lots of money who did the lending.

    BUT, who are these people with lots of money who did the lendin? I do not get it.

  4. parsec says:

    Last time the debt clock in NYC started running backwards during the Clinton administration they shut it off.

    Who controls these things anyway?

  5. my1ambition says:

    Hey Barry, I’m finally back on the site – after 5 years! Feels great.

    I’m with holulu here. Is this a matter of public/private debt… Government to government debt… When the default on the debt comes, who’s the one who loses some zeros on their balance sheet?

  6. Futuredome says:

    Debt has to continue to rise in capitalism with incomes or the system fails. Capitalism is not a steady state type of system. This is what alot of people don’t understand.

  7. tradeking13 says:

    It could also be called ‘Global Savings’ because that public debt is someone else’s savings.

  8. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    You won’t see a change in the US until they extend the dates available back to 1976, or so.

  9. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Addendum: public or private debt.

  10. algernon says:

    This isn’t capitalism. Free market provision of money & banking would not permit any where near the level of debt presently in the world. Fiat money, banks & govt intimately embracing each other with thousands of tentacles–these are the enabler of this credit bubble.

    Brobdingnagian quantities of this debt will never be paid. Therefore, the world suffers the illusion that it is richer than it is. Fiat money, just like anything else that is imposed by suppressing the alternatives a free people would choose if the could, is good at distorting & hiding truth.

  11. algernon says:

    Barry’s quote for today is perfectly appropriate to my comment above:

    “Though the principles of the banking trade may appear somewhat abstruse, the practice is capable of being reduced to strict rules. To depart upon any occasion from those rules, in consequence of some flattering speculation of extraordinary gain, is almost always extremely dangerous and frequently fatal to the banking company which attempts it.” Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

    It was written during a time when free market banks were an evolving possibility. It wasn’t a very broad window: The 1st & 2nd banks of the US were corrupt [power always corrupts] & the US govt legally protected bankrupt banks after the War of 1812. And subsequently. Free market in banking is something that has never been tried in the US.

  12. bonzo says:

    @holulu: Your understanding is wrong when it comes to public debt. Public debt is not “people who have money lending to others”. Rather public debt IS money, for all intents and purposes. Money is created when the government runs a budget deficit and destroyed when the government runs a budget surplus.

    You are correct that, for every dollar of debt, there must be a dollar of credit. $11 trillion of public debt means $11 trillion of wealth owned by the private sector. Paying off the public debt would require destroying all this wealth.

  13. James Cameron says:

    US . . . up, up and away . . .

    2001 3.35 trillion 33.2% GDP
    2009 7.00 trillion 49.9% GDP
    2012 11.13 trillion 72.1% GDP
    2013 12.58 trillion 78.5% GDP (projected)

  14. warren.buffett says:

    If you really think hard and do some serious analysis, as long as inflation is less than 4%, debt doesn’t matter.

    The only thing that matters is natural resources / raw materials (of which there is almost infinite supply, thanks to new frontier busting technologies) and the productive capacity (again thanks to exponential growth in technology).

    Rest is just scare mongering from luddites who haven’t incorporated new tipping points in their ‘austrian’ economic crap analysis

  15. Greg0658 says:

    of course this is an over generalization .. USA GDP = military might . recreation medias . bread basket . transport stuff around . build buildings . paperpush data .. blahblahblah real balance there :-)
    bonzo at 12:09 agreed .. it all about the corral – and what the rancher does next when he feels he has enough of the herd

  16. The USA’s federal debt limit ($16.4 trillion) faces encroachment on Jan 8th 2013.

    Debt Wall chart: http://trendlines.ca/free/economics/DebtWallUSA/DebtWallUSA.htm