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How big is the world's debt?

How big is the world's debt?

Old Nov 19th 2010, 4:19 pm
  #1  
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Default How big is the world's debt?

Thought I'd pop in and tell you what The Economist thinks..........

http://www.economist.com/content/global_debt_clock
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Old Nov 19th 2010, 7:01 pm
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Default Re: How big is the world's debt?

Interesting article, thanks.

" Does it matter? After all, world governments owe the money to their own citizens, not to the Martians. But the rising total is important for two reasons. First, when debt rises faster than economic output (as it has been doing in recent years), higher government debt implies more state interference in the economy and higher taxes in the future. "

I'm no economics expert but I believe it does matter (aliens notwithstanding). The comment about higher goverment debt implying more state interference in the economy and higher taxes rings very true. The problem, to my somewhat uneducated mind, seems to stem from the increase of government (as an example the EU and it's apparently never-ending rapacious greed for bigger and better offices, expenses, travel allowances etc, their inability to have accounts signed off for how many years now?). "Government" these days (while being, cough, 'elected') seems to be more about accumulating wealth and power (to wit that extreme example of socialism Mr & Mrs Bliar) than to 'serving' those whose votes put the individuals in "government" in the first place.

The larger "government" gets, as it seems to be doing everywhere, which seems to lead to more corruption (jobs for the boys, baksheesh whatever else) the more it takes to fund "government", election campaigns, lobbyists, PR staff, personal advisors ... the only industry which seems to have seen any incredible growth is politics.

Perhaps a more interesting question would be, "How much does a politician/MP cost?" after taking into account the cost of all their advisors, publicists, PRs and associated costs? How much do they actually bring to the balance sheet of whichever country whose constituents they are supposed to represent?

Oh, I don't know ... I'd been having such a good evening until I decided to look at this question. Ah well, guess I'll just have to have another snifter before I go to bed to cheer myself up.

Hope you're all having a great weekend ... isn't the weather lovely
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Old Nov 20th 2010, 4:51 am
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Default Re: How big is the world's debt?

Yes but to whom is the debt owed? By the very nature of the word, someone somewhere must be owed a helluva lot of money and should therefore be potentially rolling in it.
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Old Nov 20th 2010, 5:16 am
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Default Re: How big is the world's debt?

its a paper figure with no real meaning as far the larger countries go, its only the smaller isolated places that feel the brunt of the debt as they are crippled to repay it to the likes of the IMF or world bank etc..

imagine if the US decided not to pay, well who could stop them? no -one

regarding the ownership, debt seems to be leveraged so much in modern times that the original debt is small in comparison. You buy something, get a loan, issue bonds to cover the loan, bond owners use the bonds as collerateral for buying shares in something else,etc etc until like the subprime mortgages the money is totally divorced from the original person or loan it came from and nobody knows its true value... despite what any rating agency claims.

when greek bonds got rated as junk bonds you could see the lack of confidence investors had in getting repayment (not that junk bonds are bad by nature) from an EU member.

lets all just drop the debt
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Old Nov 21st 2010, 4:18 pm
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Default Re: How big is the world's debt?

Originally Posted by weasel central View Post
its a paper figure with no real meaning as far the larger countries go, its only the smaller isolated places that feel the brunt of the debt as they are crippled to repay it to the likes of the IMF or world bank etc..

imagine if the US decided not to pay, well who could stop them? no -one

regarding the ownership, debt seems to be leveraged so much in modern times that the original debt is small in comparison. You buy something, get a loan, issue bonds to cover the loan, bond owners use the bonds as collerateral for buying shares in something else,etc etc until like the subprime mortgages the money is totally divorced from the original person or loan it came from and nobody knows its true value... despite what any rating agency claims.

when greek bonds got rated as junk bonds you could see the lack of confidence investors had in getting repayment (not that junk bonds are bad by nature) from an EU member.

lets all just drop the debt
Weasel - It's not only up to the US to decide 'not to pay' - they are just as dependent on China, Japan, etc, continuing to buy their Treasury Bonds to fund the deficit whenever an existing tranche comes up for maturity. There is such a lot of money sloshing around the world looking for a good (i.e. safe) home to go to that the US will, you suspect, continue to suck it all in (which is why I think recent US Dollar weakening will be short-lived).

Lionheart - I don't think it works that way. Remember the old saying: "If I owe you a million dollars, I have a problem; if I owe you a BILLION dollars, then YOU have a problem........."

Last edited by The Dean; Nov 21st 2010 at 4:19 pm. Reason: "
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Old Nov 21st 2010, 8:07 pm
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Default Re: How big is the world's debt?

If i could print money faster than you can devalue it, you'd be ****ed.....
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Old Nov 22nd 2010, 7:27 am
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Default Re: How big is the world's debt?

Originally Posted by The Dean View Post
. There is such a lot of money sloshing around the world looking for a good (i.e. safe) home to go to that the US will, you suspect, continue to suck it all in (which is why I think recent US Dollar weakening will be short-lived).
hope you are right, i get paid in dollars and a strong dollar is great for me on the conversion to euro front.
The rest hmm i am not sure, if you were right then it means the US are always committed to having a deficit, which surely can't be the strategy.or maybe it is ..anyhow dollar strong is the way for me
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