Monday, May 23, 2011

Understanding Global Debt Over Time

A very interesting site came to my attention on Global Debt - which is interactive.  It presents global debt by country from 1992 to present and it is interactive.   Global Debt is defined as money owed by the government to creditors as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product.  The first screen shot is of 1992.  The US is highlighted.   There are a couple of things that are interesting here.  First, there are some huge debtors that are not on the radar screen in the first shot.  (The countries are presented in alphabetical order in the list to the right.)   Second, as you begin to look at the second shot you find there are some huge transitions.  Some of those transitions are surprising, some are not.  At the same time the 2011 snapshot shows tremendous growth in debt in places like Japan, Germany, Greece and Ireland (Japan is bright yellow; Germany, Greece and Ireland are green).  Total OECD is the orange bar third from the right.

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