Skip to comments.World debt reaches $100 trillion, U.S. share 58 percent
Posted on 03/11/2014 6:50:54 AM PDT by Sopater
Global debt outstanding, that is, all debts public and private, reached $100 trillion in mid-2013, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) quarterly review revealed.
Credit outstanding has grown by more than $30 trillion since the financial crisis began in 2007.
When compared to data compiled by the Federal Reserve, the U.S. share of the $100 trillion is almost three-fifths with about $58 trillion credit outstanding nationwide at the end of the second quarter in 2013.
In contrast, the $17 trillion U.S. gross domestic product only makes up a little less than one quarter the worlds total economic capacity, currently at about $74 trillion.
Consider that: The U.S. makes up about 23 percent of the global economy but owes upwards of 58 percent of worldwide debt. Believe it or not, that is actually down from 2007 when it owed almost 73 percent of debt worldwide.
Despite the drop, as a result, the U.S. has an eye-popping debt-to-GDP ratio of 345 percent compared with the rest of the worlds 74 percent.
How can this be? What makes the U.S. so special?
Likely its unique position as being the worlds caretaker of the dollar as the reserve currency, which historically has led to a collapse in interest rates over the past 30 years. As a result the U.S. has been able to gulp up most of the worlds debt.
Although that might be starting to change. While global debt has increased by $30 trillion since 2007, U.S. debt has only gone up a comparative $7 trillion 23 percent of the increase compared to its 58 percent share of total debt.
Why, then, with such a dramatic increase in debt has the economy been so sluggish? The answer may be that while it has been slow in the U.S. and Europe, it has been running rather hot in Asia, the Pacific, and other emerging markets.
This can be seen in the growth of credit worldwide average 7 percent growth each of the past five years, yet in the U.S. it has been tepid at only 2.4 percent. The difference has been fueled by a flight of capital into emerging markets since the 2008 crash.
But, BIS warns in its summary, Financial development is good for growth, but only up to a point. Leonardo Gambacorta, Jing Yang and Kostas Tsatsaronis (BIS) estimate that growth rates fall once this threshold is crossed.
Putting the lie to the Keynesian-monetarist paradigm that if you simply print, lend, and borrow enough, you can create prosperity, the BIS adds, there is a point after which further growth in financial activity no longer contributes to growth but may even slow it down.
Therefore, the party overseas likely will not last forever. Some financial analysts like Forbes.coms Jesse Colombo have been at the forefront of warning of emerging markets credit bubbles.
The powerful emerging market credit expansions have been propelling economic growth in those nations, but like all low interest rate-driven credit booms, they will come to an end when interest rates eventually normalize. Interest rates are already beginning to rise now that EM central banks are hiking their benchmark interest rates to shore up their currencies after their sharp recent declines, Colombo wrote in February.
Meaning, overseas markets may be in for their own rounds of financial chaos sooner or later. Colombo concluded, Despite this past years volatility, I do not believe that the emerging markets bubble has truly popped yet. I view currency weakness as a precursor to the ending of the overall EM bubble, but the actual popping will entail disastrous credit and property busts.
I think of the family that looks like they have it all; nice house, nice cars, all the latest gadgets, but they only have it because they are in debt to their eyeballs and continually borrowing more and more to sustain it.
It cannot last.
No. We can’t be among the most prosperous...Anymore. And to think that our prosperity was brought down purposely. 250 years of growth and freedom.
When I think of debt I think Debtor and Debt-holder. OK, we know who generally is the Debtor, but who is the real Debt-Holder?
I would really like to know the real answer to that question.
Greedy American Liberals steal the available credit from the World's needy for their own Big Government Spending!!
Oh. Right. Future generations.
We constantly hear from Liberals that America is using too much of the world's resources, well here is something they can join us in limiting our use of.
Arab winters, Arab springs, Gulf Wars....
It adds up with no end in sight.
Some of the estimates are that our unfunded mandates total $136-150T. We really have no idea.
58% percent sounds about right since our military protect the rest of the world.
Yaaaay! We lead at something!
Jupiter, we owe Jupiter.
Hey, who cares? We’re living the good life now and when it all falls apart, we’ll be dead!!!!!
That’s the Dem pitch to middle America and it works.
$100 Trillion in debt will be totally manageable - when the get the price level to the point that a loaf of bread costs $500 and a gallon of gas $550
Pat Robertson’s idea for an International Year of Jubilee is sounding less and less crazy all the time.