What does $60 trillion in debt look like?


There's about $60 trillion in public government debt worldwide, and the folks at Visual Capitalist created a chart to show proportions and debt-to-GDP ratio in one handy image.

About two dozen countries carry over 90% of the world's debt, with Japan and Greece having the worst debt-to-GDP ratios.

$60 Trillion of World Debt in One Visualization

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  1. This is probably a dumb question but to whom is all this money owed?

    If we owe it to each other can't we just work out the nett and scale everything back?

  2. I'm pretty sure that governments don't literally borrow money from other governments. Rather, Germany (the state) owes money to people/banks/institutions in America, and America (the state) owes money to people/banks/institutions in Germany.

    So governments can only even out the balance sheets by first seizing assets from their citizens. Which certainly happens now and then, but it's pretty unpopular when it happens by surprise smile

  3. In the United States' case, whenever the government needs to raise some money, they issue treasury securities. These are the savings bonds and treasury bills that you might be familiar with. Anyone can buy these, US citizens, foreign citizens, governments, companies and banks, etc.

  4. jtf says:

    What's even more amusing is that $2.5 trillion of the debt (~5% on that chart) is held by the Federal Reserve system, literally money that the U.S. government finds it useful to owe itself.

  5. I can't help but wonder, where is Iceland on this chart? Or, maybe, where would it be if it's citizens hadn't told it's bankester lobby to fuck off?

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