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So here is an interesting visual representation of the worlds debt by Country.
Produced by Visual Capitalist (and sourced from the World Economic forum web site www.weforum.org ) it shows how much government debt there is in the world in terms of absolute amounts and its relationship to a countries GDP.
The total amount of government debt stands at US$63 Trillion – yes TRILLION.
The US is the worlds largest debtor nation but also has the largest economy in the world and so whilst it debt level is huge in absolute terms coming in at 31.8% of the total , when compared to other countries like Japan it’s debt to its GDP ratio is not as daunting – 107% compared to 239%.
The US (along with Japan) can easily issue debt in its own currency at low rates and investors happily subscribe as the debt is considered extremely safe. This is very favourable particularly for Japan where most of its debt is held within the country by Japanese individuals and companies.
Other countries need to offer higher rates to attract investors.
China has a comparatively smaller debt pile than others and as a ratio to it’s GDP is half that of the US.
Australia has a relatively small amount of debt owing and as a ratio to its GDP it is also low However we are very vulnerable to offshore shocks due to the fact we are (and have been for two centuries) heavily reliant on offshore investors to fund our capital needs to grow our economy.