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Discussion: (4 comments)

  1. Interesting that Singapore is right there with the US at about 100% and Canada with universal health care is less at 84% tied with “socialist” France ….

    Japan is worse than Greece…

    using a slightly different source : (IMF column).

  2. I’m not exactly sure what this means, except that a lot more money is changing hands these days. By including financial debt includes a great many reciprocal obligations; there is probably also a great deal of double-counting among the four segments. (E.g, households own a great deal of public and corporate debt in their retirement accounts, but have to borrow to buy their homes, make improvements, etc.) Also, what is the baseline? How has it been trending, and is there any correlation between this figure and financial crises in the past?

  3. OK, now I see the historical series, going back to 1970. It looks like it was fairly stable in the 1970s, began to rise in the late ’80s, and really took of in the last decade, but primarily in the financial sector. Again, how much of this is repo/swap activity and suchlike? What does it mean that corporate borrowing is obviously much larger than the sum of household and government debt? Is this a bad thing—it sounds like a natural state of affairs. Obviously, the debt/lending ratio must total up to zero, but how do these four segments stand in relationship to one another in this respect?

  4. Wait a minute the socialist countries have much less debt than the capitialistic nations?

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