What does $60 trillion in debt look like?


#1

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#2

This is why we need to take down Evil Corp!


#3

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?


#4

I often think the same thing. If we owe Germany 2 billion euros, and they owe us 1 billion dollars, why not just cancel it out so that we only owe them 1 billion euros?


#5

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 :slight_smile:


#6

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.


#7

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.


#8

I call bullshit on China. More than shown, could be anywhere from $5T to $15T.


#9

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?


#10

So, you are saying that all this money is owed to “people/banks/institutions” in various countries. Fair enough, so that’s a lot of distributed wealth owned by these people/banks/institutions - I wonder what they they plan to do with it all because it seems like an awful lot of cash?


#11

FFS. Just give it to me straight. How much do I owe and to whom do I send my cheque?


#12

I’m far from sure what it does end up implying; but 60 trillion dollars seems to fall so far outside the realm of ‘normal’ debt that the old “If I owe you $1000, I have a problem. If I owe you $1,000,000, you have a problem.” line would seem to dwarf ordinary debt-related considerations. Especially since so much sovereign debt is unsecured and largely dependent on the debtor seeing paying as the lesser evil compared to inflating their problem away or simply declaring an intention not to pay.

Obviously nobody really wants to poke the issue too hard, lest it bite, collapse, or otherwise misbehave; but that doesn’t change the fact that we are really talking about something that is sufficiently large as to be different in kind as well as degree from any ‘normal’ debt.


#13

Um, we owe most of our debt to ourselves.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikepatton/2014/10/28/who-owns-the-most-u-s-debt/

We also have a sovereign, fiat currency. So yeah, raise taxes and cut high tech defense spending. Then inflate our currency at 1.5% per year. Done and done.

Who wants to vote for me in the next primary?


#14

$60 trillion is about $10,000 per person on earth. Or, more accurately, $10,000,000 per member of the global .1%. It’s a lot of money, but I guarantee it’s dwarfed by the actual assets of the truly rich.

As for what these folks plan to do with the cash that’s owed them? Personally, I plan to use my tiny share to pay rent during retirement. Most of it, though, will be raked into piles so that the world’s rich can perch on top and chortle like fairy-tale dragons.


#15

Ah, don’t forget the traditions of debt repayment. That’s $10,000 or a kneecap.


#16

A little late reply, but there really isn’t anything sinister about the debt or owning some. I’ve owned savings bonds, so I’ve owned some US debt. You can too actually. You can buy a bond for as little as 50 dollars I think, haven’t checked in a while. Then all you do is hold it for a number of years and you get some interest. If you have ever contributed to a “bond fund” in a 401k or other retirement plan, you also own some US national debt.


#17

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