Visualizing $63 Trillion Of World Debt

Tyler Durden's picture

If you add up all the money that national governments have borrowed, it tallies to a hefty $63 trillion.


Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

In an ideal situation, governments are just borrowing this money to cover short-term budget deficits or to finance mission critical projects. However, as Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins notes, around the globe, countries have taken to the idea of running constant deficits as the normal course of business, and too much accumulation of debt is not healthy for countries or the global economy as a whole.

The U.S. is a prime example of “debt creep” – the country hasn’t posted an annual budget surplus since 2001, when the federal debt was only $6.9 trillion (54% of GDP). Fast forward to today, and the debt has ballooned to roughly $20 trillion (107% of GDP), which is equal to 31.8% of the world’s sovereign debt nominally.


In today’s infographic, we look at two major measures: (1) Share of global debt as a percentage, and (2) Debt-to-GDP.

Let’s look at the top five “leaders” in each category, starting with share of global debt on a nominal basis:

Together, just these five countries together hold 66% of the world’s debt in nominal terms – good for a total of $41.6 trillion.

Next, here’s the top five for Debt-to-GDP:

While only Italy and Japan here are considered major economies on a global scale, the high debt levels of countries like Greece or Portugal are also important to monitor.

In the IMF’s baseline scenario, Greece’s government debt will reach 275% of its GDP by 2060, when its financing needs will represent 62% of GDP.


- A recent IMF report, obtained by Bloomberg

Greece, for example, is continuing along a particularly unsustainable path – and external creditors are getting stingier. Most recently, both the IMF and Greece’s euro-area creditors have demanded for the country to implement a law that automatically introduces austerity measures if a budget surplus of 3.5% of GDP isn’t hit.

While Greece has dismissed such demands as “unacceptable”, the country – along with many others around the globe – will have to accept that constant debt accumulation has eventual consequences.

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To get “$63 Trillion of World Debt” in printed form, go to the Kickstarter page now. Deadline: Oct. 31, 2017

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Hulk's picture

The solution to all this debt will be the sun going supernova in about 5 billion years !!!

So I am long Debt !!!

BlindMonkey's picture

"In the long run, we're all dead"---some dead fuckwad



Tallest Skil's picture

There is no debt. It’s all fictional. Jews print currency out of thin air backed by nothing and defined by nothing. When we win, we will make usury punishable by death and an attempt to repeal the death penalty for usury punishable by death. And an attempt to repeal the attempt to repeal death penalty punishable by death. AD INFINITUM.

fbazzrea's picture

There is no debt. It’s all fictional.

existentially, perhaps. unfortunately, real people own debt assets.

going to be a problem.

Arnold's picture

I believe that in 2060 Greece will be called Soros and will be speaking Tunisian.

Pinto Currency's picture

Total global debt is $220 trillion.

BennyBoy's picture


In our exponential debt based financial system

$63 trillion debt = $63 trillion cash! Look at all the federal reseve NOTES in your wallet. No debt=No money



new game's picture

this 63T is labor owed to banksters, hence debt servitude. 

so we all go do something for this money, our labor is time.

they own our ass for 40-50 hours/wk.

so the goal is to work less hours and have moar free time.

this means spending less, living frugal and moar or less opting out in a partial sense.

doing a budget in an hours needed/month will reveal your "ass owned" position in life.

at 100 percent you qualify as a financial idiot, ie. a debt serf with no savings and free time.

simple shit maynard...ssm


earleflorida's picture

$63 Trillion @ 5% int. is all one needs to know!

while your saving and checking and cd's and , and, and, pay you in aggregate less than 1%?

So, who owns the debt? And, who are the debt slave?

The Money Kings make ~ $3 Trillion annually on YOUR debt service--- failure/default is not an option!

Sages wife's picture

I have always beleived that, and have therefore never worked for anyone but myself. It's a more challenging route, but the reward is priceless. It's the best thing I've ever done. I pity the fools, and not in a derogatory sense; they just don't see.

Captain Nemo de Erehwon's picture

I am dumbstruck and in awe of the brilliant human beings who, by the dint of their hard work, have generated so much money to lend to governments who have to take care of the useless eaters. They must be getting up at 4:00 in the morning to mine gold, and now bitcoin, and working till 5:00 the next morning without a break. Every day. But then as I said I am dumb and struck so what do I know.

GUS100CORRINA's picture

My response: I know from reading the comments that DEBT is a BIG JOKE to everyone, especially ZH bloogers. 

But for me, I GET ABSOLUTELY SICK to my STOMACH and ANGRY when I think that a majority of this DEBT happened during the last 28 years of recent POTUS office candidates with President TRUMP excluded. 

I am sure thet President TRUMP will have NO OTHER OPTION other than to PILE ON MORE DEBT because he will have no other choice.

Also, about half of this debt was accumulated during the "OBOZO" democratic reign of terror.

Mark my words, as many have said before me, this will NOT END WELL for anyone except a few elites that should be burned in effigy.

The SHAME, the SHAME!!!!

unsafe-space-time's picture

Fiat is a fiction. Debt in fiat is a fiction. Can be corrected by the biggest fiction called law.

The Wizard's picture

From all of the debt the money changers create out of thin air, they take their piece of the action in interest and derviatives. This is better known as inflation. They have convinced people via their Keynesian economists it is normal.

earleflorida's picture

inflation/ deflation is not an effect of 'supply and demand'---... although famines, droughts, natural disasters, epidemics etc., etc., do have a 'temp.' global `regional effect. the Money Kings can at will create moar money or simply 'lock-it-up' as our FRB System has done so manipulatively and secretly in just the last forty years.

we are fed enigmatical phrases as 'Stagflation' and or `Keynesian/Freidman & efficient political economies',...which in the simplest terms make these models ludicrous looking back at the cause and effect where we once were and where we are today!

and yet, all means nothing when free markets aren't allowed to function in what is today a plutocratic monopoly of global proportion in the hands of the 'Money Kings'!

who are the money kings? these 'money changers'? the GOD's of Golden Mammon? 

this shit just in amerca alone started exactly after the civil war ended???

read your history folks! 

lasvegaspersona's picture

When pensions try to cash those debt bonds to pay will become real spendable least government debt that can be printed at will by governments...too much and the value of the money drops....thats kind of real...

Mementoil's picture

What you have described has a name, it's called Socialism, and it's been tried and has failed miserably again and again (including the death punishments you propose).
Socialists believe that lending money is evil, and therefore they try to abolish interest rates by the invention of ZIRP.
Free market Capitalists, on the other hand, believe that if you lend your money (thereby taking risk) you deserve to earn an interest on it.
If you try to abolish debt completely, the economy will grind to a halt, since there will be no credit for businesses to expand, buy new equipment etc.
Debt in itself is not evil. As a matter of fact when debt is used moderately and wisely it is essential for growth.

That said, we need to abolish fractional reserve lending, in other words the banks' license to lend moeny which is created out of thin air.
If money was backed by gold, and if bankers were only allowed to lend out the money that their customers have deposited (with their permission, of course, and while paying part of the interest earned to the customers), then there would be no more credit bubbles, and balance would be restored to the system.

Radical Marijuana's picture

Notions that the "solutions" are the death penalty for usury are too shallow without more systematic changes in the perception of the death control systems in general. While it is relatively popular in comments to recommend some versions of "KILL BANKSTERS," those proposing and promoting such series of political miracles tend to not be able and willing to think through more profound paradigm shifts regarding how and why MONEY IS MEASUREMENT BACKED BY MURDER.

"If history shows anything, it is that there’s no better way to justify relations founded on violence, to make such relations seem moral, than by reframing them in the language of debt — above all, because it immediately makes it seem that it’s the victim who’s doing something wrong."

— David Graerber

So-called sovereign debts exist due civilization operating according to the principles and methods of organized crime, in ways which enable the best organized gangsters, the banksters, to apply those methods of organized crime in persistent and prolonged ways, which result in the powers of public governments being used to enforce frauds by private banks, while about exponentially advancing technologies have enabled about exponentially increasing fraudulence.

The actual situation is way worse than such a chart indicates, because that chart is based upon superficial statistics that take for granted operating with fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting systems. The "money" made out of nothing as debts "paid" to strip-mine the natural resources of a fresh planet at about an exponential rate, which will result in that exponential economic growth spectacularly overshooting, and so, result in eventual mass murders.

Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars

"Energy is recognized as the key to all activity on earth. Natural science is the study of the sources and control of natural energy, and social science, theoretically expressed as economics, is the study of the sources and control of social energy. Both are bookkeeping systems: mathematics. Therefore, mathematics is the primary energy science. And the bookkeeper can be king if the public can be kept ignorant of the methodology of the bookkeeping. ... In this structure, credit, presented as a pure element called "currency," has the appearance of capital, but is in effect negative capital. Hence, it has the appearance of service, but is in fact, indebtedness or debt. ... if balanced in no other way, will be balanced by the negation of population (war, genocide)... They must eventually resort to war to balance the account, because war ultimately is merely the act of destroying the creditor ... War is therefore the balancing of the system by killing the true creditors (the public ...)"

The globalized Debt Empire has become like a metastasized cancer, or a parasite which is intertwined with its host, such that any possible treatments which would attempt to stop That would also kill the patient or the host organism. Rather than banksters being killed, it is far more probable that banksters will drive the mass murders of other people ...

Mallus Darkblade's picture

And once the sheeple figure out they're getting screwed and have nothing to lose the pitchforks will come out & the globalists (central bankers) will be hanging from long ropes...

lasvegaspersona's picture

oh...and we grossly overestimate the the numbers are really much worse...

Mallus Darkblade's picture

And GDP includes things like war, prisions, bullets & bombs...

WTFUD's picture

Google, Facewad, and Twatwit are all headhunting me, decisions, decisions. Why not join all 3 dude? How, what ya mean? C.I.A. man!

Counterfiat's picture

Private debt to gdp is where it gets savage to see who has the biggest real estate asset bubbles.

Then compare the total - private and govt debt of countries. 

NickPeeMe's picture

Thank god I am a lender and not one of the peasants. 

rccalhoun's picture

lol.  you go down big when everyone defaults.  you are the greater fool.

uhland62's picture

Plenty of money about, stockpiled in the tax havens. So when push comes to shove .....

Anarchyteez's picture

We wish. He’s using jew..., I mean new money (off a ledger) that never existed before. Certainly not his own. That would be nuts.

dicksburnt's picture

Thank god I am a lender and not one of the peasants


ask the "German" Lenders from the 1920's how that worked out......

Anon2017's picture

I still have a 20 billion German Mark stamp issued in 1923 at the height of Germany's inflation. It cost me about 5 cents some 60 years ago or maybe it came in one of those 200 stamps free offers which regularly appeared on the backs of comic books in the late 1950s.

Read more here:

The next costly war that the US involves itself in should just about finish off the US$. But I have already enjoyed over a dozen years of retirement and collected 8 years of Social Security benefits. Let the millenials worry about the coming economic catastrophe.


Anarchyteez's picture

That ain’t shit compared to our unfunded liabilities. Add that in then increase size of chart dramatically.

VWAndy's picture

 Measured in rubber bands with a true value of 0.

chunga's picture

If the *entire world* is up to it's eyeballs in debt I'll never understand who this debt is owed to.

Number 9's picture

Khazar mafia
aka shadow gov
descendants of Cain
who was descendant of Satan who are those that say they are jews but are not...
genetic line from the original murderer and liar..

Anon2017's picture

None of the Senate Republicans are Jewish. But they certainly don't mind taking Jewish campaign contributions. I guess the going rate for buying the loyalty of Christians in Congress is a lot higher than 30 pieces of silver, but they can be bought.

Bernie Madolf's picture

Well the Federal Reserve is not exactly public

Neither are the other CBs

You might start with looking into the owners of said institutions

Davidduke2000's picture

all these debts are owned by each countrt's investors such banks, insurance companies, trust funds, and the population at large who guy government bonds.

JerseyJoe's picture

And pension plans.  And with low interest rate that ponzi scheme is tipping over all over the world as well.

DaveA's picture

Debt doesn't matter. At the end of the day it'll all be paid off, defaulted, or hyperinflated away. People matter. Japan is rich because it's full of Japanese, Haiti is poor because it's full of Haitians, and Germany is full of -- well, you get the idea.

It sucks if you're holding a portfolio of that debt when it all goes tits up, but then, no one told you to buy Enron stock either.

uhland62's picture

Poor old Enron. They thought they could get together with Bankers Trust and Khodorkovsky's backchannels to create a Russian energy monopoly called Yukos which they could take over to fleece Russans. Sadly, it went pearshaped for all of them, except for the Russians. 

Governments have the choice to borrow money to feed their excess population or let the excess population starve. If people multiply like rabbits in times when jobs get deleted through automation, that's the consequences. Bloob - not happening in my lifetime, all good!!!

Captain Nemo de Erehwon's picture

Sure ... the excess starving population will sit, satisfied with supply-demand theory and rational expectations, and no one will get to realize that property rights are all in the end obtained by use of force, and that when people agree to part of civilized society they all agree to abide by said rights which is what allows people to own land etc. I am sure the Conquistadors worked so hard to add value to the land that the native americans walked away with a hefty profit praising the free markets for their fairness and all.

Silver Savior's picture

If they are still in it at this point they deserve to get less than nothing. It's like they are at the casino and keep talking about this being the last pull of the handle but it never will be until they lose it all and more.

Cassander's picture

Paul Krugman says not to worry.

And he is a Professor at Princeton.

And he won a Nobel Prize.

And he writes for the New York Times.

I'm not worried.

yogibear's picture

More should be better. Time to triple it, 

booboo's picture

Think too big to fail on a grand scale and why it will all be inflated away.

hooligan2009's picture

this is the corrollary of five decades of libtard socialism

a dogma, lately fully enabled and empowered by central bank QE, that gorges itself and over spends to increasingly consume scarcer resources - countries with more than 60% debt to gdp cannot afford ecnomic growth since any level of interest paid on the debt gets ever closer to the taxes raised - which in turn get higher and higher as entitlements get larger and larger.

the future has been borrowed. those in their 20's will pay taxes only to service interest on debt with nothing left over for public services, state pensions or state healthcare, let alone food stamps.

libtard socialism is a failed "experiment" in social engineering that has only created dependency of the failing welfare state.

it will take 30 years of 2-3% fiscal surpluses to win back personal freedom from the voracious appetite of increasing numbers of those who want to spend other people's money.

wintraiz's picture

I agree with your conclusions but you make some highly speculative statements. 

curbjob's picture

What are these speculative  statements ?

All I see is a fucking moron who believes the problems of the world can be explained away with a sound byte from the AM dial.

hooligan2009's picture

not everyone thinks that the libtard socialism you stand for is the "shining path" - most people see it for what it is, the advertizing of free shit (paid for by others hard work) to dishonest people that grab that free shit (other people's money) because morons like you think they should have free shit. 

you are corrupt and the stench of the swamp is strong with you - f.o. to the 50 iq publications like the WaPo, NYT and HuffPo - you will find smells there that go with your aftershave.

better still, donate half your NET take home pay to krugman so he can show you how to increase GDP and taxes by digging holes and filling them in.