November 7, 2008

Here's the list of public debt as a % of GDP. The United States is #27 most indebted at 61% of our $13 trillion GDP (in 2007). Check please!

We're already up there, at 61% of GDP. I believe as of today though we're at $10.5 trillion on $14.4 which would be 72%. Pretty big move in a few months. And yes, the REAL number is more like $53 trillion once you factor in future liabilities, which we don't. Because they won't get paid out obviously.

So, today, how much room do we have left to borrow? Can we go to 100% of GDP, like Singapore and Italy? If so, that's $3.9 trillion we could borrow (if someone is stupid enough to lend it to us) to go blow today. But... yes... that assumes that GDP won't drop, which it will. We could also seek to cut our debt simultaneously by restructuring what's on our books, or selling assets (like, say, Alaska, our our land and buildings. Hmmm.. wonder what we could sell Alaska to the Saudis for? Palin included...)

I personally think we need about $2 trillion credit line in 2009 alone to buy up the banks and dead houses, betting that the $2 trillion gets paid back plus profit. And then we'll need an extra $10 trillion or so over the next ten years on a massive infrastructure and green energy New Deal 2.0.

So if we're not going to go the way of Zimbabwe, we're gonna need to slash spending, or supercharge our GDP.

The US military will spend $651 billion next year, growing at an alarming rate. Can we get that number down to $300 billion? We spend $1.2 trillion on SS, medicaid and medicare, and that number is about to blow. Can we put the brakes on now? And we spend $500 billion on other stuff. Can we get a 20% across the board cut? I think all of those are pretty much non-starters.

Our total tax receipts in 2008 were $2.6 trillion, total expenditures supposedly $2.9 trillion. Both numbers will be off now, and not the good way. So can we shrink spending? Besides the military, pretty much everything else is stuck. Can we raise receipts? Maybe a few hundred billion at best.

So what to do? Again, we need to sell off assets (sale and lease back or outright sale). Sell our buildings. Sell our land. Sell our roads. Sell our government cars and trucks. Sell it all if we can. And we need to borrow like never before. And we need to bet that this massive infrastructure and energy investment will grow the economy ASAP as well as significantly in the future. If not, we go bankrupt or into hyperinflation.

Get popcorn folks. And maybe some gold. Because we've really stepped in it this time. We've maxed out the country credit card on drugs and hookers and don't have much to show. But now, it's time to bet the farm. We're desperate.

And if you're looking to relo, Estonia and Luxembourg are looking better every day.

126 Estonia 3.40 2007 est.
125 Equatorial Guinea 3.70 2007 est.
124 Oman 3.80 2007 est.
123 Chile 4.10 2007 est.
122 Libya 4.70 2007 est.
121 Botswana 5.00 2007 est.
120 Luxembourg 5.40 2007 est.
119 Wallis and Futuna 5.60 2004 est.
118 Russia 5.90 2007 est.
117 Azerbaijan 6.40 2007 est.
116 Hong Kong 7.10 2007 est.
115 Latvia 7.40 2007 est.
114 Kazakhstan 7.70 2007 est.
113 Kuwait 7.80 2007 est.
111 Qatar 11.70 2007 est.
112 Ukraine 11.70 2007 est.
110 Angola 12.00 2007 est.
109 Bulgaria 12.70 2007 est.
107 Lithuania 14.50 2007 est.
108 Nigeria 14.50 2007 est.
105 Australia 15.40 2007 est.
106 Cameroon 15.40 2007 est.
104 Gibraltar 15.70 2005 est.
103 Romania 18.20 2007 est.
102 China 18.40 2007 est.
101 Uzbekistan 18.80 2007 est.
100 Algeria 19.00 2007 est.
99 Venezuela 19.30 2007 est.
98 Tanzania 19.70 2007 est.
97 Uganda 20.60 2007 est.
96 New Zealand 20.70 2007 est.
95 Guatemala 20.80 2007 est.
94 Namibia 21.80 2007 est.
93 Mozambique 22.20 2007 est.
92 Senegal 22.60 2007 est.
91 Mexico 22.80 2007 est.
90 United Arab Emirates 22.90 2007 est.
88 Moldova 23.30 2007 est.
89 Saudi Arabia 23.30 2007 est.
86 Honduras 24.10 2007 est.
87 Slovenia 24.10 2007 est.
85 Ireland 24.70 2007 est.
84 Iran 25.20 2007 est.
83 Denmark 26.00 2007 est.
81 Czech Republic 26.60 2007 est.
82 Trinidad and Tobago 26.60 2007 est.
80 Paraguay 27.10 2007 est.
79 Iceland 27.60 2007 est.
78 Republic of China ("Taiwan") 27.90 2007 est.
77 Zambia 28.00 2007 est.
76 Peru 29.20 2007 est.
75 Bahrain 29.40 2007 est.
74 Macedonia 30.80 2007 est.
72 Finland 31.30 2007 est.
73 South Africa 31.30 2007 est.
71 South Korea 33.40 2007 est.
70 Ecuador 33.60 2007 est.
69 Yemen 33.70 2007 est.
68 Bosnia and Herzegovina 34.00 2007 est.
67 Indonesia 34.10 2007 est.
66 Spain 35.20 2007 est.
65 Slovakia 35.90 2007 est.
64 Cuba 36.80 2007 est.
63 Serbia 37.00 2007 est.
62 Bangladesh 37.40 2007 est.
61 Syria 37.80 2007 est.
59 El Salvador 37.90 2007 est.
60 Thailand 37.90 2007 est.
58 Montenegro 38.00 2006
57 Turkey 38.90 2007 est.
56 Kenya 40.50 2007 est.
55 Dominican Republic 40.60 2007 est.
54 Brazil 40.80 Sep 2008.
53 Sweden 41.20 2007 est. [3]
52 Malaysia 41.60 2007 est.
51 Papua New Guinea 42.00 2007 est.
50 Vietnam 42.80 2007 est.
49 United Kingdom 43.00 2007 est.
48 Poland 43.10 2007 est.
11 Croatia 43.20 2007
47 Switzerland 45.30 2007 est.
46 Ethiopia 45.60 2007 est.
45 Netherlands 46.20 2007 est.
44 Aruba 46.30 2005
42 Bolivia 46.60 2007 est.
43 Costa Rica 46.60 2007 est.
41 Ghana 48.40 2007 est.
40 Gabon 50.00 2007 est.
39 Malawi 50.60 2007 est.
38 Albania 52.50 2007 est.
36 Pakistan 52.80 2007 est.
37 Panama 52.80 2007 est.
35 Colombia 53.50 2007 est.
34 Tunisia 55.40 2007 est.
33 Philippines 55.80 2007 est.
32 India 58.00 2007 est.
31 Mauritius 58.80 2007 est.
30 Argentina 59.00 June 2007 est.
29 Austria 59.30 2007 est.
28 Cyprus 59.60 2007 est.
27 United States 60.80 2007 est.
26 Nicaragua 63.00 2007 est.
25 Germany 63.10 2007 est.
24 Portugal 63.60 2007 est.
23 France 64.00 2007 est.
22 Canada 65.00 2007 est
20 Hungary 67.00 2007 est.
21 Uruguay 67.00 2007 est.
19 Morocco 72.40 2007 est.
18 Jordan 72.70 2007 est.
17 Norway 75.10 2007 est.
16 Israel 80.60 2007 est.
15 Cote d'Ivoire 81.10 2007 est.
14 Bhutan 81.40 2004
13 Sri Lanka 83.90 2007 est.
12 Belgium 84.90 2007 est.
10 Greece 89.70 2007 est.
9 Sudan 98.90 2007 est.
8 Singapore 101.20 2007 est.
7 Italy 104.00 2007
6 Egypt 105.80 2007 est.
5 Jamaica 127.20 2007 est.
4 Seychelles 144.30 2007 est.
3 Lebanon 186.60 2007 est.
2 Japan 195.50 2008 [2]
1 Zimbabwe 23640.66 2008 [1]


Psycho said...

What stocks are you looking at for the infrastructure and alternative energy play?

Anonymous said...

As Peter Schiff points out in Crash Proof it's actually much worse than that because 70% of that GDP is the service industry which we see is rapidly collapsing and the very nature of the GDP calculation is very deceptive and doesn't tell the whole truth.

On top of that you have the unfunded liabilities of around $50 billion.

We're broke, Kweefer. So no Great Leap Forward to Mars for you!


vanilla ice said...

We'd be closer to #1 if the evil Federal Reserve wasn't using inflation to reduce our massive deficit.

Anonymous said...

So what to do? Again, we need to sell off assets (sale and lease back or outright sale). Sell our buildings. Sell our land. Sell our roads. Sell our government cars and trucks. Sell it all if we can. And we need to borrow like never before. And we need to bet that this massive infrastructure and energy investment will grow the economy ASAP as well as significantly in the future. If not, we go bankrupt or into hyperinflation.

It's very simple Keith. We drastically shrink the government back to it's constitutional limits, abolish the income tax and abolish the ungodly regulations on business in America.

Then you will see the economy grow like crazy.

Your idea of borrowing or inflating trillions of dollars is just the same old bunko inflationist Keynesianism that Bernanke promotes.

Have you not been paying attention? Sometimes I wonder if you have been replaced by some kind of lab grown clone or you've been brainwashed by the CIA's MK-Ultra program because your views have made a complete 180 recently.

Are you taking your meds?

from hper to sasher said...

Fellow Sooters and ashers,

hmmm; are we now 'sashers'?

anyway,the 7th day is a day of rest.

That is Saturday.

enjoy your weekend and have a
good Shabbos

Anonymous said...

if we work hard we can catch up to japan?

can we do? yes we can!

Anonymous said...


But it's OK because:

O-B-A-M-A will save us!!!

Judes said...

The answer is to impose import tariffs on goods and services. It would provide much needed revenue without raising taxes, and cause a return to rebuilding our manufacturing industry and putting people back to work in this country. By increasing the price of imports it would create a bigger demand for domestic goods and production. It would eliminate our trade deficit and provide much needed good paying jobs to Americans! It worked for decades, it's time to put it back to work.

gwk said...

Wow your hero had his first big press talk and really sounded presidential making fun of Nancy Reagan but went over big with all the other losers he has attached himself to so I feel much more confident knowing now he will be a 1 term president and seems he was backing off tax increase just a little but will shall see.

Anonymous said...

I would think without changing anything at all we'll go over 100% once consumer spending on the credit card craters, and hence so does three quarters of GDP.

jfp said...

I was a bit surprised that Japan had a debt of twice their GDP. I thought they were a nation of savers or something. What's the story there?

Anonymous said...

back to my idea of a holding country.

Perhaps once the nonperforming assests had been transferred to the holding country we could then take it public? or maybe the holding country could buy some debt that we issue?

investorinpa said...

Keith, this list will be shaken up completely by the end of this year as the oil producing countries with a low % of GDP are going to take it on the chin thanks to the oil price drop. I think you have the right idea with this post, but you should wait till the 2008 numbers come out.

keith said...

Why is Japan that high? Because they had to bail out their banks after their massive bubble.

I think Japan gives us a view of what we're facing now. And I see us vaulting up this list quickly.

You're about to see Shock and Awe when it comes to borrowing. That $800 billion package was the warm-up act. And look how quickly we got are heads around a staggering number like that.

Some of the borrowings will be used to buy stuff up, and could eventually be paid back with a profit.

Other of the borrowings will be for a New Deal infrastructure boom, that has a ROI as well.

And then the rest of the borrowings will be just pissed away, on things like foreign wars and the bureaucracy.

I see this number in our near future:

$20 trillion.

Shock and Awe.

And once you add in unfunded liabilities, that $20 trillion is chump change.

Shock and Awe.

Anonymous said...

Uh, keith, you should know better than this. The real debt is much higher if you include the unfunded liabilities of social security and medicare, which add up to nearly 100 trillion.

keith said...

Uh, anon, maybe you should go back and read the post

Mike Hunt said...

Heh. Iceland is #79 as of 2007. I reckon they are just a wee bit higher at the end of 2008, don't ya think?


Anonymous said...

Why don't I see the country of Africa on this list? - S. Palin

jfp said...


Yeah, I get what you're saying about Japan. It's amazing that what happened there so long ago had such a lasting effect. I have to wonder how many years our crisis will steal from our future.

Anonymous said...

Here's where I am perplexed. Peter Schiff keeps saying to get out of the US dollar and into the Yen. Based on the debt levels of Japan, I'm not following his logic. Can anyone clarify this? I agree the dollar is doomed, but so is the Yen???

JaneZ said...

keith said...

Why is Japan that high? Because they had to bail out their banks after their massive bubble.

Yup, and their people had the money to bail out the banks. They are the biggest "savers" in the world. Who will donate their granite countertops to the federal govt? We don't have a pot to piss in collectively as a nation, they are just going to tax us and our children and their children to pay for this bailout.

Sorry, there is no way around this. We are flat ass broke. Our govt is broke, the people are broke and we are all in denial. Hey let's bail out GM and make millions of more cars that nobody has the money to buy. Great idea that one.

I say we pay people to cut up their credit cards and live within their means. You will get a direct tax cut for reducing your outstanding balances every year.

FlyingMonkeyWarrior said...

15 Cote d'Ivoire 81.10 2007 est.
14 Bhutan 81.40 2004

Who and where are these countries?

Lost Cause said...

Cuba looks positively frugal.

Anonymous said...

Using current stats, our public debt is 10.5/14 or 75%. The deficit for the next fiscal year is currently projected at "$1T or more". Given the bailout talk going on, a conservative assumption is $1.5T. And how much will the GDP fall? We are looking at a 85-90% debt ratio for next year. We might even make the top ten in next year's list!

I'd also guess that deficit spending will continue at an elevated level for at least another fiscal year beyond this one. We will likely exceed 100%. What will that do to the interest rate the Treasury pays, as an ever greater percentage of our budget goes to pay interest on the debt? Once the death spiral starts, it's mighty hard to get out of.