The Institute of International Finance reported that global debt reached over $230 trillion at the end of the third quarter. That is up $16 trillion from the end of 2016. By comparison, the U.S. national debt is $20 trillion.
The debt includes national, personal and corporate figures.
The number is shocking given that it exceeds the gross domestic product of the world’s 100 largest nations. These are led by the United States. In the second place, the United Kingdom has debt of $7.9 trillion. At number three, France has debt of $5.4 trillion. Rounding out the top five, Germany has debt of $5.1 trillion and the Netherlands has debt of $4.3 trillion.
U.S. household debt is just shy of $13 trillion. According to Reuters:
Total U.S. household debt was $12.84 trillion in the three months to June, up $552 billion from a year ago, according to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York report published on Tuesday.
The proportion of overall debt that was delinquent, at 4.8 percent, was on par with the previous quarter. However a red flag was raised over the transitions of credit card balances into delinquency, which the New York Fed said “ticked up notably.”
China’s foreign exchange reserves, the largest of any country in the world, are approximately $3 trillion.
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, often said to be the world’s largest, has a value of $1 trillion.
Because of debate about how much debt is too much debt, whether it be national, student or credit card debt, it is impossible to say if the Institute of International Finance figure should be regarded as something of a warning. Given its vastness, there is no way to tell.