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Debt Destroying Dozens of Economies

Posted by feww on August 8, 2015

Total net debts owed by debtor nations rises by 30% since 2011—Report

International debt increased from $11.3 trillion in 2011 to $13.8 trillion in 2014, and it’s predicted that it will reach $14.7 trillion in 2015, resulting in an increase of $3.4 trillion (30%) in four years, according to a report published by Jubilee Debt Campaign.

The countries most at risk:

24 Countries already in debt crisis

  • Significant net debt (more than 30% of GDP), and
  • High current government external debt payments (more than 15% of government revenue).

There are 22 countries which currently have high government debt payments leading to large amounts of money leaving their country each year, along with an overall net debt with the rest of the world:

Armenia, Belize, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus,  Dominican  Republic, El Salvador, Gambia, Greece, Grenada, Ireland,  Jamaica, Lebanon, Macedonia, Marshall Islands, Montenegro, Portugal, Spain, Sri Lanka, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Ukraine.  Also, two countries are in default or debt negotiation: Sudan and Zimbabwe.

Sudan and Zimbabwe do not have high government debt payments because they are both in default on much of their debt. Their overall debt is unpayable. Both are currently trying to enter debt relief initiatives, but have not been accepted yet by Western creditor countries.

14 Countries at high risk of government external debt crisis

  • Significant net debt (more than 30% of GDP)
  • High future government external debt payments (projected to exceed 15% of government revenue–or, where projections are not available, current government external debt already over 50% of GDP)
  • Significant current account deficit (more than 5% of GDP).

We estimate that 14 countries are rapidly heading towards new government debt crises, based on their large external debts, large and persistent current account deficits, and high projected future government debt payments (or, where predictions do not exist, large current government debt).

Bhutan, Cabo Verde, Dominica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Lao PDR, Mauritania, Mongolia, Mozambique, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.

29 Countries at risk of government external debt crisis

  • Significant net debt (more than 30% of GDP), or significant current account deficit (more than 5% of GDP), and
  • Significant future government debt payments (projected to exceed 10% of government revenue– or, where projections are not available, current government external debt already over 40% of GDP).

These countries have significant imbalances with the rest of the world, either through high net debt or high and persistent current account deficits, as well as significant projected future government debt payments.  For some, it may be that the private sector is an even larger source of risk than government debt:

Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Italy, Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania, Madagascar, Maldives, Mali, Niger, Poland, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovak Republic, St Lucia, Togo, Tonga and Zambia.

28 Countries at risk of private-sector debt crisis

  • Significant net debt (over 30 % of GDP), and
  • Significant current account deficit (over 5% of GDP).

Debt owed by the private sector, rather than a government, can precipitate debt crises. This can happen either when lending that an economy has become dependent on suddenly falls, when repayment burdens on private sector debt remove significant resources from the country, and/or when the private sector crashes and has to be bailed out by the government. Those countries are:

Albania, Australia, Belarus, Benin, Bosnia, Brazil, Burundi, Colombia, Fiji, Georgia, Guinea, Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Malawi, Moldova, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Turkey, United Kingdom and Vanuatu.

Full report posted at: “The new debt trap: How the response to the last global financial crisis has laid the ground for the next”

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