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Who are all the countries in the world in debt to?

I hear everywhere how Greece is in debt, France is in debt, the UK is in debt, Poland is in debt ....
I hear that part of these debts are so called internal debts i.g. governments owe money to their respective citizens, which boils down to us being in debt to ... ourselves. This concept in itself does not boggle my mind as much as the fact that anyone in their right mind is willing to buy it.
Part of these debts are so called external debts. Now, this can basically make sense only can anyone explain to me where does the buck stop i.e. who is the ultimate source of all that enormous credit? Since I am a kind of a redneck, can someone explain this in very simple terms steering clear of the language of economics which of course was developed for anything but explaining things?


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    Feb 18 2013: Money is manufactured out of thin air. It costs the manufactures nothing, and they collect the interest. They could forgive the debt and it would cost them nothing, but why would they? If they did, they'd be giving away free money. These are not government entities, but have official sounding names to lend a certain credence. The money is imaginary, and so is the debt. We buy into it's reality because someone with an official sounding title told us we should, and this mantra fits right in with the values we were taught as children. We're being scammed. Read a book called "Secrets of the Federal Reserve". Seriously, our entire monetary system is based on a hoax. All this talk about redistributing wealth is for real, but once you start paying attention to it you will realized that the redistribution is from the bottom up.
    • Feb 19 2013: Fascinating stuff. Funny how people living half way around the world see some things eye to eye . Respect instilled in kids for entities with official sounding names is nothing but someone's business plan. Horrible but true. Boy, am I grateful to have seen the light. I chucked my silly (though well paid job) some years ago. True, I have no money now, but I have ... sunshine, wind, birds chirping, my own cucumbers and all the time in the world to do what I like doing plus satisfaction that no freaking millionaire usurer is able to enjoy life more than I do. I advise everyone to do the same before the whole world goes berserk again.
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        Feb 19 2013: It's interesting, there seems to be a lot of bitterness about millionaires being millionaires. I don't hold that particular bitterness. Like you, my disdain comes from the usurer part of your statement. Many (certainly not all) of these people (with our help) hold themselves in superiority while their fortunes have been made through opportunities that the rest of us don't have. I hold no wish for equality in outcome, but do think equality in opportunity should be a goal of any civilized society.
        • Feb 20 2013: ...their fortunes have been made through opportunities that the rest of us don't have ... but if we had them none of us would ever resist the temptation to make full advantage of them and thus become part and parcel of that global canker gnawing mercilessly the global economy.

          ...equality in opportunity should be a goal of any civilized society ... that's utopia. I am not aiming at this ideal world. What I am trying to do is to mitigate the economic polarization of the global society so as to defer the unpleasant moment when the rich come and get me (make me leave my house and seek shelter under any bridge brrr we have bad climate for camping year round :-) )

          But we digress. The point in question is DEBT. I believe the present will be looked at (if there is anyone to look back on the present) as the period of rampant debt.
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        Feb 20 2013: I guess utopia means different things to different people. Regarding debt, the money we use (In the US) is imaginary, it's backed by nothing at all except that someone says it exists. By definition then, the debt is imaginary too. We ought to be able to imagine a solution.
        • Feb 20 2013: I am sometimes imaginning a solution. Since the monetary system in place is surreal (as you believe it is), people should build from scratch a new one side by side with the old one, but never mutually connected. One such system does not even require money. It's barter. You bake bread for someone, someone in turn gives you poultry, you build someone a house, someone in turn repairs and maintains your car. Of course the parity of these mutual services must be somehow figured out, but does it not when money is used? By doing this you do not fall foul of any laws (as long as money does not change hands the inland revenue office can get stuffed) Go barter and laugh at billionaires!

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