TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

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?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Feb 25 2013: Debt is relative: it is simply our way of keeping track of where we are in relation to others. I'd highly recommend "Payback" by Margaret Atwood if you want a more philosophical take on debt without economic jargon.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.