May 10, 2012
Charts That Count
Sovereign Debt, Central Bank Balance Sheets and Monetary MalfeasanceInsuranceAccording to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation
"Canada's federal debt grew steadily between 5% and 10% per year until 1975 when it began to explode; growing for the next 12 years at more than 20% per year. It broke the $100 billion mark in 1981 and the $200 billion mark in 1985. While the growth slowed in 1988,our federal debt continued to climb, breaking $300 billion in 1988, $400 billion 1992,and $500 billion in 1994. It peaked in 1997 at $563 billion. Between 1997 and 2008,it slowly declined to $458 billion. After that, it all changed. Our federal debt grew by $5.8 billion in 2008-09, by $55.4 billion in 2009-10, $34 billion in 2010-11, $31 billion in 2011-12. It's expected to grow by $21.1 billion in 2012-13. Further, it's expected to grow until 2015-16. In just three years from 2008 to 2011 all the debt repayment ($105 billion) of the previous eight years was completely wiped out."
Each Canadian's share of this debt amounts to approximately $16,000. Surely therewill come a point where the national debt will stop being an ideological debatingpoint and simply become a mathematical issue - the ability or more accurately theinability to repay in real terms.And on the small matter of repayment - lets examine these debt levels in moredetail. When you calculate complete public debt loads for various countries andinclude that often and conveniently overlooked matter of the future obligations forunderfunded social programs, the picture does not appear promising (Note: Thecountry labeled GRE to the left of the US and therefore with LESS public debt isGreece).Chart 1: Public Finances (% of GDP)Source: Morgan Stanley