Feb 23, 2015
John writes, " Interest just posted a nice summary of a McKinsey report on the growth of global debt during what some persist in calling the “great deleveraging.” Turns out that since the crisis of 2008, debt has actually risen by $57 trillion, and the ratio of debt to GDP is up 17 percentage points to 286%. Meanwhile, central banks are monetizing 100% of newly-issued sovereign debt.
The obvious response to this is 1) wow, nothing has been fixed; in fact just the opposite, and 2) these stats, horrendous as they are, are incomplete because they don’t include unfunded liabilities of governments and private pensions, which are just as real as any other kind of debt.
But unfunded liabilities must be getting better, what with the stocks and bonds in pension fund portfolios soaring lately. Right? Since that’s an effortless Google search, that’s what I did. And the results were both counterintuitive and scary. It seems that even with pension fund investment portfolios booming, obligations to future retirees are rising even faster, making these entities even more underfunded today than in 2007."