Canary in the Coal Mine, Part II

In 2011 Greece’s public debt (the cumulative net total of all government borrowing) was an estimated $515 billion. That is equal to less than 5 percent of the total $12 trillion in public debt of the seventeen EuroZone countries*

So, why is so much attention being paid to such a relatively small country’s debt problem? Greece’s 2011 public debt equaled 165 percent of the market value of all the final goods and services produced within Greece (Gross Domestic Product).

In how many other countries in the EuroZone was the country’s public debt equal to or greater than their Gross Domestic Product (GDP)?

A. None
B. Two
C. Four
D. All Seventeen

B. Four

Four countries – Italy, Ireland, Belgium, and Portugal. Total public debt for the seventeenEuroZone countries equaled 88 percent of the total EuroZone GDP. That compares to the U.S. public debt that totaled 69 percent GDP in 2011.


Sources:  CIA World Factbook