After studying this chapter, you should be able to:
The clock is ticking. Every second, it seems, someone in the world takes on more debt. The idea of a debt clock for an individual nation is familiar to anyone who has been to Times Square in New York, where the American public shortfall is revealed. The world debt clock shown below (accessed in January 2014 at www.nationaldebtclocks.org) indicates the global figure for almost all government debts in dollar terms.
Does it matter? After all, world governments owe the money to their own citizens, not to the Martians. But the rising total is important for two reasons. First, when government debt rises faster than economic output (as it has been doing ...