Wednesday, November 23, 2011


A little something from our friend FRED:

Central government debt, total (% of GDP) for the United States


Debt is the entire stock of direct government fixed-term contractual obligations to others outstanding on a particular date. It includes domestic and foreign liabilities such as currency and money deposits, securities other than shares, and loans. It is the gross amount of government liabilities reduced by the amount of equity and financial derivatives held by the government. Because debt is a stock rather than a flow, it is measured as of a given date, usually the last day of the fiscal year.

Not sure why it only goes to 2009.

I had a book that I used a lot when I was doing a lot of C programming -- Programmer's Problem Solver for the IBM PC, XT & AT by Robert Jourdain. In his Introduction, Jourdain warned that the book might not be easy reading: "The prose in this book is dense, to say the least".

That paragraph from FRED there? That's dense prose. Good stuff.

If something goes up during recessions, and kinda goes flat in a listless economy, then maybe it would go down in a vigorous economy, hey?

If that "something" is something you don't like so much, like central government debt, then maybe you would think restoring vigor to the economy is a high priority.

1 comment:

Jazzbumpa said...

Don't forget the denominator effect.

Far off the previous trend line.

Debt kinked up at the same time.

Double whammy for your ratio.

then maybe you would think restoring vigor to the economy is a high priority.

Yep - a bigger denominator helps.

Or it least it did for 25 years after WWII.

Until Reagan happened.