Analysis: Pandemic strikes at a moment of extreme economic vulnerability

US federal debt is climbing at an extraordinarily rapid rate, a fact which does not augur well for the world economy

11th October, 2020
Analysis: Pandemic strikes at a moment of extreme economic vulnerability
The New York Stock Exchange: the last time the US federal debt matched or exceeded the value of GDP was in 1945

It is difficult to believe now, but a little over two decades ago, the US economy was so strong and the country’s self-confidence was so high that even the federal budget – a phenomenon so bloated and wasteful that nobody would invent it if it did not exist – was in surplus.

In other words, the government was taking in more in taxes and other income than it spent on programmes, including defence.

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