Saturday, October 27, 2012

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Lebanon In Numbers: The Public Debt Case

If you are one of the lucky ones to have been born in this lovely country—just like me—then the number 54 Billion must have a great significance to you. In US dollar terms, this is the amount of debt our beloved country owes to the public. 54 Billion United States Dollars is the price which you and I have to repay; the price of our parents’ and grandparents’ partying years.

Every day, we hear people talking about the $54 billion debt, but what they don’t tell you is what does it mean? You know it’s a lot, but what can you compare it to in order to understand whether it’s a big deal or not? I can tell you that Australia, for example, has a debt of about $400 billion, but we both agree that Australia’s economy is better than that of Lebanon. In fact, when you compare the size of the debt to the size of the economy (what economists call Dept-To-GDP ratio), on a list from 1 to 145, with 1 being the “worst” debt-to-GDP, Australia ranks at 113 while Lebanon is proudly the 5th.

As part of the new segment on Free Thinking Lebanon: “Lebanon In Numbers”, I give you my first ever Infographic. I hope it will offer you a better insight into the Lebanese public debt issue.
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