Chart Of The Day: Europe's Web Of Debt

Somehow I stumbled over this quite interesting chart of the “who-owes-who” within the European financial system. It shows the complicated web of debt between the EU nations. Who’s the biggest debtors, we know, also that German banks holds a rather large exposure towards the PIIGS. But it seems pretty clear that France and Great Britain are in really deep shit, too…

“Hello, Ben!”





Banks and governments in the five PIIGS-countries owes trillions of euros to Germany, France and Great Britain. (The chart is based on a conversion to US dollar).

Exactly how much money we’re talking about is probably a well-kept secret amongst the central banks and their network.

However, the figure is based on official numbers, and the arrows are said to be proportional with the amount of loans.

The Trillion Dollar Nations

Italy and Spain are the only two EU-countries with more than one trillion dollar each in debt – $731 billion belongs to France, $438 to Germany.

Germany has (as of January 1st) a total of $704 billion in outstanding loans to the most shaky economies in Europe.

Britain have $418 billion.

But France is the lender who has the most to lose if the southern European region collapse, with a total exposure og $911 billion.

That means that the three great financiers of Europe – France, Germany and Great Britain – together has over $2 trillion in rather “distressed” loans.

Hello, Ben !

The Intimate Connections

Another thing that’s particularly visible in this chart. is the interconnection between the PIIGS-countries themselves.

Nearly 1/3 of Portugal‘s debt is held by Spain. Both countries’ credit rating have been lowered.

Italy ow France over $500 billion – equal to almost 20% of the French GDP.

Spain, with more than a trillion-dollar in debt, have exceeded an unemployment rate of 20%, and seems to be the weakest of the five PIIGS.

How this is going to unwind, will be interesting to see…


Filed under International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics