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Global Debt Grew $15 Trillion in 2023; U.S. Federal Debt Exploded. Why?

U.S. Treasury Building. EIRNS/Stuart Lewis

March 4, 2024 (EIRNS)—In recent days there have been reports—one example—of an alarming, scarcely-to-be-believed rate of increase of U.S. federal debt, equivalent to $1 trillion every 100 days! In fact, there has been an increase in Treasury debt outstanding of $2.9 trillion since the last time the debt ceiling was raised, on June 4, 2023. Some $2.9 trillion in nine months (roughly 270 days) means there is a debt bubble growing faster than $1 trillion per 100 days.

Even if the fourth quarter of 2023 is taken as slightly anomalous, U.S. federal debt rose by $3 trillion in 2023 as a whole: from $31 trillion on Jan. 3, 2023, to $34 trillion on Jan. 4, 2024 (and then $34.4 trillion on March 1, 2024).

For an idea how explosive this is, compare it to worldwide growth in debt of all kinds—government, business, financial and household—in 2023. Data released on Feb. 28 by the megabanks’ international lobby, the Institute of International Finance, showed that the “everything bubble” of total global debt (excluding financial derivatives) had grown during 2023 by $15 trillion, reaching a total of $313 trillion; an acceleration, certainly, over the already very high rate of growth of the “everything bubble” in the previous decade. But the growth of Federal government debt only, for the United States only, was $3 trillion of that!

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