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In 2014 there were six eurozone countries whose debt-to-GDP ratio went over the 100% threshold. Two additional countries will pass that barrier in 2015.
The Maastricht Treaty on which the euro was founded was designed to keep "sound fiscal policies", with debt limited to 60% of GDP (not 100%), and annual deficits no greater than 3% of GDP."
Every country in the eurozone, including Germany, has been in violation of those rules. Let's take a look at the biggest violators as reported by El Economista. Data is from second quarter of 2014 (undoubtedly worse now).
100% Debt-to-GDP List
- Italy 133%
- Portugal 129.4%
- Ireland 116.7%
- Cyprus 112.2%
- Belgium 105.1%
- Greece 174.9%
- Spain 100.3% (2015 estimate)
- France 100% (2015 estimate)
In regards to France, Laurent Bigorgne, director of the Institut Montaigne, predict that French liabilities will not stabilize, but will continue to progress."
That certainly seems like a very safe prediction.
Wild Blue Yonder
And as debts soar off into the wild blue yonder, the need to keep interest rates at 0% to perpetually mask the problem increases.
I offer this musical tribute to celebrate the Keynesian policies that perpetuate wild blue yonder government spending and absurd central bank policies.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock