There’s been very little deleveraging after the last financial crisis and, in fact, debt levels are at new records globally, which means investors should be thinking about the risk of ‘debtflation,’ Russell Napier, editor of The Solid Ground, told FS Insider last week (see Russell Napier on Debt Deflation: Too Much Debt, Not Enough Money for audio).
It isn’t the case that we’ve seen much deleveraging since the financial crisis, Napier noted. Globally, the debt-to-GDP ratio is at an all-time high, he added, significantly above the levels seen in 2007.
Though there has been some deleveraging in the household sector, Napier stated, this isn’t the whole picture. It ignores the releveraging of the government during the last crisis, and also that corporations have been adding significant amounts of debt.
If we look globally, emerging markets are fueling the rise to a new high in the debt-to-GDP ratio. It isn’t just China either, but other countries as well that are responsible for this effect.
‘If the world was fragile in 2007 because there was too much debt and not enough GDP, it is significantly more fragile today,’ Napier said.
This post was published at FinancialSense on 11/14/2017.