The UK isn’t Greece, it’s Iceland

Alex Hern presents a picture which says everything needed about the sources and problems of British debt


Sometimes, a picture really is worth a thousand words:

Whether you look at international comparisons such as this one, or historical comparisons, it is clear that our government debt, though large, is not unsustainably so. Greece’s government debt is 145 per cent of its GDP; ours is 80 per cent (Eurostat).

Our financial sector, however, holds over 600 per cent of Britain’s GDP in debt, and as we reported earlier today, the Vickers report is doing nothing to stop that proportion growing. Icelandic financial debt hit 1000 per cent of its GDP before reality caught up with them.

We do have a debt crisis, but it’s not government debt, it’s banking.

(Chart from Business Insider via The Automatic Earth)

See also:

Implementing Vickers won’t stop the next crisisJosh Ryan Collins, December 20th 2011

Cameron’s excuses don’t add upCormac Hollingsworth, December 13th 2011

Trouble ahead for Cameron: Majority of Euro rebels were from class of 2010Shamik Das, October 25th 2011

A damp squib or quiet radicalism from the Vickers Commission?Ben Fox, September 13th 2011

The Vickers report lacked ambition and lacks biteJoe Cox, September 12th 2011

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