After searching for hours on Google I found these two great tables (theya are also sortable):
list of Government budget (I took hours to find this because I usually call this Government deficit/surplus, please correct me if they are not the same thing)
I read that these numbers show how probable is for a government to be able to repay its debt (this is important for the money in my wallet because it tells me how safe it is to invest my money in these countries buying their bonds).
Well, at sight it seems simple to read these numbers, one could say a country like Greece with a 165% Debt/GDP and a deficit of -9 is likely improbable that repays its debt (and infact we all know this is the main thing going on all newspapers now).
But then if you look a bit deeper you immediately see:
- US (debt/gdp 93 | deficit -8.70)
- Argentina (debt/gdp 47 | surplus 0.30)
- Swiss (debt/gdp 55 | surplus 0.40)
So is it safer to buy Argentina's tango bonds rather than US treasury bonds? Is a Swiss bond as safe as an Argentina's one? [*]
How should I read these figures?
Here they say a 60% debt/gdp is considered a prudential limit for developed countries, but what about Singapore (debt/gdp 97), or Germany (debt/gdp 81)...
I thought the deficit/surplus was the key of the all thing, let's say you have big debt/gdp, but you have surplus than one could say yoiwill repay your debt using surplus and therefor the debt/gdp will slowly decrease, but look at Japan then: debt/gdp 211, deficit -9, will they ever repay their debt then?!
Can in some way countries with surplus (see Norway, Brazil, Quatar, Russia) be considered virtuosos, like a small family that always tries to spend less than what it earns? But Russia defaulted in 1998.
[*] It's not my intention to pick on any on the country listed, I just neede to list some to make examples.