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How Much Does Greece Owe? 4 Charts That Put Greek Debt in Perspective


MoneyMorning.com Report -
Greece is on track to run out of money in two weeks.

Unless officials can alter its current burn rate, the Mediterranean country will hit a cash wall on April 8, according to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung .

Exactly how much does Greece owe ?

The country is 323 billion euros in debt ($352.7 billion) - more than 175% of its GDP.

These four charts help to put that number into perspective...

How Much Does Greece Owe?

What Greece Owes, Chart No. 1: Debt-to-GDP Ratio


Debt-to-GDP ratio measures a country's debt compared to its economic output. In other words, what a country is borrowing divided by what it's bringing in. The higher the ratio, the harder it will be for a country to repay its debts.

A look at debt-to-GDP ratios in other Eurozone countries reveals Greece isn't the only villain of the seven-year-long-and-counting Eurozone crisis .

Greece has a 174.9% debt-to-GDP ratio. Its Eurozone brethren Italy, Portugal, and Ireland come in high as well, at 132.1%, 129%, and 123.3% respectively.

In fact, because of the debt racked up in many Eurozone countries including Greece, the European Central Bank (ECB) implemented quantitative easing (QE) this month.

What Greece Owes, Chart No. 2: Greek Foreign Debt vs. U.S. Foreign Debt


Greece owes a lot to foreign countries - but not nearly as much as does the U.S.

As of March 6, 2015, U.S. public debt reached $13.08 trillion (74% of fourth-quarter 2014 GDP).

Of that sum, $6.1 trillion (47%) is owned by foreign investors.

China owns the biggest chunk of U.S. foreign debt at $1.3 trillion, followed by Japan at $1.2 trillion. These top two creditors constitute 59% of U.S. foreign debt.

Comparatively, Greece owes $352.7 billion to foreign investors. It owes its top two foreign creditors - the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - roughly $264.5 million (75% of its total debt).

What Greece Owes, Chart No. 3: Greece's Debt to Germany vs. Germany's Debt to Greece


Greece owes Germany 56 billion euros ($61.1 billion). But what does Germany owe Greece?

On March 10, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he had a duty to pursue World War II reparations from Germany.

You see, Greece was one of the worst sufferers of Axis occupation. Tens of thousands died.

On June 10, 1944, Nazis went door-to-door- in Distomo, a tiny hamlet northwest of Athens. There, they rounded up and killed 218 victims, including babies and the elderly. In 2000, a Greek court ruled the people of Distomo were owed $30 million in compensation.

In 1942, the Nazis forced the Greek Central Bank into a loan worth at least $11.7 billion today.

According to The Washington Post , the figure argued for general war reparations starts around $171.2 billion.

The German government argues compensation was settled in 1990, when the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union, and France signed a pact with the former East and West Germany that ended the reparations debate.  It also questions why Greece did not negotiate reparations when it entered the Eurozone in 2001.

What Greece Owes, Chart No. 4: Greek Debt vs. 2008 TARP Bailout


Like Greece, the U.S. economy needed a bailout after the Great Recession.

Unlike Greece, the U.S. bailout came in to the tune of $700 billion in the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in 2008.

Of the funds allotted under TARP, $645 billion was actually paid out.

The largest recipients were American International Group Inc. ( AIG ) ($70 billion), Bank of America Corp. ( BAC ) ($45 billion), and Citigroup Inc. ( C ) ($45 billion cash and $5 billion in support of a loan guarantee).

Stay tuned to Money Morning for updates on how much Greece owes and other Greek debt crisis developments.

Tweet the author @TaraKateClarke to join the conversation.

Profit from Eurozone Drama: QE has begun flooding the Eurozone economy with 60 billion euros ($66.1 billion) a month in government debt and asset purchases. The program's expected to end in September 2016 - and that means inflationary policies will keep downward pressure on the euro for some time. A looming threat of a Greek exit from the euro will smother the currency even more. Eurozone drama means these three opportunities are open to investors...

Related Articles :

  • CME Group: Eurozone 2015 Economic Outlook
  • The Washington Post: Greece Heads for Showdown with Germany over WWII Debts

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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies
Referenced Symbols: AIG , BAC , C



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