Help understanding charts

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workhorse1569's picture
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 15 2008
Posts: 45
Help understanding charts

Help Please:

I am preparing a shortened talk on the CC for a group. This is making me really work at understanding the CC.  The graph of Credit Market Dept as a percentage of GDP looks very different than one I was able to find in the Wikipedia at:

I was looking for a similar graph to use in a power point. It is not meant to replace the CC at all but give a trailer or snap shot to entice people to watch the CC.

The one of the Wikipedia looks very different than the one in Chapter 12

Is this a different measure? A different debt?  Help



Davos's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
Re: Help understanding charts

Hello Kate: 

I just skimmed the charts on that Wiki. I didn't like them. Anything compaired to GDP IMHO is not a reliable yard stick. GDP is just too baked. I know Chris likes the one chart on GDP to debt but I think for many that requires some explanation before it becomes of meaning. He is good at explaining it. Still GDP to me is like an Enron balance sheet - total BS.

I think I'd look at Perot's site and at IOUSA for debt.

One thing I try to get across to folks is there are IMHO three things to "debt." 


  1.  11+/- trillion of debt 
  2.  55+/- trillion of off balance liabilities and obligations (Mostly Medicare parts a and d and Social Security)
  3.  Deficit this year alone is projected to be 3.6 trillion by some estimates, I think larger
I know we all approach things differently but I would go about it explaining it this way. We are in the hole 66+++ trillion. We earned 12 trillion before the crisis, most of that 12 trillion was baked (Chris's imputation video on GDP). So we are debt junkies with a earnings to debt that makes Enron look good. When I see Maria on CNBC saying that 12 trillion in earnings/GDP and 11 trillion in debt isn't that bad I think CLUELESS *&#$. First GDP is probably about 8 trillion and that was pre contraction. Then you have things that we have to pay for unless we want to leave our folks to starve.
I don't have any good charts on total off balance sheet debt/obligations but I think it was in IOUSA byte sized video and you could do a screen capture on that. Perot has some good charts on the deficit.
Good luck. 


dps's picture
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 27 2008
Posts: 442
Re: Help understanding charts


I'm trying to get my presentation together too.  Have you learned to use the ftp site yet?  Have you found it?  I tried a bit last night with no results yet.  Give me hints over in the brigade area.  Thanks ... Don

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