Debt Talks is an INET webinar series that brings together diverse voices to discuss one of the most pressing economic issue of our times: the surge in indebtedness. We host prominent thinkers, policy-makers, and scholars from different backgrounds and countries to present and debate their views. Each installment features a lively panel presentation followed by Q&A. INET Fellow Moritz Schularick moderates the events.
The world economy entered the COVID-19 pandemic with record debt levels. Since the global financial crisis, private and public debts have grown to more than $250 trillion, about three times global GDP. With the current crisis, global debt will surge even further. This has deep implications for the way our economies, societies, and politics work. In this series we explore what’s driving this increase in debt, and is indebtedness still manageable, or do we need a debt jubilee? Can households and companies cope with the overhang of debt? And what are the implications for growth, equity, and financial stability?
In this installment, we will discuss the current situation in credit markets and look at default risks and potential losses in loan and bond markets in the U.S. and internationally. We will also ask whether an overhang of debt on corporate balance sheets will slow down the recovery from the COVID recession and be a drag on investment going forward. Over all, we will try to understand if the COVID recession still has the potential to turn into a broader financial meltdown.