We have always focused on our own personal debt in this country. Things like credit cards, store cards and loans have always been measured and analyzed by the media and our Government. But an interesting feature on the BBC website this week shed some light on the foreign debt owed by Great Britain. Over the past few weeks we have all been privy to what countries like Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and others owe to the rest of the world. But this analysis by the BBC of what we owe to the world, will raise your eyebrows.

According to the BBC the UK owes: (all in Euros)

US: 578.6bn
Germany: 379.3bn
Spain: 316.6bn
France: 209.9bn 
Japan: 122.7bn
Ireland: 113.5bn

All in all, the UK owes an eye watering 7.3 TRILLION Euros to various countries around the world! That works out to 117,580 Euros per person in this country! This country’s GDP is a piddly 1.7 trillion euros. So our debt ratio to our GDP is a depressing 436%.

Given all the huge numbers above, the UK economy is still seen as relatively safe despite all our foreign debt.

Some more figures for you: (totals, in Euros)

The US owes 10.9tn
France owes 4.2tn, as does Germany
Spain and Italy both owe 2tn Euros each

You know we are living in extraordinary times when we start talking in trillions more and more often. You also know that due to these extreme numbers, how deadly it would be for any one of these countries to default on it’s debts. Greece has practically defaulted on it’s debts, but they were only a minute 400bn Euros in comparison. If someone like Italy, Spain or France, or even worse more than just one of those, were to default, then there could be serious contagion within the Eurozone, which would see it’s collapse.

You can find the BBC’s interactive graphic here.