Seeing Red: Which countries owe the most?

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Since 2008, the global recession has threatened to topple the world's most developed and robust economies, and many wealthy nations are now saddled with burdensome debt loads. Test your knowledge of how the economic crisis has affected people from Reno to Reykjavik.

Which country has the largest gross external debt in the world?

More than $14 trillion in the red, the United States has the largest debt load on the planet.


Which was the first European country to request a recession bailout from the International Monetary Fund?

The global recession hasn't been a cake walk for any of these three countries, but Iceland was the first to need a bailout in 2008, following a series of bank failures.


The global recession adds up to roughly how much money in debt?

According to calculations by The Economist magazine, countries around the world have racked up a total of $40 trillion in debt.


Which of the following countries had a perfect AAA credit rating as of October 2011?

Although credit-rating agencies had warned that France's finances were approaching the "danger zone," it retained a AAA rating as of October 2011.


Which Nordic country received a credit rating boost in May 2011?

Recognizing Iceland's economic recovery following 2008 financial bailouts, the credit-rating agency Fitch upgraded its economic forecast from grim to stable in May 2011.


In 2009, which African government decided to abandon its currency?

With hyperinflation rendering the Zimbabwe dollar virtually worthless, the government opted to abandon the currency and begin accepting more stable foreign currency, including the U.S. dollar, instead.


Which Caribbean nation has one of the largest public debt burdens in the world?

In September 2011, the International Monetary Fund agreed to a three-year loan program to help St. Kitts & Nevis dig itself out of one of the heaviest public debt loads in the world, equating to 185 percent of the island nation's gross domestic product (GDP).


Although Japan's public debt represents almost 200 percent of its GDP, the Asian country has a relatively low level of what type of debt?

Japan has limited its borrowing from foreign investors and governments, keeping its amount of external debt relatively low.


According to CIA data, which country has the highest public debt as a percentage of GDP in the world?

Zimbabwe has struggled in recent years to rein in its public debt, which the CIA calculates as nearly 235 percent of its GDP -- the highest in the world.


Going into the global recession in 2008, which European government had the least amount of debt?

In 2008, the Irish government was among the lowest debt holders on the entire continent, but private sector debt was so high that the country quickly capitulated to the global recession crisis.


Which country owns a majority of American debt?

Yes, the United States owes China more than $1 trillion, but it owes American financial institutions even more -- about $5 trillion more, in fact -- meaning the U.S. is mostly indebted to itself.


Which country voted twice to not repay $5 billion in loans taken out for bank failures?

In two referendums, the Icelandic people voted against a proposal to repay $5 billion in British and Dutch loans, putting the onus on the failed banks to repay their debts instead.


In 2011, The Standard & Poor's (S&P) credit-rating agency ranked what country as its "least credit-worthy"?

Greece's financial meltdown has severely degraded its international credit and trading cache, and in 2011, the S&P named it the "least credit-worthy" government in its purview.


Which European Union country has turned to China for recession assistance?

In an effort to manage its $2 trillion sovereign debt, Italy has turned to China as a potential foreign investor.


Which country comes in second behind the United States for the shouldering largest amount of total debt?

Japan is burdened with more than $13 trillion in debt, the second largest tab in the global economy.


The average American totes around how much in debt?

Debt management data from 2009 and 2010 calculated the average American debt load at $10,000.


Which U.S. state has the highest debt per capita?

As of February 2011, Delawareans were the most indebted, with people owing an average $20,000.


In 2010, the Brookings Institute determined which U.S. city the most "recession-proof"?

As a government hub with a stable housing market and a local economy not dominated by the auto industry, Albany, New York, earned the top spot from the Brookings Institution think tank.


Name the following country with the lowest gross public debt:

Australia has the lowest gross public debt ($254 billion), followed by Brazil ($1.1 trillion) and the United Kingdom ($1.6 trillion).


In 2010, the United States and Japan were the first and second richest countries in the world, respectively. What nation came in third?

According to global financial analysis based on 2010 data, Germany was the third-richest country in the world.


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