Tuesday, 22 November 2011

To whom does Portugal owe?

In a recent article, BBC News identified for major Eurozone (highly indebted) countries, the US, the UK and Japan how much money is owed by each country to banks in other nations. Focusing on the Portuguese case, whose foreign debt amounts to 251% of GDP (equivalent to about 38.000 euros per person), the country is, first and foremost, highly indebted to Spain (65.7 bn euros). To a lesser extent it is also indebted to Germany, France and the UK (26.6bn, 19.1bn and 18.9 bn euros, respectively). Moreover, Portuguese banks are owed 7.5bn euros by Greece.
There are, naturally, worse cases starting with Ireland with a foreign debt to GDP ratio above 1000%, followed by the UK (436%), Spain (284%) and Greece (252%). Greece seems to have a figure almost identical to Portugal's level but the two countries are quite different in terms of its composition, namely the level of public debt: 100% of GDP vs. 166% of GDP for Portugal and Greece, respectively.

In the figure below (retrieved from the above-mentioned article) we can have a graphical representation of the current external debt situation in Portugal. The arrows point from the debtor to the creditor and are proportional to the money owed as of the end of June 2011 (data sources: Bank for International Settlements, IMF, World Bank, UN Population Division)


  1. Os dados da Irelanda não são comparáveis porque incluem o seu centro financeiro (IFSC). Sem esse centro, mesmo assim o endividamento da Irlanda é muito superior ao português. Na minha opinião, a Irlanda está em pior situação financeira que inclusive a Grécia.


  2. Dear Joao

    check previous posts (many) on this blog, starting here


  3. Thanks to both for sharing! Wasn't aware of that.

  4. This week Professor Stiglitz had a private meeting with several professors of University of A Coruña. He answered our questions on topics like market fundamentalism, public banking, energy and renewable technologies, inequality, the Euro crisis and other topics. You can read a summary of our conversation at http://www.dpeon.com/index.php/english/8-prof-stiglitz-in-a-coruna.html

  5. News title in the "Telegraph": "Prepare for riots in euro collapse, Foreign Office warns" - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8917077/Prepare-for-riots-in-euro-collapse-Foreign-Office-warns.html

    Also this week there was an article in the economist appealing to the same issue - "Is this really the end?" http://www.economist.com/node/21540255

    It seems to me that British politicians are back in bed with the bankers, both in UK and US, trying to "plant" the fear seed to rip huge profits as they are all short in the market. I hope that this attempt of fear contagion does not become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    It is because of these kind of plays (add to this press "play" the appointment of the Goldman Sachs-PMs in Italy and Greece, our BPN nationalization, etc.) that I am getting increasingly conscious about the power of international and domestic bankers in manipulating my life, my interest payments, and the purchasing power of my salary. These greedy bloodsucking parasites can't get enough! Don't get me wrong. I support efficient financial markets, not bloodsuckers. What we have now is a cartel that dominates the financial arena - probably the results of liberalization that facilitated private monopolies instead of competitive markets. Now I am waiting to see how the Euro zone politicians will fight this back. This brainwashing, fear campaign, is probably the payback for the haircut on Greek debt. Does anyone else has an opinion?

  6. Today:"Central banks act as euro zone crisis rages" - http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/30/us-eurozone-idUSTRE7AR0P320111130

    "Beautifully" coordinated...

  7. Europa, não pode dar nebhum credito para Portugal, porque Portugal nunca vai pagar!
    Agora Portugal descremina os estrangeiros, que receberum nacionalidade Portugês- principalmente /excemplos os medicos- diminua salario, aumenta impóstos,expulsa de sítios de trabalho/, ultimo destino de profesionáis licenciados- só abandonár o pais, que não tem futuro, nos precebemos, que o pais com estas medidas não tem futuro- Solicitamos- parar- principalmente- os creditos para pais, que nunca vai devolver, que recebeu, que agora rejeita ultima salvação, que pode ajudar,-os licenciados, que precebe, que acontece.