Davos 2020 : the World is drowning in debt

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New York (CNN Business)The world’s already huge debt load smashed the record for the highest debt-to-GDP ratio before 2019 was even over.

In fact, it broke that record in the first nine months of last year. Global debt, which comprises borrowings from households, governments and companies, grew by $9 trillion to nearly $253 trillion during that period, according to the Institute of International Finance.

That puts the global debt-to-GDP ratio at 322%, narrowly surpassing 2016 as the highest level on record.

More than half of this enormous number was accumulated in developed markets, such as the United States and Europe, bringing their debt-to-GDP ratio to 383% overall.

There are plenty of culprits. Countries like New Zealand, Switzerland and Norway all have rising household debt levels, while the government debt-to-GDP ratios in the United States and Australia are at all-time highs.

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World leaders at Davos call for global rules on tech

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DAVOS, Switzerland — Leaders of Japan, South Africa, China and Germany issued a series of calls on Wednesday for global oversight of the tech sector, in a clear signal of growing international interest in seizing greater regulatory supervision of an industry led by the United States.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan said his country would use its chairmanship of the Group of 20 nations this year to push forward a new international system for the oversight of how data is used. Data governance will be the theme when the group’s presidents and prime ministers gather in June in Osaka for their annual summit meeting.

The emphasis will be on expanding World Trade Organization rules to encompass trade in data as well as goods and services, he said. “I would like Osaka G20 to be long remembered as the summit that started worldwide data governance,” Mr. Abe said in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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