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Noah Smith

There's a Surplus of Worry About Debt

It's not so much the quantity of debt that's an economic threat, but the quality.
A nice metaphor.

A nice metaphor.

Source: Bettman/Getty Images
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There continues to be a steady drumbeat of editorials and essays warning about the danger of too much private debt. One of the most articulate and thorough of these was a recent op-ed by Richard Vague in Democracy Journal, arguing that excessive debt levels are putting the world in danger of a big economic crisis.

But this worry is likely overblown. With the important exception of China, private debt levels probably aren’t a big worry right now.