Monday, 16 January 2012

Mr Robb's Error

Mr Robb's representation of the growth is debt is easily explained, which makes his alarmist "analysis" all the more contemptible.  The reporting of it, unquestioned, it just as extraordinary.

I'll explain it this way.

Think of two countries of similar size in terms of GDP.

In time Period 1, Country One has net debt of $2 billion.  Country Two has net debt of $50 billion.

In time Period 2, Country One's net debt rises to $20 billion.  Country Two's net debt rises to $150 billion.

The way someone like Mr Robb would mischievously present these numbers is that Country One's net debt has risen by a whopping 900%; Country Two's net debt has only risen by only 200%.

Hence, County One has had a massive blow out in debt compared to Country Two.


You decide which country has the debt problem.  Mr Robb can't.


  1. Doesn't this rather depend on the population of the two countries? If country 1 has a tiny population, and country 2 a vast one, then the debt issue is worse for country 1. Per capita, country 1 has had a bigger blow out.

    Robb's comment is mischievous if the countries are similar in size.

    Apologies if, as usual, I have missed the point.

  2. David...the population size is not relevant since they both have similar GDPs (ie if population size were very different as you suggest then GDP/capita would also be very different).

  3. Thanks Conus. Clearly I had a "doh!" moment.