When it comes to debt, there are many countries around the world who are billions, if not trillions, of dollars in the red. In fact, the numbers are usually so staggeringly high that it can be difficult to comprehend just what they mean in real terms. The UK has the second-highest national debt in the world, just after the United States, owing $8,652,300,000,000 ($8.7 trillion). Much of the debt is owned by British institutions, the Bank of England and UK insurance companies and pension funds, among other institutions. If you yourself are also in the red, compare the market are here to help.
What does the National Debt include?
The UK government has three sources of revenue – taxes and fees, such as National Insurance and VAT; borrowing, primarily through the issuing of bonds; and the creation of money, although the revenue from this is negligible. But when the government spends more than is brought in through taxes, it places them at a deficit. All of the deficits over the years have increased the value of the national debt.
The debt is higher at the moment than it’s ever been before, and it keeps on growing. In fact, even if the debt stopped increasing, taxpayers would be continuing to pay around $120 million each day in interest just on the debt itself. But what would it take for the UK to use its assets to pay off its debt? We’ve taken a look at the different ways the country could clear the slate clean if it were to use its most prized assets as a way of bringing the debt down, and how many times they would need to be sold to match the figure.
Most valuable business
Out of the top five countries with the highest debt, the UK has the third-most valuable company – banking corporation HSBC which has a market value of $200,300,000,000 or $200.3 billion. In order to use this company to pay off the UK’s debt, the company would need to be sold 43 times over.
Most valuable football star
Along with having one of the most valuable companies, the UK also fares well in terms of its football stars. Harry Kane is the UK’s most prized football player, with an estimated market value of $175,500,000 ($175.5 million), making him the second-most expensive footballer. Kane would need to be sold 50,000 times over to clear what the UK owes.
If the UK were to sell their total gold reserves 601 times over, they would be able to clear the national debt. The UK has a total of $14,255,583,701 ($14.3 billion) in gold reserves, but this actually places them at the bottom of the list in terms of the top five countries with the highest national debt.
Foreign currency reserves
The UK has one of the highest foreign currency reserves of countries around the world, with the reserves valued at $178,043,000,000 ($178 billion). In order to wipe the slate clean in terms of their national debt, the UK would need to sell their foreign currency reserves 49 times over.