David Walker, the US Comptroller General, reckons the debts and unfunded liabilities of the USA amount to some $53 trillion, which assuming GDP of $13.75 trillion means a debt-to-GDP ratio of 3.85. Mr Walker, now retiring, has taken his "Fiscal Wake Up Tour" round America for two years, warning Cassandra-like of the woe to come if things don't change soon.
"Wat Tyler" of the redoubtable blog Burning Our Money reckons UK debts and unfunded liabilities to be some £9 trillion, which assuming GDP of $2.472 trillion (c. £1.26 trillion today) means a debt-to-GDP ratio of 7.16. Sir John Bourn (74) is the UK's equivalent of David Walker, and recently left office after a tenure of 20 years. A Google news search using the terms "Sir John Bourn", "debt" and "warning" yielded nothing today.
We worry about mortgages, but according to this site:
"Recent figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) showed average first-time buyers borrowed 3.24 times their income - the highest level ever recorded...Many lenders will calculate a debt income ratio, which as a rule of thumb should not exceed 40%. " (i.e. 0.4; my highlights)