Thus Jesse, discussing Michael Hodges' visionary "Grandfather Economic Report" and US indebtedness:
In a simple handwave estimate, one might say that the debt will have to be discounted by at least half. That includes inflation and selective defaults...
... something has got to give. The givers will most likely be all holders of US financial assets, responsible middle class savers, and a disproportionate share of foreign holders of US debt.
While the debtors hold the means of payment in dollars and the power to decide who gets paid, where do you think the most likely impact will be felt?
I give below the US Treasury's data on foreign holdings of their government securities as at October 2008, but I also reinterpret it in the light of each country's GDP, to show relative potential impact (please click on image to enlarge).
Mind you, even a complete repudiation would only take care of $3 trillion. Funny how not so long ago, $1 trillion seemed a high-end estimate of the damage, and now it's something like seven times that. And that still leaves a long haul to get to Hodges' $53 tn - equivalent to, what, one year's global GDP?