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The next panic

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There is a lot of focus on Europe’s debt crisis right now, but it could be taking attention from a potentially bigger crisis. Japan has had its share of economic problems which enabled it to spot and sound the alarm on China’s economic bubble. Despite all of this, Japan now it stands as one of the most indebted countries in the world. Taking government assets into account, Japan’s gross debt is 135.2 percent of GDP. For perspective, Greece’s debt is still approaching that level. Pensions and interest payments account for about 50 percent of Japan’s government budget. Like the U.S., Japan’s elderly population is growing.