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How much is too much global debt?

At today’s higher interest rates, debt is climbing to record levels. Find out what that could mean for corporate earnings and the markets in 2024.


A RECORD HIGH $307 TRILLION — that’s the amount of money owed by governments, corporations and consumer households worldwide in 2023.1 “U.S. government spending rose by $162 billion in the last year just to cover interest on the nation’s debt,” notes Lauren Sanfilippo, senior investment strategist in the Chief Investment Office (CIO) for Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank.

Clearly, today’s higher-for-longer interest rates are making borrowing more expensive for households, businesses and governments, and that debt load could have a major impact on market performance and the global economy in 2024, adds Chief Investment Officer Chris Hyzy. In the video above, Hyzy sits down with Sanfilippo to discuss the potential risks and opportunities that debt at these levels might represent for investors.


For a deeper dive, read Sanfilippo’s “Is the debt wall scalable?” in the November 6 Capital Market Outlook. And tune in to our Outlook 2024 webcast, “Looking toward a new era of growth,” on December 14 for more insights on the forces that could shape the markets and economy in the coming year.

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1The Institute of International Finance. Data as of October 2023 for the first six months of 2023


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