The 2008 financial crisis and worldwide recession halted a three-decade expansion of global capital and banking markets. Today, growth has resumed, fueled by expansion in developing economies but also a $4.4 trillion increase in sovereign debt. The total value of the world's financial stock, comprising equity market capitalization and outstanding bonds and loans, has increased from $175 trillion in 2008 to $212 trillion at the end of 2010, surpassing the previous 2007 peak. Similarly, cross-border capital flows grew to $4.4 trillion in 2010 after declining for the two previous years.
In its 2011 updated analysis of more than 75 countries on the size of their outstanding equity and debt, cross-border capital flows, and the stocks of foreign investment assets and liabilities, MGI finds that the recovery of financial markets remains uneven across geographies and asset classes and significant risks remain. Emerging markets account for a disproportionate share of growth in capital-raising as mature economies struggle. Debt markets remain fragile in many parts of the world—the growth of government debt and of lending in China accounts for the majority of the increase in credit globally.