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January 20, 2023

United States
What Happens When the U.S. Hits Its Debt Ceiling?

As the U.S. government grapples with another deadline to increase its debt limit, economists warn that a possible default could have disastrous economic consequences. 

An exterior view of the Capitol dome with storm clouds in the background.

February 21, 2023

United States
As the Debt Ceiling Crisis Looms, Allies and Adversaries Are Watching

A U.S. default would send a shock through the global economy and risk the credibility of the U.S. dollar.  It would also alarm U.S. allies while presenting a gift to its adversaries.

The sun shines on the U.S. Capitol dome on the first day the federal government re-opened following a 16-day shutdown at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

March 26, 2023

The Common Framework and Its Discontents

The IMF's debt sustainability assessments for Zambia and Sri Lanka differ so greatly that it's hard to understand how both emerged from the same institution. Case-by-case only works with some consist…

The Common Framework and Its Discontents

October 20, 2022

United States
Is Rising Student Debt Harming the U.S. Economy?

Higher education provides students many socioeconomic benefits and increases the global competitiveness of the United States, but mounting student loan debt has sparked a debate over federal lending …

Students attend their graduation ceremony at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).


Sovereign Funds and Financial Statecraft

Sovereign funds are no longer the exclusive luxury of commodity-exporting countries. China, a top natural resource importer, has launched the world’s largest complex of sovereign funds and used them …

July 28, 2022

Emerging Economies
Debt Distress: Can Emerging Markets Withstand Rising Costs?

Struggling to make ends meet as inflation and interest rates climb, many emerging markets will have to pursue difficult debt restructuring with international creditors.

People block a main road as they wait for gas trucks to arrive in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

September 6, 2022

United States
Three Questions About Student Debt Forgiveness

What is the rationale behind President Biden's recent student debt relief announcement, who benefits and pays for it, and finally, what might be some unintended consequences from it?

Pres. Biden speaks on student debt relief

October 1, 2021

Budget, Debt, and Deficits
The National Debt Dilemma

With the U.S. national debt already exceeding $16 trillion, President Trump’s tax reform and budget deals with Congress have added to the country’s deficits. CFR explores the origins of the national debt, the risks it presents, and the outlook for change.


February 2, 2023

China’s Massive Belt and Road Initiative

China’s colossal infrastructure investments may usher in a new era of trade and growth for economies in Asia and beyond. But skeptics worry that China is laying a debt trap for borrowing governments…

Aerial view of a railway that cuts through lush Indonesian jungle.

December 7, 2021