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Data journalism, Data visualisation

Visualised: the world’s biggest banks and the debts we owe them

Debts owed to the world's biggest banks visualised by Paul Scruton

Debts owed to the world’s biggest banks visualised by Paul Scruton

Before leaving for the US, I worked on this visualisation with graphic artist Paul Scruton, a version of which has just been published in the latest issue of Wired UK magazine.

The data comes from a paper published in December by the Wharton School (PDF) in Pennsylvania which analyses bank debt in relation to each country’s GDP. In the weird old world of banking the money you owe to a bank counts as an asset for them

Market Watch wrote about this earlier this year, with Steve Goldstein pointing out that

A country can have big banks that aren’t bad, and, fact, well-run banks can boost a nation’s economy. At the same time, though, high levels of exposure present risks, as Cyprus and Ireland have discovered

The data behind this chart can be downloaded here. What can you do with it?

About Simon Rogers

Data journalist, writer, speaker. Author of 'Facts are Sacred', from Faber & Faber and a new range of infographics for children books from Candlewick. Edited and launched the Guardian Datablog. Now works for Google in California as Data Editor


2 thoughts on “Visualised: the world’s biggest banks and the debts we owe them

  1. “high levels of exposure present risks,”
    you mean that good banks if they are too visible become targets?
    who targets them?

    Posted by charleskafka | October 16, 2013, 9:24 pm


  1. Pingback: News by Design | The world’s biggest banks – and how much we owe them - June 13, 2013

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