Who are you?
List of countries by external debt, by government debt, by foreign reserves, etc are pertinent and very interesting but we must not forget countries have external assets also.
Admittedly embassy buildings on foreign soil is of no value as they are unsellable. But external assets include private holding such as multinational corporation's (MNC) foreign assets which reside in the enterprise's balance sheet. This includes fixed assets such as factories, and less tangible such as oil concessions, financial assets residing in foreign accounts ...
One can have a separate debate as to which country "owns" the MNC. No one doubts that Exxon, though an MNC, is a US company. One can define by such things as controlling share etc. Let's just assume for now that every MNC is primarily controlled by a single country.
A country's foreign reserves (which is ultimately owned by individuals and companies) can disappear very quickly if its companies go on a buying spree such as Chinese companies' rapidly acquisition of foreign oil and mineral interests or it's citizenship develop a taste for Ferraris and foreign-made yachts.
Can anyone point me to a List of Country by Networth (External Assets - Liabilities) ? Then we have something closer to the Wealth of Nations, (though it would still not count the internal assets.)
Last edited by Mandarin; 11 Feb 10, at 04:05. Reason: typo correction
Who are you?
A citizen trying to understand current debates. Physicist by training, engineer by profession.
Last edited by Mandarin; 11 Feb 10, at 03:52.
Ok, then, may I ask you to introduce yourself in the introduction forum.
2ndly, may I ask you to put your research question into a context that our economists on this board can examine and explain because right now, your post reads like a p!ssing context intro.
3rd, and this question will put into context whether the economists can see you've actually versed in this subject or not, are you measuring by Purchase Power Parity?
I am not looking for a debate or contest of any kind or an original reply by a researcher.
The latter would be a huge undertaking.
The last paragraph asks reader to point me to an existing list by some org such as IMF ...
But I can shorten the post to just the last paragraph if that helps.
Ok, that really does not help because debt, if use properly, is actually an asset. If you have the money to pay off the debt but choose to keep the debt, then you control twice your worth. That is simplistic but actually reality. The bank has no say on what colour you paint your house nor what kind of furniture you put into it even though they own your mortgage.
This is exactly why just talking about debt is misleading. What is important is Asset minus Liability which is the Networth. Hence my search of a list which informs more on the latter.
But how do you determine networth? That again does not help us answer you. Networth is artifical and may in fact be a bubble. Who determines what your assets are worth today versus what you pay for in the beginning. Some assets may actually be worth more, ie flu vaccine, and some are just artificially inflated, ie the New Orleans Saints.
You are absolutely right. Ultimate value of assets are not known. What is use is Mark to Market prices, or Book Value (cost incurred minus depreciation).
So a nuclear war head and delivery system is invaluable in defense. But it has a book value in the governments accounting system. However I was talking about foreign sited assets such as an Exxon invested oil refinary in Saudi or military hardware posted in Germany or Japan.
I am looking for the net between foreign sited assets and foreign debts - not a new debate but a link to some place which had already researched the matter.
I have to admit I know no Greek.
And on the sixth day, God created the Field Artillery...
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