Singapore: Only country with Govt surplus in list of highest debt to GDP ratio

As an economist you are trained to try and spot patterns.

Most things that we observe in life fall in to very predictable patterns.  It is when we spot anomalies or things that don’t make sense that interest us most.  Take a look at this table and ask your self which of these countries is not like the other countries?

When ranking countries with the highest debt to GDP ratios, Singapore ranks just beneath Iraq and just above Belgium.  However, what makes Singapore’s debt level so amazing, is that it averaged a government surplus of nearly 9% since 1990.  In fact it is the only country on this list to average a surplus.  Somehow Singapore has magically run a surplus but also become one of the most indebted countries in the world!!  Now that is some magic accounting.

This again returns us to the question of where the surplus funds have gone?  Coffee anyone?