Happy $900 Billion Day! Today we celebrate the outstanding student loan debt clock flipping over the $900 billion mark. How does outstanding student debt compare to other debts?

Outstanding student loans chart

Outstanding student loans as compared with other figures

Student debt now outweighs credit card debt; the external debt of Russia and China (among others); the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (but, at least, not combined); the pre-filing assets of Lehman Brothers, the largest bankruptcy; the GDPs of the Netherlands and Switzerland (among many others); the revenues of every single company in the world, including the two highest, WalMart and Exxon Mobile.

I considered adding Harvard University’s endowment ($28 billion) and the principal losses in the Madoff Ponzi scheme ($18 billion), but these numbers were negligible.

It’s hard to find things to compare to student loan debt. All the numbers are so astronomical and intangible, all comparisons become meaningless.

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