Donald Trump

Close observers of the US economy got a bit of a shock last week when federal debt broke through US$20.5 trillion. The amount added in November’s first fortnight was a staggering $64.8 billion. That’s more than the entire debt New Zealand has accumulated since World War II. In two weeks.

Ballooning debt

In the last three months, from August 17 to November 17, a thumping $689 billion has been added to US debt -- more than the entire gross domestic product of Saudi Arabia or Switzerland or Argentina.