Last week, on my way home from work, I met a young man raising funds for a charity. He stood outside of a subway station and as part of his pitch, he asked, "if you could have any superpower, what would it be?" I offered the same answer I have been giving my children for years. "I have a superpower. It's reading." I suspect this both annoys and inspires my children. Given that annoying and inspiring are among my favorite parental duties, I rather like this answer.
Since the global financial crisis of 2008, analysis and discussion of debt has taken center stage in economic and fiscal policy, especially in high income countries. Working closely with the IMF and other partners, the World Bank maintains two quarterly databases that provide useful information on external and public sector debt of many countries.