"The extraordinary indebtedness of tertiary institutions in many developed countries is emblematic of a wider debt crisis, and it’s no good trying to assign specific blame to governments, the private sector, or households. Debt is immense everywhere, and there’s a serious case to be made that a fair bit of the prosperity sites like Human Progress or Our World in Data document is partly or even wholly debt-fuelled. As coronavirus emerged, the Saudis and Russia also pointed their fuel pumps at each other, collapsing the price of Brent Crude. Whether Donald Trump’s recent interventions are enough to save all the shale oil paper out there remains to be seen. One suspects the merry-go-round is about to stop as a lot of debt becomes unpayable and even unserviceable (hence worthless)."