BIS warns of $13 trillion hidden debt hole

Trillions of dollars of FX derivatives are not being accounted for when calculating the level of debt in the global economy

Dollars down a black hole
Lion's share: the US dollar is the most used currency in FX swaps and forwards, with 90%

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has estimated some $13 trillion of debt is currently being under-reported in the global economy due to accounting practices that exclude foreign exchange derivatives from the balance sheets of financial and non-financial institutions.

The figures are the result of research by Claudio Borio, head of the BIS’s monetary and economic department, Robert McCauley, a senior adviser, and Patrick McGuire, head of the BIS international data hub. It was

Only users who have a paid subscription or are part of a corporate subscription are able to print or copy content.

To access these options, along with all other subscription benefits, please contact customer services -, or view our subscription options here:

You are currently unable to copy this content. Please contact to find out more.

Sorry, our subscription options are not loading right now

Please try again later. Get in touch with our customer services team if this issue persists.

New to FX Markets? View our subscription options

You need to sign in to use this feature. If you don’t have a FX Markets account, please register for a trial.

Sign in
You are currently on corporate access.

To use this feature you will need an individual account. If you have one already please sign in.

Sign in.

Alternatively you can request an indvidual account here: