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If all governments are borrowing to fight Covid, who is lending?

Money does not work how you might think

By Tony Yates  

The Treasury building. Misunderstanding reigns when it comes to the public finances. Photo: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Archive/PA Images

Earlier this month, comedy writer and director Armando Ianucci tweeted out: “Genuine questions: if most countries are borrowing heavily to pay for the pandemic, who are they borrowing from, and is there some mechanism in place to agree to write off most of each other’s debt?”

These questions are important. They play into other anxieties visible in the media and in our politics about whether we can “afford” to borrow on such a…

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