Largest Loans in History

Largest Loans in History

Whilst most of us might like to take advantage of cheap, quick and easy cash loans as interest rates operate around historically low levels, it is easy to forget that major international companies and even entire countries also use loans to finance themselves and their operations.

It is therefore not surprising to find that the largest ever loans in history are on a scale that most of us find hard to imagine, let alone begin to consider how we would pay them back.

Here are some of the biggest loans ever to have been made:

National Debts

In 2011 Mexico had the largest amount on loan, with Greece following not far behind. However, taken as a direct proportion of GDP, Liberia actually had the highest at 8.5% and Iceland came in second place at 7.4% under this criteria.

International Conflict

War is a costly business – and not just when it comes to human life. The amount of money needed to wage and sustain conflict with another country or countries is excessively high and there are plenty of incidences in history where large loans have been requested for war efforts.

Notable examples obviously include the First and Second World Wars – after all, conflict on such a global scale was guaranteed to cost a pretty penny. The loans were so big in fact that it wasn’t until 2006 that reports were issued explaining the UK was repaying the last of its debt to the USA for borrowed funds. More than 50 years after the end of the conflict and the UK were still suffering from the aftermath of these historic events.

In terms of monetary value, the loan given to the UK accounted for a princely sum of $586 million. At exchange rates from circa 1945 this would have been equivalent to approximately £145 million. An additional £3, 750 million (approximately £930 million) was then taken in credit later on down the line.

With the original repayment schedule for the loan set at 50 annual repayments beginning in 1950, the UK was a little late on their repayments. Considering the amount of money involved and the other financial matters being dealt with during that time, it is hardly surprising though.

Officially called the European Recovery Program, The Marshall Plan was the American program to aid Europe after the end of World War 2 by giving monetary support, helping rebuild European economies that had been devastated by the conflict. Perhaps one of the most important loans in history, it stimulated the total political and economic reconstruction of Western Europe and had a significant price tag attached to it.

Photo Credit: Philip Taylor PTcc

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