In MGI's second annual review of the financial assets of more than 100 countries since 1980, several notable observations emerge:
- One is simply that global capital market is huge: MGI found that the world's financial assets now total more than $136 trillion and will exceed $228 trillion by 2010 if current trends persist. The stock of global financial assets has grown faster than the world's GDP, indicating that financial markets are becoming deeper and more liquid.
- One of the biggest stories remains the world's debt levels. Debt has increased across all major countries and regions. While the 1980s saw a rapid expansion of government debt, the 1990s were fueled by growth in private debt. Since 2000, the story so far appears to be the return of more government debt. Together, government and private debt securities account for more than half of the overall growth in the global financial assets from 2000-2004.
- The roles that major countries and regions play in capital markets continue to be in flux. The United States, which has the largest stock of financial assets, saw a recent slowing of growth in financial stock in the past year, as did China, while Europe's capital markets continued to integrate, grow, and deepen. In Japan, MGI detected a slight pickup in the growth of its financial stock, reflecting an expansion of public debt.