WEALTH ebbs away a lot faster than debt. Our interactive guide shows levels of debt as a % of GDP for a selection of rich countries and emerging markets. With a few exceptions, such as Germany and Japan, most rich countries saw a huge rise in debt levels in the years running up to the crisis. Unwinding these dues will take a lot longer. In many rich countries the process of debt reduction hasn’t even started. Research by the McKinsey Global Institute shows that America has begun to pare its debt burden, although the drop is small compared with the build-up in 2000-08. But many European countries are more, not less, in hock than they were in 2008. There the hangover could last another decade or more.