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Economist, author and professor of Economics at Harvard University, Ken Rogoff, in his book written with Carmen Reinhart, This Time Is Different - 8 Centuries of Financial Folly, researches debt across a broad ranges of countries and historical periods.  The conclusion is that a country’s economic growth declines dramatically when a country’s level of public debt exceeds 90% of gross domestic product.  His research found that GDP averages between 3-4% when the public debt to GDP ratio is below 90%.  However, when that ratio exceeds 90% average growth collapses to 2%.  His research also concluded that every major power whose debt to GDP ratio exceeded 100% soon failed.