Joshua Herbstman on "What $18 Trillion Looks Like: A Visual History of the US National Debt"

Lunch and Learn Series

Joshua Herbstman on \

Thursday, December 10, 2015 | 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

The US national debt stands at some $18.5 trillion, increasing by over $1.5 billion per day. America owes more money than any other nation in the world and has more debt than any other nation in history. The Treasury securities that comprise the national debt are foundational to both national and global finance. The world functions on US treasuries. Yet, for most Americans, the national debt is an ethereal number. It's a rhetorical football used by politicians. It’s a big number on a billboard in New York City. It’s a national credit card that many doubt will ever be paid down, let alone paid off.

But America’s debt has a long, storied history. From the Revolutionary War to the beginning of the Reagan administration, this presentation will be a visual journey of the debt that has shaped the world’s most powerful economy.

About the Speaker
Joshua Tobias Herbstman is a portfolio manager specializing in municipal bonds. He holds an MA in history from Georgia State University. He also manages The Joe I. Herbstman Memorial Collection of American Finance ™, dedicated to preserving and teaching the visual history of the U.S. national debt. The collection can be viewed at