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US Finances Rank Near Worst in the World: Study
CNBC.com | March 24, 2011 | 08:43 AM EDT

The US ranks near the bottom of developed global economies in terms of financial stability and will stay there unless it addresses its burgeoning debt problems , a new study has found.

In the Sovereign Fiscal Responsibility Index , the Comeback America Initiative ranked 34 countries according to their ability to meet their financial challenges, and the US finished 28th, said David Walker, head of the organization and former US comptroller general.

"We think it is important for the American people to understand where the United States is as compared to other countries with regard to fiscal responsibility and sustainability," Walker said in a CNBC interview. "Americans are used to rankings and they're used to ranking very high, but frankly in this area we rank very low."

While the news is bad, there is a bright side.

"Here's the good news: Some of the top countries had their own fiscal challenges, made reforms and now rank highly," Walker said. "If we adopt the recommendations of the National Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Commission or ones that have similar bottom-line impact, we move from 28 to 8."

As the US languishes near the bottom, these countries make up the top five: Australia, New Zealand, Estonia, Sweden, China and Luxembourg.

Walker acknowledged that some of the countries that rank ahead of the US do not have the same type of challenges.

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