If truth be known the money does not actually exist. It has been created in the books of independent and national banks. In centuries passed the local blacksmith acted as the bank. Gold, silver and promissory notes were left in his safe. He soon became aware that the "goods" left for safe keeping would not be taken out by the owner for a very long time, if ever. For storing the valuable minerals and promissory notes he gave promissory notes in return. This meant that he could create money. He could also give loans, a large part of which would return directly back because the debtor opened a new account.
When large private banks started, governments gave an assurance that a run on an institution would be protected by public money. We have seen how silly this concept has proved to be by the US and European governments bailing out private banks. Private debt has become public debt. This on top of the mushrooming private debt worldwide.
Much of Western debt is owed to China which buys US bonds. It is a mistake to believe that it wants the money back any time soon. If it did the world economy would grind to a halt. Then, who would buy its exports?
The real problem is economics. This social science is just theory. There are complicated models that do not apply to the real world, with demand and supply curves, meeting long term average costs and so on. Real business doesn't operate that way. There is not one model for cost plus 10 or 20 percent, or get it cheap and sell high until demand stops then throw the stuff out. That is how business really runs.
Note the supermarkets, they don't cut the price of everything that doesn't sell. They would rather throw it away than sell it. After all, they make the supplier take the loss. Economic advisers have not helped one government to balance the books. And the advice they are giving now to raise taxes and cut spending will surely prolong the recession. Cutting debt is like turning the water tap down - someone has to go without! Let's be honest much of this debt will never be paid. It doesn't really exist.