What would happen if all debt was wiped out? It seems like it would be glorious – and maybe it would be for a moment or two – but the real world ramifications of Mr. Robot-esque events would be catastrophic. If you're not familiar with the critically acclaimed USA drama, it's about a hacker with a social anxiety disorder and clinical depression named Elliot Alderson.
Seeking a means to right perceived wrongs perpetrated by financial institutions, he ultimately joins a "hacktivist" group called fsociety, and by the end of Season 1, actually succeeds in wiping out all consumer debt (which comprises nearly 70% of total debt).
The immediate aftermath of fsociety's scheme shows people rejoicing in the streets for being freed from their loans, but the global economy is thrown into chaos. And that's precisely what would happen in reality. Like it or not, our economy is dependent on debt, and wiping it away in an instant would cripple the very foundation of our capitalist, consumer society.
If the events of Mr. Robot were to occur in real life, there would be some serious trouble for everybody... except the rich. They'd be fine. Here's what would most likely happen.