Companies and many countries across the world face a "perfect storm" as they have to raise more than £28.5 trillion to finance an upcoming "wall" of debt....
Businesses will need to secure as much as £28.5 trillion to refinance old borrowings and fund new spending, raising major questions over the ability of the world economy to avoid a recession, according to a report from Standard & Poor's....
British companies will have to find between £220bn and £268bn of new financing to fund their growth plans on top of refinancing hundreds of billions of pounds more of existing debt, according to the ratings agency.
The scale of the refinancing required, as well as the amount of new debt companies must sell, could create what S&P described as a "perfect storm for credit markets".
The report continued: "Governments and banking regulators are now not as well placed to counter another perfect storm scenario given that they have already expended so much of their fiscal and monetary arsenal to mitigate the problems arising in recent years."
The consequences of this are already being felt in the rising cost of borrowing faced by everyone from the largest banks to homebuyers when taking on new debt or refinancing existing loans.
On Thursday night the CBI echoed the warning and said central banks and governments needed to beware the problems brewing in credit markets.
"These figures show why monetary policy around the world needs to support growth, and why banks need to be given enough time to recapitalise and to meet their future regulatory requirements," said Matthew Fell, a director at the CBI.
British banks have dramatically reduced the size of their balance sheets in the past three years, as well as tripling the amount of capital they hold against potential losses.
However, these moves have led to a shrinkage in the amount of credit available to businesses and soaked up some of the investor demand for new debt.
Anthony Peters at SwissInvest said it was likely there would "not be enough money" available in the coming years for companies to refinance and raise the amount of new debt required.
"There is not enough money on planet Earth to fund it all. We are living on borrowed money and there is no way of avoiding that," he said.
Fears over the ability of countries to fund their debt have caused borrowing costs to soar. This week, Spanish 10-year bonds yields rose above the 6pc danger level, while Italian bond yields have also jumped.
S&P said this is likely to only be the start of a wider credit crisis as national austerity programmes and sovereign debt fears combine to put "refinancing needs in jeopardy".
On Thursday, the Dutch central bank said it thought Europe was on the brink of a "lost decade" of low economic growth as the region struggles to get its finances in order.
Against this backdrop, eurozone and British companies will have to have to deal with managing the £7.1 trillion debt pile they have accumulated, equivalent roughly to 80pc of the region's economy.