(Bloomberg) -- Government debt has exploded to levels that are more concerning than it was before the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008, according to former European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet.

Trichet also pointed to the soaring debt levels as a warning sign for stock markets teetering at all-time highs. “I don’t want to be too negative, but I am circumspect,” Trichet said in an interview on Bloomberg Television, citing that debt in advanced economies has risen to 114% of gross domestic product, compared with 75% before the global financial crisis.

“I am worrying on the stock market on both sides of the Atlantic, taking into the account the present dangerosity of the economic and financial sphere,” he added. 

Still, he praised the role of central banks in tackling the inflationary shock from rising oil prices. “The Fed and ECB did quite well to prevent us from having this kind of trauma,” Trichet said. 

Read More: A Million Simulations, One Verdict for US – Debt Danger Ahead 

Trichet said he would not exclude the possibility of some “irrational exuberance” in stock prices, which have been buoyed by the frenzy over artificial intelligence technology. In his view, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a correction take place in stock markets. 

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