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US Debt now > GDP

by Oltz
Tags: debt
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mheslep
#109
Feb8-12, 03:04 PM
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Quote Quote by jduster View Post
Lets put this into perspective.

U.S. debt is 100%~ its GDP.

Japan's is 200% of its GDP.
And what were the consequences of that debt, which they began acquiring in the '90's?
http://www.google.com/publicdata/exp...=1265605200000

http://www.google.com/publicdata/exp...00&hl=en&dl=en

I'd like for the US to avoid 'lost decades' if it can.

Also, Japan has severely curtailed its deficit spending relative to the US:
http://www.google.com/publicdata/exp...=1202446800000

As of 2008 nobody except Greece was going in the hole faster than the US, including the other troubled EU countries like Spain, Italy, and the UK.
http://www.google.com/publicdata/exp...=1202446800000
MarcoD
#110
Feb8-12, 07:41 PM
P: 98
Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
As of 2008 nobody except Greece was going in the hole faster than the US, including the other troubled EU countries like Spain, Italy, and the UK.
Interesting the chart ends in 2008... When I see stuff like that my gut reaction is that we're all going down the drain. I know we ended up with a deficit due to the housing collapse, not sure what happened afterwards.
mheslep
#111
Feb8-12, 07:58 PM
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Quote Quote by MarcoD View Post
Interesting the chart ends in 2008... When I see stuff like that my gut reaction is that we're all going down the drain. I know we ended up with a deficit due to the housing collapse, not sure what happened afterwards.
Clearly all are not going down the drain. Germany is not. Norway is not. Switzerland is not. Even one of the original PIGS, Ireland, has turned its spending around and is recovering.
MarcoD
#112
Feb8-12, 08:07 PM
P: 98
The meltdown in 2008 for the Eurozone.
Antiphon
#113
Feb8-12, 09:41 PM
P: 1,781
Quote Quote by MarcoD View Post
The odd thing is that despite the growing public debt, the interest on public debt remains really low -probably that low that value is being destroyed,- for which I have no explanation except for that the money doesn't have anywhere else to go.

Is there anyone who really understands that phenomenon? I have an hypothesis that with the housing bubble that much money was created that, after it deflated, all that money has to move from private to public debt or otherwise the financial system blows up. But that hypothesis may well be horsedung.
The interest payments are low because the interest rates are being held low by the fed.

Of course this results in devaluation of the dollar and eventual inflation.

It's the deliberate but unstated policy of the federal reserve to inflate the currency since it transfers wealth from bondholders. You borrow a dollar of value today from the Chinese government but pay them back with an inflated dollar and a tiny interest rate in the future. It's actually a net transfer of wealth from the lender.

This policy counteracts the imbalance of trade resulting from the Chinese pegging the Yuan to the dollar and enables massive deficits to take place (a higher interest rate would require the borrowing of smaller amounts.)
MarcoD
#114
Feb9-12, 12:00 PM
P: 98
Quote Quote by Antiphon View Post
The interest payments are low because the interest rates are being held low by the fed.
I am not sure. Greenspan stated that when he was at the Fed they tried to fight lowering interest but failed. He didn't understand that.

Low interest rates inflate bubbles, like the housing bubble. I am not sure Bernanke is that happy with it because now he has two choices: let the rates rise, in which case the debt becomes unsustainable, or keep the rates low, in which case the debt levels are sustainable but other bubbles may be created.

Maybe there's just less he can do about it than most people think.

The balance sheet of the Fed looked pretty okay to me, though.

Quote Quote by Antiphon View Post
Of course this results in devaluation of the dollar and eventual inflation.
Yah, I think so too.

Quote Quote by Antiphon View Post
It's the deliberate but unstated policy of the federal reserve to inflate the currency since it transfers wealth from bondholders. You borrow a dollar of value today from the Chinese government but pay them back with an inflated dollar and a tiny interest rate in the future. It's actually a net transfer of wealth from the lender.
In short: the Chinese produced, got currency, and now hold bonds which decrease in worth. I see that.

Quote Quote by Antiphon View Post
This policy counteracts the imbalance of trade resulting from the Chinese pegging the Yuan to the dollar and enables massive deficits to take place (a higher interest rate would require the borrowing of smaller amounts.)
I know it's an unpopular view, but I personally agree with the Chinese. What's more fair than pegging a currency? If the currencies are interchangeable, you actually buy -and get back- a true amount of goods for a certain amount. If the US doesn't want a trade deficit, it should buy less, or produce more, against the counter party.
jduster
#115
Feb15-12, 11:08 AM
P: 46
A balanced budget each year isn't necessary, as debt is all relative. As long as the economy is growing faster than the debt, than it is okay.
MarcoD
#116
Feb15-12, 01:00 PM
P: 98
Quote Quote by MarcoD View Post
I know it's an unpopular view, but I personally agree with the Chinese. What's more fair than pegging a currency? If the currencies are interchangeable, you actually buy -and get back- a true amount of goods for a certain amount. If the US doesn't want a trade deficit, it should buy less, or produce more, against the counter party.
I forgot to say that it works two ways too, IMO. If China wants to sit on a dwindling pile of cash instead of buying US goods, yeah, whatever.
mheslep
#117
Feb15-12, 04:00 PM
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Quote Quote by jduster View Post
A balanced budget each year isn't necessary, as debt is all relative. As long as the economy is growing faster than the debt, than it is okay.
Not really. The greater the debt to economic output ratio, the more sensitive the system becomes to shocks. Lenders to governments know this, know that even robust economies growing faster than the debt will sooner or later have a downturn in which the debt continues to grow while the economy does not. When the interest payments on the debt grow large enough that they could possibly consume all revenue in a downturn, as they did in Greece, then lenders have good reason to suspect they won't be paid, they demand higher interest rates quickly making the suspicion a reality.
MarcoD
#118
Feb15-12, 04:23 PM
P: 98
Most people in Europe will have the gut reaction, well I do, that if you run a trade deficit and a large public debt/deficit, that the economy will tank at some point. I've no idea what people think about the US at the moment, but I know there has been some speculation that the US is destroying the dollar intentionally.

But then again, Ireland has had a 100% GDP debt sometimes and worked back from that. I really wouldn't know.
mheslep
#119
Feb15-12, 05:54 PM
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Quote Quote by MarcoD View Post
...

But then again, Ireland has had a 100% GDP debt sometimes and worked back from that.
Yes they did, by cutting by spending. Ireland's interest rates have dropped dramatically since mid-summer last year.
http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/GIGB10YR:IND
Jasongreat
#120
Feb16-12, 02:59 AM
P: 75
Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
Not really. The greater the debt to economic output ratio, the more sensitive the system becomes to shocks. Lenders to governments know this, know that even robust economies growing faster than the debt will sooner or later have a downturn in which the debt continues to grow while the economy does not. When the interest payments on the debt grow large enough that they could possibly consume all revenue in a downturn, as they did in Greece, then lenders have good reason to suspect they won't be paid, they demand higher interest rates quickly making the suspicion a reality.
Great point, IMO. I see empirical evidence everywhere around me. When the economy is booming some raise their credit to the level that overtime is needed, just to live. All is good until a downturn and overtime disappears, then they have no chance of making ends meet. Government budgets do run like individual budgets, the same budget problems that affect citizens affect government, it can be a benefit to take on credit, in the short term, since one can build, but when those choices are based on faulty beliefs like it is a benefit to furure generations therefore we can spend more than one, two or even three generations can pay back. Sooner or later the problems will come to the surface, and we all go down with the ship, even if we live our lives completely on the other end of the scale. Which if government is about fairness and equality, like progressives expouse, it seems to me counter-intuitive, or even illogical.
dvitendi
#121
Mar8-12, 06:43 AM
P: n/a
Don't mean to head off topic too much but I found this infographic - U.S debt in pennies. Absolutely mind blowing...

Click here for the infographic


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