European debt-crisis issues are lessons for the US. They belong in the political debate. Both political parties are responsible for our growing debt issues. Bush ran up huge deficits. Obama continued them. Each party blames the other. See the whole post here: Back from Paris
Especially pay attention to item #4. that begins: Private holders of Greek debt had several years to get out…
For extra credit from ‘The Only Thing New In History’ department: Yet another sovereign debt crisis If that link no longer works use this one to see the PDF.
The bullet points:
- Having believed the myth that governments don’t default, many banks and investors will take huge losses in Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.
- The historical regularity of government defaults—more than 250 have occurred since 1800*—gives the lie to the notion that holding sovereign debt is “risk-free.”
- The sovereign debt crisis of post–World War I Europe provides highly relevant lessons for today.
*Referencing Rogoff & Reinhart’s work in “This Time Is Different”. See ‘Whodunit’ in the column to the right for this essential book.
Three related research pieces from the guy about whom former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker said had a degree of detail that is “mind-blowing” and admits to feeling sometimes that “he has a bigger staff, and produces more relevant statistics and analyses, than the Federal Reserve.”- The Economist
A Template for Understanding…
Ray Dalio | October 2008 (Updated March 2012): The economy is like a machine. At the most fundamental level it is a relatively simple machine, yet it is not well understood. I wrote this paper to describe how I believe it works. My description is not the same as conventional economists’ descriptions so you should decide for yourself whether or not what I’m saying makes sense. I will start with the simple things and build up, so please bear with me. I believe that you will be able to understand and assess my description if we patiently go through it.
Ray Dalio | February, 2012: The purpose of this paper is to show the compositions of past deleveragings and, through this process, to convey in-depth, how the deleveraging process works.
Ray Dalio | June, 2011: This study looks at how different countries’ shares of the world economy have changed and why these changes have occurred, with a particular emphasis on the period since 1820. As explained in this study, the rises and declines in countries’ shares of the world economy occur as a result of very long-term cycles that are not apparent to observers who look at economic conditions from a close-up perspective.
Gallows humor for sure. The article is the best explanation of Europe’s predicament in layman’s terms I’ve read. See the article here: The End of Europe?
Housington Investment Management runs about $4B in fixed income institutional money so they pay very close attention to the economy, government as well as fiscal and monetary policy. In fact Dr. Lacy Hunt, co-author of the report, is one of Mauldin’s most highly regarded economists. Here’s the exec sum (see the whole article at http://bit.ly/wM9DIY):
High Debt Leads to Recession
As the U.S. economy enters 2012, the gross government debt to GDP ratio stands near 100% (Chart 1). Nominal GDP in the fourth quarter was an estimated $15.3 trillion, approximately equal to debt outstanding by the federal government. In an exhaustive historical study of high debt level economies around the world, (National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 15639 of January 2010, Growth in the Time of Debt), Professors Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart [Again with those two!] econometrically demonstrated that when a country’s gross government debt rises above 90% of GDP, “the median growth rates fall by one percent, and Continue reading Hoisington Quarterly Review and Outlook “Recession in 2012”.
My brother Tom shared an article from the Cato Institute entitled: “Why Gold-Defined Money Is the Answer to Our Monetary Crack-Up”.
I agree with the writer in theory but as Yogi Berra said: In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is. A couple points:
With a fixed currency like a gold standard innovation and value creation that grows the economy will be constrained and what growth does occur will cause prices to fall, hurting the producers of goods and limiting real returns to their investors. There has to be some mechanism to grow money supply at the approximate rate of real growth in the economy.
The real problems we’re facing around the world are from excess leverage and at the end of every debt binge the unwinding happens in three ways. Debt creation can be reduced and austerity can be imposed to make room for Continue reading Is a Gold Standard the Answer to Our Monetary Crack-Up?
In a comment to my FB post about the video on QE2 Sean DeButts asked what my solution would be for the economy. It’s an important question that deserves a detailed response.
Jobs are the number one thing we need to get the economy moving and jobs require capital and the willingness to put that money to work. Now …there is plenty of money around, billions and billions sitting on the balance sheets of banks and companies but it is not being put to work. Why not? Let’s look at companies first.
Companies will only invest if they think they can get a return on that investment and are confident that the rules won’t change before they can earn that return. Right now everyone knows that the deficits the US is running will lead to collapse if something doesn’t change but until what those changes will be is decided companies (and individuals) are worried that they might be singled out to pay for those deficits. That’s why I believe the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform’s deficit reduction plan must be put into law by Congress and signed by the President. See: http://bit.ly/h1tILt for the Charley Rose interview with the co-chairs of the Commission. Continue reading What to do about the economy.