Friday, July 29, 2011
It's sad to watch the U.S. debt talks. The wrangling is bad enough but the really sad part, in my view, is that virtually nobody in the halls of power is ready to propose actually balancing the budget right now! Not tomorrow, the next year, in the next 10 years - but right now. America and most other nation seem incapable of doing what every parent or credit counselor would tell his 21-year old who was spending way beyond his means - cut up the credit cards, cut back on the spending and work harder to pay off the debts you should not have acquired in the first place. Americans have been living beyond their means for decades now. After all, that's what running a deficit is. Every deficit adds to the existing debt or national mortgage. What a concept! A growing mortgage! It's entirely nonsensical but nations the world over have bought into this as a new normal, a kind of global financial insanity whereby even known economists with many degrees and awards spout such gibberish as "manageable deficits". State/provincial governments as well as municipalities have also fallen victim to the disease. No, the talks on raising the debt limit in the U.S. are really pretty well a side-show. It's just arguing about how far to kick the can down the road before doing it all over again. In any event, in the case of the U.S., it should be renamed the "Printing Limit" because no one is willing or able to lend the U.S. that kind of money any more. As has increasingly been the case in the last few years, the Federal Reserve simply prints up what the Treasury needs and couldn't borrow through new bond issues. Sad, very, very sad to see how a once proud and independent country is becoming a deadbeat.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
The European Commission has come down hard on international credit ratings agencies following the downgrade of Portugal by Moody's. It seems that ratings agencies are finally getting a bit more truthful, suggesting that some governments can't repay their obligations (are deadbeats). Can't have that now, can we? However, I wouldn't put it past this bunch to be in cahoots with the U.S. or more specifically, Wall Street, as European Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj seemed to hint. Great way for a solid pop in the $U.S. and lots of money made for those in the know. Anyway, a good argument can be made that this was at least partly manipulation. Now it's time for Moody's and others to level the playing field and speak the truth about the biggest deadbeat of them all - the U.S.