Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Global Debt Debacle ... What Can't Go On Forever Won't

Big Banks Aren't the Problem is subtitled 'The Richmond Fed says 61% of debts are guaranteed by government.'

The article presents those stubborn '61%' facts about our government's, aka We the People's, indebtedness.

Future generations of U.S. taxpayers are going to have a huge mountain of past promises to fulfill at the cost of not being able to live their own dreams.

Here's what the troubling but all too accurate article says in relevant part:

"The Richmond Fed’s “bailout barometer” shows that, since the 2008 crisis, 61% of all liabilities in the U.S. financial system are now implicitly or explicitly guaranteed by government, up from 45% in 1999.

Citigroup estimates that the top 20 advanced industrial economies, in addition to their enormous, recognized public debts, face unrecorded additional debts of $78 trillion for their unfunded pension systems.

Six years after a crisis caused by excessive borrowing, McKinsey estimates that even visible global debt has increased by $57 trillion, while in the U.S., Europe, Japan and China growth to pay back these liabilities has been slowing or absent.

In their desperation to avoid the real problem, central bankers lately have started bruiting “helicopter money”—the jokey term for printing money and giving it to consumers, businesses or governments to spend without incurring an offsetting debt.

How does this solve any problem when so many businesses and households are already sitting on cash hoards they are afraid to spend or invest? As former Israeli central banker Jacob Frenkel told a conference in Italy two weeks ago, “What they need is not money. What they need is confidence and productive opportunities in front of them.”

Exactly. They need to see their leaders taking actions to restore confidence in the ability of the world’s premier economies to grow and to afford their debts. . . .

The question that ought to keep central bankers up at night is whether their ministrations to buy time for the politicians are only buying politicians time to make matters worse."

Summing Up

Free stuff 'given' by government is never free.

And it's a certainty that the bill will come due down the road.

In the end, someone will pay.

And it won't be the politicians.

Here's the real deal --- without economic and income growth led by private sector investment and initiatives, the global debt burden will become both unpayable and unconscionable.

And eventually the bubble will burst.

That's my take.

Thanks. Bob.

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