Tag Archives: National Debt

Debt, Death, and the US Empire, by Antonius Aquinas

Insolvency will sound the death knell for the American empire. Fron Antonius Aquinas at antoniosaquinas.com:

Deep State Operative John Bolton

In a talk which garnered little attention, one of the Deep State’s prime operatives, National Security Advisor John Bolton, cautioned of the enormous and escalating US debt.  Speaking before the Alexander Hamilton Society, Bolton warned that current US debt levels and public obligations posed an “economic threat” to the nation’s security:

It is a fact that when your national debt gets to the level ours is, that it constitutes an economic threat to the society.  And that kind of threat ultimately has a national security consequence for it.*

What was most surprising about Bolton’s talk was that there has been little reaction to it from the financial press, the markets themselves, or political commentators. While the equity markets have been in the midst of a sell off, it has not been due (as of yet) to US deficits, currently in excess of $1trillion annually.  Instead, the slide has been the result of fears over increase in interest rates and the continued trade tensions with China.

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The US Is Spending $1.5 Billion On Debt Interest Every Day, by Tyler Durden

That $1.5 billion a day figure, already exorbitant, is only going to go up. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Several weeks ago, when looking at the US budget data for the recently concluded (Sept 30) Fiscal 2018, we noted that the most troubling observation in the latest data (besides the growing deficit, rising spending and shrinking tax revenues) was that the government paid $523 billion in total interest in fiscal 2018, the highest on record.

Alas, this is just the start, because to fund the fiscal stimulus that has already been enacted, US deficit spending is only set to soar higher, with the resulting interest expense rising above $600 billion in 2019.

But the truly scary nature of this number is in the context of all other G-7 nations: as the following chart from Deutsche Bank’s Torsten Slok reveals, spending on interest expense in the US is now just about $1.5 billion per day, which at current interest rates is orders of magnitude higher than what all other G-7 developed nations spend on interest.

That too is just the start: as Slok notes, “US government last year on average paid $1.5bn each day in interest payments, and this is rising toward $2bn per day over the coming years.

And that’s with rates still relatively low due to the maturity schedule of US debt, which however is only set to rise as existing debt issued over the past decade during record low rates matures and is replaced with debt yielding far more.

How long before this becomes the most politically sensitive economic topic, and how long before the president threatens to fire Powell unless he, too, starts monetizing the debt?

 

 

 

Investors Are Going to Get Scalped, by Bill Bonner

If the yield on the Treasury ten-year note goes up another percentage point, it will spell doom for the stock market. So says Bill Bonner at bonnerandpartners.com:

We spent a delightful, long Thanksgiving weekend in the country, entertaining children and grandchildren. Not once did we open our laptop computer or look at the headlines.

But now, it is another workweek, and we’re back on the job. As usual, we are looking at dots… and wondering how they got to be so goofy.

Particularly Moronic

This morning, for example, brings a particularly moronic news item from CNBC. The report tells us that the Dow has another 2,000 points left to drop before recovering:

More than half of the members of the CNBC Global CFO Council think the Dow Jones Industrial Average will fall below 23,000 – roughly 2,000 points from its current level – before the stock market barometer is ever able to top the 27,000 level. The 23,000 level would equate to another 8 percent in decline among the Dow group of stocks before the selling stops.

But hey… why stop there?

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The National Debt Is Coming Due, Just Like We Told You, by Nick Gillespie

The national debt is entering the critical phase, also known as the beyond the point of no return. From Nick Gillespie at reason.com:

What happens when you borrow the equivalent of your annual income and those low, low teaser rates start to increase? Congratulations, America, you’re about to find out.

The Wall Street Journal reports some non-shocking, non-surprising news:

Wisconsinart, Dreamstime.comWisconsinart, Dreamstime.comIn 2017, interest costs on federal debt of $263 billion accounted for 6.6% of all government spending and 1.4% of gross domestic product, well below averages of the previous 50 years. The Congressional Budget Office estimates interest spending will rise to $915 billion by 2028, or 13% of all outlays and 3.1% of gross domestic product….

It will spend more on interest than it spends on Medicaid in 2020; more in 2023 than it spends on national defense; and more in 2025 than it spends on all nondefense discretionary programs combined, from funding for national parks to scientific research, to health care and education, to the court system and infrastructure, according to the CBO.

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The Economic Consequences Of Debt, by Lance Roberts

America’s ever increasing debt load will inevitably slow down its economy, eventually to zero or negative growth. From Lance Roberts at realinvestmentadvice.com:

Not surprisingly, my recent article on “The Important Role Of Recessions” led to more than just a bit of debate on why “this time is different.” The running theme in the debate was that debt really isn’t an issue as long as our neighbors are willing to support continued fiscal largesse.

As I have pointed out previously, the U.S. is currently running a nearly $1 Trillion dollar deficit during an economic expansion. This is completely contrary to the Keynesian economic theory.

Keynes contended that ‘a general glut would occur when aggregate demand for goods was insufficient, leading to an economic downturn resulting in losses of potential output due to unnecessarily high unemployment, which results from the defensive (or reactive) decisions of the producers.’  In other words, when there is a lack of demand from consumers due to high unemployment, the contraction in demand would force producers to take defensive actions to reduce output.

In such a situation, Keynesian economics states that government policies could be used to increase aggregate demand, thus increasing economic activity, and reducing unemployment and deflation.  

Investment by government injects income, which results in more spending in the general economy, which in turn stimulates more production and investment involving still more income and spending and so forth. The initial stimulation starts a cascade of events, whose total increase in economic activity is a multiple of the original investment.”

Of course, with the government already running a massive deficit, and expected to issue another $1.5 Trillion in debt during the next fiscal year, the efficacy of “deficit spending” in terms of its impact to economic growth has been greatly marginalized.

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U.S. on a Course to Spend More on Debt Than Defense, by Kate Davidson and Daniel Kruger

There’s no stopping compounding interest, and the US government is on the wrong side, the paying side, of it. From Kate Davidson and Daniel Kruger at wsj.com:

In the past decade, U.S. debt held by the public has risen to $15.9 trillion from $5.1 trillion, but financing all of that debt hasn’t been a problem. Low inflation and strong global demand for safe U.S. Treasury bonds held the government’s interest costs down.

That’s in the process of changing.

In 2017, interest costs on federal debt of $263 billion accounted for 6.6% of all government spending and 1.4% of gross domestic product, well below averages of the previous 50 years. The Congressional Budget Office estimates interest spending will rise to $915 billion by 2028, or 13% of all outlays and 3.1% of gross domestic product.

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The Nation’s Fiscal Doomsday Machine is Now Unstoppable, by David Stockman

The inexorable forces of mathematics and compound interest are creating their own ugly budgetary realities. From David Stockman at economic policy journal.com:

Earlier this year the Donald provoked a bleep-hole moment per the Fox “family channel” or what was otherwise known as the shit-hole moment across the rest of the MSM.

But whatever you called the contretemps spurred by the president’s crude utterance with regard to certain countries domiciled on the African continent, the claim this was evidence that he’s an incorrigible racist was risible. Actually, we already knew that the Donald is a semi-literate bully, who never got (read) the memo on racial comity—to say nothing of political correctness.

Still, there is a not inconsiderable share of Washington’s preening, self-important ruling class that indulges in that very same kind of gutter talk on a regular basis when puffing their chests and marking the objects of their displeasure. That’s why the shaming chorus which sprung up from all corners of the Swamp was enough to give hypocrisy a bad name.

But if we have to have a shaming of politicians, there is a far better reason for it than that unfortunate presidential slur.

To wit, Trump and the GOP deserve everlasting ignominy for literally shit-canning fiscal rectitude. So doing, they have completely abandoned the GOP’s fundamental reason for being— watch-dogging the US Treasury—in favor of immigrant-bashing, border hysteria and what boils down to crude nativism by any other name.

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