Sunday, May 31, 2015

The problem with having the world's currency is that you can take on far more obligations and debt. Until you can't.

Greenspan and some other Ex Fed-kins explain that our real debt levels are the same as Greece's.  Fortunately our private economy is still much healthier than any other in the world.  So the much maligned and abused private sector is letting the deeply corrupt, utterly irresponsible and frankly insultingly rude public sector run amok.  Perhaps we should figure out how to crash it all now and get it over with rather than puking all over our kids.  If we were half the people we claim we are we would.  Social Democracy is a criminal enterprise.  Always was, always will be.

Lawrence Lindsey, former assistant to the president on economic policy in the Bush administration, said the national debt is closer to 300 percent of GDP with unfunded obligations for Social Security and Medicare included.

“That, by the way, is higher than Greece’s debt currently,” he said.

Greenspan said the White House and Congress are avoiding the fact that the government has committed itself to paying for pensions the nation cannot afford.

“It’s not that we’re getting like Greece. We’re getting like Illinois,” he said.

Richard W. Fisher, president/CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, called the fiscal crisis a “political train wreck ready to happen.”

“We have to somehow urgently come to grips with it,” he said.

Greenspan said the U.S. is “way underestimating” the national debt, which is currently at $18 trillion.

“Largely because we are not including what I would call contingent liabilities, that is the issue of, which is answered by a question: what is the probability that in today’s environment JP Morgan would be allowed to default? The answer is zero or less,” he said.

“Now, that means that whole balance sheet is a contingent liability. Now to be sure, while it’s contingent, there’s no interest payments but ultimately that overhangs the structure because we have committed in so many different ways to guarantee this, that and the other thing. It’s not only Fannie and Freddie but it’s a whole series of financial institutions and, regrettably, it is also non-financial institutions.”

Fisher said it is clear what steps the federal government must take to tackle its financial challenges but he has no idea where the nation’s fiscal policy is heading.

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