Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by tookieblueeyes » Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:43 pm

WhoShotJR wrote:What we have is an income to expense ratio problem.
So what you're saying is that the US is hemorrhaging money and need a transfusion but aren't getting it?
raptor wrote: BTW Fiat currencies are irrelevant in this situation. Yes I know... this allows the unlimited printing of money but the problem here is the level of debt.
And Fiat currencies can't be counted on... (moot point imo)
raptor wrote: The US may actually in a perverse way be helped by this crisis. Recent reports are that foreigners are buying up US real estate, the US t-bill yield is dropping indicating huge inflows of foreign capital to the USD.

Now do not get me wrong the US has way too much debt and out of control spending. That said with its borrowing costs are at historic lows this may be an opportunity for the US to lock in low interest rates and deal with our own fiscal problems. Do not write off the USD quite yet.
But the USD may be getting an upshot from foreigners from the same countries in crisis because of the money they are starting to pour into the US's pockets.

Do I have that correct?
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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by Stercutus » Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:04 pm

So what you're saying is that the US is hemorrhaging money and need a transfusion but aren't getting it?
spending too much or taxing too little = Take your pick

And Fiat currencies can't be counted on...
Counted on for what?
But the USD may be getting an upshot from foreigners from the same countries in crisis because of the money they are starting to pour into the US's pockets.

Do I have that correct?
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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by tookieblueeyes » Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:44 pm

I'm sorry... I meant can't be counted in (as in a viable solution to the problem) not counted ON. My bad. :oops:
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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by Florida_Tony » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:20 pm

raptor wrote:
Florida_Tony wrote: Raptor, I don't think that fiat currencies are irrelevant. You said that the level of debt is the problem (and I agree), but how could that level of debt have been reached without the help of fiat currencies?
Fiat currencies are not causing this problem. Deficit spending is causing the problem. Deficit spending is quite possible even with fiat currencies.

I would point out that currency crises can occur even with the gold standard in place. See the Panic of 1857. This thread is not the place for pro/con of fiat currency/gold standard.
I'm assuming it was a typo and you meant "even without fiat". And that's pretty awesome that you know about the panic of 1857. Anyway, yes, I agree in theory that it's possible, but don't you think that fiat is a large part of the debt equation? And not just fiat, but fiat that is also the world's reserve currency. Are you saying that the modern "global debt time bomb" issue isn't connected?

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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by raptor » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:00 pm

Florida_Tony wrote:
And that's pretty awesome that you know about the panic of 1857. Anyway, yes, I agree in theory that it's possible, but don't you think that fiat is a large part of the debt equation? And not just fiat, but fiat that is also the world's reserve currency. Are you saying that the modern "global debt time bomb" issue isn't connected?
Deficit spending can occur if there is fiat currency, gold standard or what ever currency is used. All it requires is a willing lender and a willing borrower. We are seeing now that for some countries the lenders are becoming less willing.

Huge debts due to decades of deficit spending are the source of the current problems. It is this excess level of debt that is driving this global debt time bomb.

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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by Kommander » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:24 pm

I think the argument is that with fiat currency makes it easier to run large deficits and end up with too much debit than other currency systems.
Why must all the hoops be on fire?

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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by TacAir » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:49 pm

Kommander wrote:I think the argument is that with fiat currency makes it easier to run large deficits and end up with too much debit than other currency systems.
fiat currency is near the problem as digital money - all those ones and zeros don't need to be printed, so... you know.
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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by Rev » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:52 pm

No one has explained to my satisfaction why a metal that is only interesting for its conductive properties and resistance to corrosion is so damn valuable. I hope this venture works out so we can see some interesting changes with the price of precious metals and perhaps have a chance to see Rawles cry. http://www.planetaryresources.com/
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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by raptor » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:12 pm

Deficits are the result of poor fiscal restraint. Non-fiat currency does not convey fiscal responsibility any more than a CCW automatically protects you from criminals.
On subject with the Greek Election results in, the market futures and euro futures appear to be heading up. A sign the market likes the results.

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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by Stercutus » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:49 pm

raptor wrote:Deficits are the result of poor fiscal restraint. Non-fiat currency does not convey fiscal responsibility any more than a CCW automatically protects you from criminals.
On subject with the Greek Election results in, the market futures and euro futures appear to be heading up. A sign the market likes the results.
Yep, looks like there might be some protests from those pushed out of the way and the rest should be smooth sailing for another year. Spain kneeled and Italy is way to disorganized to leave making the first move.
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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by CaptBrainFreeze » Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:32 pm

Blacksmith wrote:
raptor wrote:Deficits are the result of poor fiscal restraint. Non-fiat currency does not convey fiscal responsibility any more than a CCW automatically protects you from criminals.
On subject with the Greek Election results in, the market futures and euro futures appear to be heading up. A sign the market likes the results.
Yep, looks like there might be some protests from those pushed out of the way and the rest should be smooth sailing for another year. Spain kneeled and Italy is way to disorganized to leave making the first move.

Smooth sailing? Clarify please. This is far from over. Greece is still going to be a wreck, Spain's bubble is ready to pop with talks of another bailout over the short term horizon, and then there is Italy. Who has been ever so happy to have the other countries around to take the attention off of them, but that will end in the next weeks. Frankly the whole concern over the EU will be back on everyones minds in as little as two weeks easily in my opinion.
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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by phil_in_cs » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:02 am

raptor wrote:On subject with the Greek Election results in, the market futures and euro futures appear to be heading up. A sign the market likes the results.
The market is money and goes up when national banks dump in money. The market has also been very very short sighted recently, looking for profits this week and this money rather than taking a long term view.
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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by Stercutus » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:28 am

CaptBrainFreeze wrote:
Blacksmith wrote:
raptor wrote:Deficits are the result of poor fiscal restraint. Non-fiat currency does not convey fiscal responsibility any more than a CCW automatically protects you from criminals.
On subject with the Greek Election results in, the market futures and euro futures appear to be heading up. A sign the market likes the results.
Yep, looks like there might be some protests from those pushed out of the way and the rest should be smooth sailing for another year. Spain kneeled and Italy is way to disorganized to leave making the first move.

Smooth sailing? Clarify please. This is far from over. Greece is still going to be a wreck, Spain's bubble is ready to pop with talks of another bailout over the short term horizon, and then there is Italy. Who has been ever so happy to have the other countries around to take the attention off of them, but that will end in the next weeks. Frankly the whole concern over the EU will be back on everyones minds in as little as two weeks easily in my opinion.
That was tongue in cheek from the Captain of the Titanic my friend.

In truth I think the next big nut should be in late September early October. Although the brief market rally is already over.

Just in from Spain, not everyone is overjoyed with the Spanish debt deal. SPainsh debt rose another 1/8 of a point today.

Image
Miners fire handmade rockets at riot police officers in Spain as strikes, road blockades, and mine sit-ins continue as 8,000 mineworkers at over 40 coal mines in northern Spain continue their protests against government action to cut coal subsidies. Photograph: Emilio Morenatti/AP
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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by CaptBrainFreeze » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:28 am

LOL, ok, gotcha. Funny you said that about the Titanic. I likened yesterday to Greece being pulled from a life raft back onto the boat, but the boats name was Titanic.
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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by raptor » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:10 am

Looks like the market sobered up this morning and realized the winning Greek coalition won by a very minor margin. That and the election in Greece has nothing to do with Spain.

"What!!" the market says "Spain is not the same country as Greece???" :ohdear:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... Collection" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Spain's 10-year government bond yield soared above 7% and equities lost early gains as investors struggled to find much to cheer about in the slim victory for the New-Democracy party in the Greek election.

The benchmark Stoxx 600 Index was recently 0.1% lower. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.1%, having opened up over 1%. Germany's DAX was up 0.2% and France's CAC-40 was down 0.6%. Spain's IBEX 35 index was off 2.6% and Italy's FTSE MIB was down 2.4%.

What Next in Greece?
"Greek election results are unlikely to resolve euro-zone uncertainty," said Barclays. "Instead, the focus should shift to the June 28-29 EC summit, the likely renegotiation of the Greek austerity package, and to Spanish yields."

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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by Rev » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:11 am

Blacksmith wrote:
CaptBrainFreeze wrote:
Blacksmith wrote:
raptor wrote:Deficits are the result of poor fiscal restraint. Non-fiat currency does not convey fiscal responsibility any more than a CCW automatically protects you from criminals.
On subject with the Greek Election results in, the market futures and euro futures appear to be heading up. A sign the market likes the results.
Yep, looks like there might be some protests from those pushed out of the way and the rest should be smooth sailing for another year. Spain kneeled and Italy is way to disorganized to leave making the first move.

Smooth sailing? Clarify please. This is far from over. Greece is still going to be a wreck, Spain's bubble is ready to pop with talks of another bailout over the short term horizon, and then there is Italy. Who has been ever so happy to have the other countries around to take the attention off of them, but that will end in the next weeks. Frankly the whole concern over the EU will be back on everyones minds in as little as two weeks easily in my opinion.
That was tongue in cheek from the Captain of the Titanic my friend.

In truth I think the next big nut should be in late September early October. Although the brief market rally is already over.

Just in from Spain, not everyone is overjoyed with the Spanish debt deal. SPainsh debt rose another 1/8 of a point today.

Image
Miners fire handmade rockets at riot police officers in Spain as strikes, road blockades, and mine sit-ins continue as 8,000 mineworkers at over 40 coal mines in northern Spain continue their protests against government action to cut coal subsidies. Photograph: Emilio Morenatti/AP
Reminds me of the coal wars in West Virginia, but I do not believe we attacked the government over subsidies...
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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by Stercutus » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:31 am

Reminds me of the coal wars in West Virginia, but I do not believe we attacked the government over subsidies...
The Coal Wars were not an attack against the central government but the corrupt local government. When faced with fighting the central government the rebels wisely backed down. I LOLed in my high school history class when the event was described as "...the federal government sent troops to help operate coal mines in WV..." especially since my grandfather's account was quite different. Nothing to see here move along.....

No one has been reported killed in the fighting in Spain. A few injuries and so forth. The bottle rockets look dramatic but the military would be called in if they were a serious threat. We used to do the same things as kids (Although we did not shoot them at the police in protest over lack of subsidies). More pics at the link.

Image

http://www.rt.com/news/spain-miners-clashes-police-980/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by Rev » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:40 am

Blacksmith wrote:...the federal government sent troops to help operate coal mines in WV..

:|

The companies were lucky that the miners were mostly veterans who could not bring themselves to fire upon men wearing the uniform they had only recently worn themselves.
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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by Czechnology » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:45 am

I think too many people focus on Fiat/Gold Standard Currency because it seems like

1. an easy fix with

2. a person to blame.

Those two things are usually the first sign that you've not found the root of the problem.
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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by TacAir » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:24 am

Czechnology wrote:I think too many people focus on Fiat/Gold Standard Currency because it seems like

1. an easy fix with

2. a person to blame.

Those two things are usually the first sign that you've not found the root of the problem.
Deficit spending > debt > rinse, repeat > pols get re-elected, debt climbs > (Branch function)

branch one debt climbs as do taxes to service the debt > programs/functions cease to free up money to service debt > taxes climb > capital starvation > businesses fail at high rates > Depression or gov't fails

branch two change of gov't > programs/functions get cut to service debt > deficit spending cut > capital available in greater amounts for business expansion > gov't revenue expands > debt service brought under control > fantasy continues

Conventional wisdom says once a program exists for 10 years, you will never get rid of it
Subsidies - take your pick sugar, farm, ethanol, solar, wind, etc, etc
tax breaks for 'favored' industries/businesses/etc
Any 'entitlement' for any person or group
public pensions
the list could be nearly endless.

I have no solution, I can only hope that when the axe is wielded, by choice or because of necessity that the wheels don't come off the wagon. The 30s were hard, damned hard, this time around... well, it won't be pretty. I was in Russia/CIS right after the Ruble (Roble) devaluation. Dont. Want. To. Play.
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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by raptor » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:55 am

Czechnology wrote:I think too many people focus on Fiat/Gold Standard Currency because it seems like

1. an easy fix with

2. a person to blame.

Those two things are usually the first sign that you've not found the root of the problem.
Yes

Non-Fiat money does not offer any protection from wasteful spending, deficit spending or in general making poor spending choices.

In this case the problem is simple. The countries involved (US included) have gotten used to certain level of expenditures/benefits/style of living that they cannot sustain or afford.

It really is a matter of simply too much debt on the balance sheet.

While the problem is simple and the solution is simple (pay down the debt) the route to achieve the solution (less debt) is a very complex and difficult one.

If it were a business and I was the "workout guy" I would lay off employees (especially the execs who were responsible for the bad decisions), sell off excess inventory and non-core fixed assets, attempt to increase sales/cash flow through sales, incentives and discounts. I would also try to work out debt reduction or interest rate concession terms with the creditors. That may do the trick or I would "package" the entity for sale to a competitor.

If you translate this to for instance Greece you get huge public sector layoffs, tax increases, sale of public ports and monuments and renegotiation of "bailout" terms. Sound familiar?

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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by Stercutus » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:35 pm

raptor wrote:
If you translate this to for instance Greece you get huge public sector layoffs, tax increases, sale of public ports and monuments and renegotiation of "bailout" terms. Sound familiar?
George Bush Sr?
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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by raptor » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:59 pm

Blacksmith wrote:
raptor wrote:
If you translate this to for instance Greece you get huge public sector layoffs, tax increases, sale of public ports and monuments and renegotiation of "bailout" terms. Sound familiar?
George Bush Sr?
Please lets leave out politics...what I meant was the techniques I outlined was exactly what the Greek government was doing now...the same thing the people in the streets were protesting.

I was illustrating that while the solution is simple...it is also painful.

Selling assets:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13503535" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.propgoluxury.com/EN/Property ... -sale.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Public sector layoffs:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/07/busin ... rinks.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Raising revenue (a.k.a. taxes)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 1L7M25.DTL" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Bundling assets for sale to a rival:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-2 ... ersal.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Post by TacAir » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:40 pm

raptor wrote:
Blacksmith wrote:
raptor wrote:
If you translate this to for instance Greece you get huge public sector layoffs, tax increases, sale of public ports and monuments and renegotiation of "bailout" terms. Sound familiar?
George Bush Sr?
Please lets leave out politics...what I meant was the techniques I outlined was exactly what the Greek government was doing now...the same thing the people in the streets were protesting.

I was illustrating that while the solution is simple...it is also painful.

Selling assets:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13503535" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.propgoluxury.com/EN/Property ... -sale.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Public sector layoffs:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/07/busin ... rinks.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Raising revenue (a.k.a. taxes)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 1L7M25.DTL" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Bundling assets for sale to a rival:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-2 ... ersal.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Public sector - 800K (or 750K) out of 11M possible workers. Less than 14% of total workforce if I've done my sums correctly.


I found this interesting comparison

"The total population, according to the National Statistics Organisation (ELSTAT) was estimated at 11,257,290 in the first quarter of 2011. Thus, Greece’s public sector employment is 8% of the population, and 18% of the active labour force of the country. There was one public employee for every 13 citizens.


US Greece
General Government 22,249,000 705,645
Wider Public Sector 574,000 175,000
Total Public Sector Employment 22,823,000 880,645
Total Labour Force 153,560,000 4,967,200
Total Population 312,257,855 11,257,290
Public Sector Employment as:
% Total Population 7% 8%
% Total Labour Force 15% 18%
Population per Public Employee 14 13



We can compare this with the United States, which has excellent labour statistics available on Census.gov and the Bureau of Labour Statistics. US general government employment in December 2010 is calculated at 22,249,000 people. This includes:

· 2,852,000 Federal Employees
· 5,142,000 State Employees (full and part time)
· 14,255,000 Local Employees (full and part time)

Not included in this are certain government agencies, such as the US Postal Service. I’ve included this as a separate line under “Wider Public Sector” employment, but have not been able to find a complete count.

The Bureau of Labour Statistics records 153,560,000 people in the active labour force in the first quarter of 2011. The Census.gov site records 312,257,855 total population on September 20th, 2011 (these dates do not match, but are presumably close enough and flatter the US results).

This yields a result of 7% public employment to the total population, and 15% of public employment in the total labour force. There are 14 people per public employ in the United States. ".


I look in my own backyard and see that, in Alaska, over 50% of the workforce employed is employed by a tax supported entity. (Figure includes USPS folks and military), Add in all the public support (welfare, Indian payments, medicade/etc) and any real cuts will hit this area, and hit it hard.

How is it in your backyard?
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