Negative interest rates, which central banks in several countries have implemented as a way to spur economic growth, is a radical move. In the last of a three-part series, ‘Negative Thinking,’ commentator Satyajit Das examines this policy and its risks.
Low rates are supposed to encourage debt-financed consumption and investment, feeding a virtuous cycle of expansion. They also increase wealth, encouraging spending. Low rates and abundant liquidity should drive inflation.
Instead, these policies since 2008 have brought the global economy a precarious stability at best, and have not created economic growth or inflation. Continue reading
Does this sound like a NATO that’s ready to defend Europe in war? As documented on this site, this is only a continuation of what’s been reported on the ground in Europe, several times.
HOHENFELS, Germany — Less than three years after the United States Army sent home the last of its tanks that were permanently based in Europe, American commanders have been forced to rely on weapons shipped back temporarily or hardware borrowed from allies in the expanding effort to deter the latest threats from Russia with a fraction of the forces it had once deployed across the Continent.
Mustering the necessary troops and equipment for the mission here can be a challenge, said Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the Army’s commanding general in Europe. The number of permanently stationed soldiers on the Continent [sic] has dropped by 35 percent since 2012, and the Army has reduced some of its vehicles, weapons and support equipment or relocated it to other bases. Continue reading
The signs of deflation are now flashing all over the globe. In our estimation, the possibility of an associated financial crisis is now dangerously high over the next few months.
As we’ve been saying for a while, our preferred model for how things are going to unfold follows the Ka-Poom! Theory as put out by Erik Janszen of iTulip.com.
That theory states that this epic debt bubble will ultimately burst first by deflation (the “Ka!”) before then exploding (the “Poom!”) in hyperinflation due to additional massive money printing efforts by frightened global central bankers acting in unison.
First an inwards collapse, then an outwards explosion. Ka-Poom!
We’ve been tracking the deflationary impulse for a while, and declared deflation the winner back in July of this year. Continue reading
Does anyone else have the feeling that things are not just unraveling, but that the unraveling is gathering speed?
Though quantifying this perception is more interpretative than statistical, I think we can look at the ongoing debt crisis in Greece as an example of this acceleration of events.
The Greek debt crisis began in 2011 and reached a peak in 2012. The crisis was quelled by new Eurozone/IMF loans to Greece, and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi’s famous “whatever it takes speech” in late July, 2012. Continue reading
I know that headline sounds completely outrageous. But it is actually true. The U.S. government is borrowing about 8 trillion dollars a year, and you are about to see the hard numbers that prove this. When discussing the national debt, most people tend to only focus on the amount that it increases each 12 months. And as I wrote about recently, the U.S. national debt has increased by more than a trillion dollars in fiscal year 2014.
But that does not count the huge amounts of U.S. Treasury securities that the federal government must redeem each year. When these debt instruments hit their maturity date, the U.S. government must pay them off. This is done by borrowing more money to pay off the previous debts. In fiscal year 2013, redemptions of U.S. Treasury securities totaled $7,546,726,000,000 and new debt totaling $8,323,949,000,000 was issued. The final numbers for fiscal year 2014 are likely to be significantly higher than that.
So why does so much government debt come due each year? Continue reading