H/t reader eric:
“It is not just immoral, but is illegal to issue Bonds you KNOW you can NEVER repay, but all western countries are now doing it, are broke, and must collapse soon.”
* * *
“If a tree fell in a forest and nobody heard it, did it really make a sound?” asks our favorite fiscal gadfly and Director of Research at Truth in Accounting, Bill Bergman, referring to the media coverage that the Treasury Department’s “Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Report of the U.S. Government” has received, which was, at the time he wrote it 24 hours after the February 15 release of the report: “Nothing. Zip. Scratch.”
That $1.156 trillion in Net Operating Cost occurred in fiscal 2017. But these are the good times, the boom years, if you will, when shortfalls should shrink into oblivion. So what will happen to the shortfall when the economy slows down or goes into a recession? That was a rhetorical question.
For fiscal 2018 and going forward, the tax cuts will lower revenues by about $150 billion per year on average over the next ten years. And for fiscal 2018 and 2019, Congress passed the two-year budget resolution that will add about $150 billion on average per year to the outlays. Both combined will drive up the deficit by about $300 billion a year on average.
“Where We Are Headed” a chapter heading (pages 9 and 14) says. I can supply my own chart, based US Treasury data, to show exactly “where we are headed” in terms of the US gross national debt:
United States Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin has a sweet gig. He writes rubber checks to pay the nation’s bills. Yet, somehow, the rubber checks don’t bounce. Instead, like magic, they clear.
How this all works, considering the nation’s technically insolvent, we don’t quite understand. But Mnuchin gets it. He knows exactly how full faith and credit works – and he knows plenty more.
In fact, Mnuchin’s wife, Louise Linton, says she admires him because “he understands the economy.” And Mnuchin, no doubt, admires Linton, a Scottish actress 18 years younger, because “she loves SoulCycle Snapchat filters that make people look like puppies and piglets.” Naturally, Mnuchin gets the importance of puppy and piglet filters and how this bizarre fad fits into the big picture of the economy.
Unlike Mnuchin, we find the economy, and its infinite and dynamic relationships, to be beyond comprehension. But that doesn’t deter us from attempting to make some sense of it each week. When it comes to Snapchat filters we know nothing – and we could care less. Still, who are we to question Snap Inc.’s $24 billion market capitalization?
Read moreUS Treasury Posts Gigantic $1.16 Trillion Shortfall in Fiscal 2017, Hilariously Points out “Where We Are Headed” — So Budget Deficits Will REALLY Go Vertical – Mnuchin’s Wife Says: Don’t Worry
Both developed and developing nations collaborated to achieve a new record of debt, but developed nations are the biggest offenders with 142 billion euros while developing nations added almost 51 billion euros.
The debt of households, companies, banks, and governments worldwide added up to a total of 193 billion euros at the end of 2017.
The figure represents a new record after increasing by 13.7 billion euros in the first nine months of last year, according to data compiled by the International Finance Institute (IIF).
The increase in global debt in absolute figures, in relation to world GDP reached 318% of global GDP, three percentage points below the historical maximum of 321% registered a year before.
H/t reader eric:
“Not long now I guess.”
* * *
The U.S. Government is in serious trouble when interest rates rise. As interest rates rise, so will the amount of money the U.S. Government will have to pay out to service its rapidly rising debt. Unfortunately, interest rates don’t have to increase all that much for the government’s interest expense to double.
According to the TreasuryDirect.gov website, which came back online after being down for nearly a month, reported that the average interest rate paid on U.S. Treasury Securities increased from 2.2% in November 2016 to 2.3% in December 2017. While this does not seem like a significant change, every increase of 0.1% in the average interest rate, the U.S. Government has to pay an additional $20.5 billion in interest expense (based on the $20.5 trillion in total U.S. debt).
H/t reader squodgy:
“Somebody, somewhere knows the truth.
They will have prepared and have a bolthole.
Knowing when is essential.
We irrelevent serfs have no idea generally, but those who read I.U. have had enough pointers and warnings to know what’s going on.”
* * *
Data shows that in the third quarter of 2017 the EU’s debt-to-GDP ratio fell from 82.9 percent to 82.5 percent when compared with the same quarter of the previous year. Greece’s general government-debt-to-GDP ratio was the highest in the eurozone, at 177.4 percent. It was followed by Italy (134.1 percent) and Portugal (130.8 percent).
Oops! EU states are sitting on a huge mountain of secret debt. Contingent liabilities like govt guarantees, off-balance public-private partnerships, or public corporations debt may become actual govt liabilities if specific conditions prevail. https://t.co/9WwnjchlDN via @weltpic.twitter.com/5rADbrNQFt
— Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) February 1, 2018
Eurostat statistics are based on four broad categories of debt, which are guarantees issued by the state in relation to the liabilities of third parties. However, there are contingent liabilities which cannot be found in the official statistics. Those liabilities are not ‘hard’ debts but if even a small part of those guarantees was due to be repaid it would result in huge holes in the national budgets. This means there is accumulation of risks of which many are unaware.