January 29, 2013
THE COMING DEBT CRISIS:
Don't Repay the National Debt : It's time to revive a British financial innovation from the 18th century: perpetual bonds. (Matthew Yglesias, Jan. 29, 2013, Slate)
As of Friday, the inflation-adjusted yield on 10-year Treasury bonds was negative 0.56 percent. Savers, in other words, want to pay the American government for the privilege of safeguarding their money. For the longest-dated bonds we sell, the 30-year Treasury bond, rates were 0.51 percent. That's higher than zero, but far below the long-term average economic growth level. A sensible country would be taking advantage of that fact to finance some valuable public undertakings. Alternatively, if we think there's nothing worth spending money on we could enact a big temporary tax cut aimed at reducing the unemployment rate and boosting the population's skill level. Prolonged long-term unemployment, after all, has lasting effects that reduce the efficiency of the labor market and make it much harder to grow in the long term.Another way of looking at it is that global financial markets are sending a clear signal to the United States. At a time when demand for goods and services is depressed, demand for American government debt is sky-high. The responsible choice is to let the supply meet the demand and borrow more.
The global economy faces catastrophe as America's budget heads into balance/surplus.Posted by Orrin Judd at January 29, 2013 3:30 PM