The Ticking Of Inevitability

“Never a lender, or a borrower be”, what was Shakespeare smoking? The moving of money is now the drivers of world economies, and if too much of a good thing is a bad thing, debt-that ultimate result of an unbalanced ratio- has become more than a world problem:

Happy Monday!!

It’s like trying to read a link and those pesky commercial videos on the side keeps popping up, those turning numbers are so annoying. This chart is handy though, moving the cursor to different countries provides a snapshot of that particular country’s financial woes, not pretty.

People’s individual experiences in life shape their perceptions. No doubt because I was raised poor (only child, struggling single mom) my views on debt, financial obligations and unwanted encumbrances were shaped early on. On a OWS post last week we talked about student loans, I was one of those guys that postponed college because I had no money and taking on student debt was anathema to the way I was raised. Similar (although a bit different) with my wife, a proud Cal Berkeley/Hastings Law School grad, who borrowed the money from her dad (who secured a loan from her payable at a certain date with interest), freedom from financial obligations is big with both of us.

But municipalities, states, and country’s can not be run like individual households, obviously, borrowing and debt are an inevitability, but it is the fiduciary duty of those in power to manage and control that debt, not too much of that going on, anywhere in the industrialized nations of the world.

Watching those numbers spin can only be handled in short doses, but it is useful. Something has got to give, or I could use a domino example, either way, a reckoning is coming.

Comments are closed.

  1. Seattle Outcast

    The secret is to spend within your means, which the government is uninterested in doing. It’s also a Keynesian thing, which confuses cause and effect (among other shortcomings) and immediately makes things worse.

    My favorite explanation of Keynesian economics is that you put the cart in front of the horse, then shoot the horse. This raises the aggregate demand for horses by 1. In the meantime you’re still not going any place because you didn’t save enough money to get a new horse.

    For those of you that think that this a stupid analogy, remember that FDR implemented farm programs that forcibly destroyed livestock in order to drive up the price and reduce the “excessive” supply of farm animals.

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  2. davidstvz

    So if every country is at least a little in debt, who the hell are we all in debt to? Makes you think there is truth to the proponents of monetary reform (i.e. banking conspiracies).

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  3. Hal_10000

    Mostly we’re in debt to ourselves — 90% of debt is held by Americas. But one man’s debt is another’s asset. If these debts were ever defaulted on, it would make the financial crisis of three years ago look like a picnic.

    This stuff drives my father-in-law nuts. He did government accounting for years and was constantly pressing them to cut costs, save money, keep some budget authority in reserve. And for a long time, local governments were run like that. But now they’re all “spend, spend, spend!”

    The good news is the message is slowly getting out. NASA just approved the next round of missions and they judged them very closely by their ability to stay within budget. I just saw a post the other day lamenting that the savings rate is WAY up in his country and credit card debts have declined 10% over the last year alone. They think this hurts the economy. I don’ see that leveraging out the ying-yang helps.

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  4. Poosh

    You know, I realise our situation would not allow it today, but if there IS a government arm that I don’t want to have to be “working within a budget”, other than the military, it’s NASA. Sad times!

    Are you sure it’s 90%? I swear I read somewhere that, oddly. Britain actually was something like the 5th biggest owners of US debt, which was a bit odd at first glance.

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  5. richtaylor365 *

    Are you sure it’s 90%?

    I just Goggled “Percentage of debt held by Americans” and this was the first hit:

    The US is indebted mainly to … Americans. Still, foreigners hold about 47 percent of the national debt, with China and Japan owning the biggest chunks.

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  6. Manwhore

    Mostly we’re in debt to ourselves — 90% of debt is held by Americas. But one man’s debt is another’s asset. If these debts were ever defaulted on, it would make the financial crisis of three years ago look like a picnic.

    I guess this is China’s asset?

    There’s truth to this. Like here in California, we borrowed heavily during the good times, and then borrowed some more to cover the bad times. I’d love to know your father’s actual opinion on default, I often wondered what might happen if Americans pulled their pockets wrong side out and shrugged their shoulders.

    It’s also true that one man’s debt is another man’s asset, it can also be true that one man’s debt is the same man’s asset. I’ve seen plenty of small business owners make just enough to qualify for credit and then lease everything under the sun for a write off. I don’t condone or oppose it, but it seems to have been a pretty big trend for people not to gamble with their own money preferring to do it with bank’s money instead.

    Are you sure it’s 90%? I swear I read somewhere that, oddly. Britain actually was something like the 5th biggest owners of US debt, which was a bit odd at first glance.

    Has Britain repaid fully it’s WW2 debt to us? I’ve always been under the opinion that much of the Western World’s national debt was a hangover from WW2, including the US and Britain?

    As someone close by, I was more than a little shocked to see just how pulsating red Norway is. I would’ve thought that the oil economy they created was funding the cradle to the grave exercise.

    I just saw a post the other day lamenting that the savings rate is WAY up in his country and credit card debts have declined 10% over the last year alone. They think this hurts the economy. I don’ see that leveraging out the ying-yang helps.

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  7. Poosh

    Has Britain repaid fully it’s WW2 debt to us?

    I thought we agreed you’d forgive the debt if we allowed you to enjoy film after film featuring the loveable Hugh Grant ??

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  8. Poosh

    Foreigners hold about 47 percent of US public debt. And yes, the largest foreign holder here is China – but only by a hair. Chinese investors are owed 9.8 percent of US debt. Next comes Japan, at 9.6 percent, and the United Kingdom, at 5.1 percent.

    I think though with China that would be the Chinese Gov, but with Japan … why is the Street Fighter theme in my head!? … but with Japan and the UK, it’s individuals rather than the gov. I’d assume. I mean, I was not aware that we bought your bonds etc.

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  9. Manwhore

    We need to amend this agreement to swap out becks and Grant for Emma Watson. And no, we aren’t taking back Madonna. She’s polished her fake British accent now to the point that it annoys both sides of the pond.

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  10. HARLEY

    When i watch these “protesters” out inthe various cities, and see their call for violence and “justice” i cant help but wonder if there is a Robespierre and Saint-Just, waiting inthe wings.

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