Saturday, February 25, 2012

Total debt comes to $14.9 trillion? (Actually it's closer to $80 trillion if you include the present value of unfunded social security and medicare liabilities, but let's leave that triviality to one side.)

GDP is $14.5 trillion. The deficit this year is expected to be $1.5 trillion. Expect that kind of deficit spending to continue for years to come. Expect total debt to increase accordingly. How soon before tax receipts aren't sufficient to pay interest on the national debt? What happens then?

The Federal Reserve Bank owns $1.6 trillion of debt? That's 11.0 percent of GDP! Where did the Fed get the money to buy that kind of debt? It created it? Out of thin air? What does mass counterfeiting do to the value of our bank accounts? Does it have anything to do with inflating asset bubbles? How about collapsing asset bubbles (q.v., housing market) and ensuing economic malaise?

Economist John Williams of has answers to my questions. Warning: his ten-minute video is not for the faint of heart:



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