Tuesday, August 2, 2011 11:55:12 PM
What will happen if the world stops lending to the US government, corporations and consumers? It’s hard to say because the economic academia will have to re-invent the models which are currently based on a risk free T-Bill. What’s for certain is the people and government of the US will have to get used to being poor; poorer than they would be without borrowing, poorer than the Great Depression. The rich will adopt nationalities of convenience and leave the ordinary folks to pick up the tab for their Cohibas and Cristal. Who knows? Maybe some will be left fighting over WFP handouts. The Washington Monument would look good decorating a mall in Pudong.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011 11:44:04 PM
The impression that US Treasuries aren’t risk free has already been realised by the people that count the most, the Chinese economists and policy makers who are the US' biggest investors. The only thing that’s stopping them from dumping is that it’d raise the value of the Yuan and that would hurt imports of Chinese goods in the USA, but year by year the USA is a smaller contributor to the world economy, down from 32% about a decade ago to 23% today. Furthermore, the T-Bill return isn`t even a good proxy for global inflation. It has lost its purpose as an inflation hedge. If it can’t be used to delever savings portfolios, or as a no-risk investment for portfolios that can tolerate no risk at all, then it has no more purpose than a patriotic war bond.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011 11:43:49 PM
I wrote my MBA thesis on this a long time ago, probably before most of the IAB members were born. It might not happen today, but I expect that the US will one day default. This is because the US debt burden continues to grow and non-discretionary spending cannot be cut and unfunded social obligations are a bigger problem than everything else in the world put together. The USA is a weak credit, plain and simple. When the US eventually defaults on a federally guaranteed contract, let alone a treasury bill, the world will no longer recognise US Treasuries as a proxy for the risk free rate of return because essentially people will wake up and realise that it isn't risk free.
Monday, August 1, 2011 7:57:59 AM
LOL @ "fed life" on the graffiti wall.
This was kinda cute. I had no idea what it was going to be, half expected a bunch of edited-up, auto-tuned Sens, Reps and committee chairs from MSNBC clips or something. Ending comments here.....I work in financial services, don't even want to get started on how terribly things are being handled the last few years.