Debt & Deficits

Niall Ferguson: U.S. Playing “Russian Roulette” Assuming Interest Rates Will Remain Low

Countering Krugman’s argument that today’s low interest rates show that no one is worried about lending money to us and, therefore, that we should borrow and spend our way to prosperity, Ferguson argues that today’s interest rates are irrelevant. When countries get into trouble, he says, they get into trouble quickly – the way Greece and other European countries have. Taking …

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National Debt Burden per Capita-to-Income Index at 50 Year High – and Growing!

Wars and depressions largely characterize the periods of time where there have been significant run-ups in the level of the U.S. National Debt Burden per Capita [i.e. the U.S. National Debt Burden per Capita-to-income Index], with the debt taken on to support the costs of the U.S. Civil War and World War II being the most significant. Today... it is perhaps most comparable to the Great Depression. [Take a look.] Words: 326

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In Defense of Paul Krugman – Sort of

I have a great deal of respect for Paul Krugman as an economist. He has a unique talent among economists for being able to make complex economic issues both understandable and interesting for the average person. [That being said,]...I am far less impressed with his abilities as a public policy commentator. [Let me explain.] Words: 567

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The Global Debt Clock: A World Debt Comparison

The clock is ticking. Every second, it seems, someone in the world takes on more debt. The idea of a debt clock for an individual nation... [is old hat - see links below to many such debt clocks - but] our clock (here) shows the global figure for all (or almost all) government debts in dollar terms. Words: 300

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American Cities Feeling the Financial Pinch

The Age of Austerity has arrived with a vengeance in U.S. cities. City budgets shrank 1.9% in 2011 after 4.4% declines in 2010 and city revenues declined 2.3% this year for the fifth straight year of declines, according to the annual report from the National League of Cities. While tax revenue and state and federal aid decline, costs are increasing including pensions and health care. Cities have responded with layoffs, hiring freezes, pay cuts and service cuts. [A picture is worth a 1000 words so here are 11 charts that show just how bad the situation really is.] Words: 333

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75% of Americans are in Deep _ _ _t!

Rising education and medical costs, on-going credit card interest payments, well used personal lines of credit and large mortgage debt and home equity loans - most a penchant for living beyond their means - is keeping 75% of American households in some degree of debt. Take a look and then pass it on to your friends, neighbors and co-workers.

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Greece: a Greek Tragedy or a Greek Comedy (of Fiscal Mismanagement)?

If the implications of the current Greek tragedy were not so serious it would have been seen more as a Greek comedy (of fiscal errors). In fact, however, to deploy another metaphor, Greece's sovereign debt is seen as the proverbial canary in the coal mine - a microcosm of the relentlessly growing sovereign debt that has taken much of Europe by storm and is threatening to spread to the U.S.. Words: 1008

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Debt Bubble: We're in a Dangerous New Phase – Here's Why

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Largarde, said Friday the world economy is entering a “dangerous new phase.” Lagarde is referring to a debt bubble, the likes of which the planet has never seen before, and the possibility that it could all unravel at any moment. Uncertainty over the debt crisis in Europe is what caused the Dow to crash more than 300 points at the end of last week. What is Lagarde going to do about the debt problem? Words: 1752

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