Rolling US Economy Into The Shitbin Thread

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here we go guys

El Tomboto, Thursday, 18 October 2007 23:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

personally I'm applying for a civil servant position ASAP

El Tomboto, Thursday, 18 October 2007 23:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

Just FYI, during the 1930s depression, many civil servants were paid with vouchers rather than cash, because local governments were unable to collect property taxes and their receipts fell into the shitbin.

Aimless, Friday, 19 October 2007 00:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

Economy's doing poorly enough as it stands, why do we deliberately want to roll it into the shitbin?

Abbott, Friday, 19 October 2007 00:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

Because that way Hillary can rescue us all.

Dandy Don Weiner, Friday, 19 October 2007 00:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

lol property taxes

El Tomboto, Friday, 19 October 2007 00:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

shitbin's a great word, BTW.

Dandy Don Weiner, Friday, 19 October 2007 00:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

you been loving my thread titles lately

El Tomboto, Friday, 19 October 2007 00:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

i came to this country some time ago with little more than a crippling debt burden in GB Pounds and the shirt on my back. i used to have to send back $1,200 each month to pay off my UK debt, and now I'm sending back over $1,400 to cover the same amount of debt repayment. that's two and a half thousand dollars disappearing from my tiny disposable income every year, for no explicable reason. i *heart* the decline of the US economy.

Roberto Spiralli, Friday, 19 October 2007 00:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

anyway why start this thread now because the bit where ritholtz points out that domino's pizza can't print new menus fast enough to keep up with inflation was pretty fucking amazing

I wish rasheed wallace was still around to show us the latest and greatest exploding bubble blogs

El Tomboto, Friday, 19 October 2007 00:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

wow Roberto that was some shitty timing, that sucks

El Tomboto, Friday, 19 October 2007 00:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

This was in the paper today:

Mortgage defaults

Hit an annual rate of 1.5 million in September. That compares with 900,000 last year from fewer than 800,000 in 2005. At the current rate, more than one million Americans will lose their homes to foreclosure, making this the worst housing recession since the Second World War.

Housing starts

Sank to a 14-year low of 1.19 million in September. Starts are a vital economic engine, creating jobs and growth as people stuff their homes with sofas and TVs. Starts peaked at 2.3 million in early 2006, and the decline will be a drag on the rest of the economy until the slide stops.

Mortgages

A quarter of the roughly 50 million U.S. home mortgages are subprime. That's seven times the number of high-risk mortgages there were in 2001. That means that many more marginal homeowners have mortgages, making it far more likely they'll wind up in default.

House prices

Fell 3.2 per cent in the second quarter. Prices are falling faster and more broadly than they have in decades, according to the closely watched Case-Shiller index.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20071018.IBUSECONOMY18/TPStory/Business

everything, Friday, 19 October 2007 00:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

where the hell is rasheed anyway?

economic blogs I read (they're all fairly liberal):

http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/
http://angrybear.blogspot.com/
http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/
http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/
http://bigpicture.typepad.com/
http://www.janegalt.net/

Dandy Don Weiner, Friday, 19 October 2007 00:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

In regard to inflation, in the USA during the past three years inflation has been soaring - but almost entirely in the housing sector. The fact that people are encouraged to see their houses as investments rather than as expenses doesn't mean that skyrocketing housing costs weren't inflationary. They were.

As the bubble market bursts, I predict a recession with an extra added bonus of inflation running close to 10% - before the end of 2008. As it has for the past 30 years, the official CPI will understate the real inflation rate. It was rigged under Reagan so that government entitlement programs indexed to the CPI would not increase at the true pace of inflation.

If Bush continues to shovel shit on the dollar right up to the end of his term in January 2009, the inflation rate could hit 15%-20% by 2010.

Aimless, Friday, 19 October 2007 00:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

There are some good economics articles put up here as well:
http://www.VoxEU.org

stet, Friday, 19 October 2007 01:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

Which shit on the dollar are you referring to?

Dandy Don Weiner, Friday, 19 October 2007 01:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

As the bubble market bursts, I predict a recession with an extra added bonus of inflation running close to 10% - before the end of 2008.

lol

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, Friday, 19 October 2007 06:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

this is why i live in canada!

J0rdan S., Friday, 19 October 2007 06:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

oh wait.

J0rdan S., Friday, 19 October 2007 06:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

Guys, this is a good time stay in academia right?

Catsupppppppppppppp dude 茄蕃, Friday, 19 October 2007 11:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

It's a good time to learn a European language.

Nubbelverbrennung, Friday, 19 October 2007 13:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

Prime shit examples:

When Bush was elected in 2000, the federal budget was in surplus and the national debt was being paid down. Had this state of affairs continued, as projected, it would have led both to lower interest rates and a strong dollar, together. Instead, Bush submitted a series of enormous tax cuts to the Republican-controlled Congress and lobbied them through. Immediately, the CBO's projected budget surpluses turned to projected deficits for the next decade.

Bush also initiated a war of choice, not necessity, in Iraq. This war has already cost well over $700 billion. Yet, Bush insisted on making his tax cuts permanent. Overall, the national debt has increased under Bush by about $2 trillion in seven years. This represents a difference of about $3 trillion of debt from what was projected at the start of his first term.

Because, due to Bush's tax cuts and other policies, the Federal government was in a far weaker position to stimulate the economy when the recession started after 9/11, almost the entire stimulus was delivered via lower interest rates. Because these rate cuts were artificial, and not based on a stronger dollar, this stimulus not only inflated the current housing bubble, but it also undercut the dollar even more than the ballooning national debt did.

Now the dollar is at an all-time low against the euro and the canadian dollar. However, the incomes of the top 10% of American households have increased at a good clip, while the lower 50% of households have seen a decrease in income after inflation. This is largely thanks to Bush's shitty policies. I expect more of the same mismanagement until he is gone.

Aimless, Saturday, 20 October 2007 18:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

I agree with everything you've just said. You're predictions still seem a tad extreme on the downside though, if I may so.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, Saturday, 20 October 2007 18:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

i wonder if income inequality will ever arrive as a political issue in this country. americans tend to not begrudge the rich - so it'll have to be more of a "for everyone's good" type of angle. no?

jhøshea, Saturday, 20 October 2007 18:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

I remember the 1970s and early 80s quite well. Back then people couldn't belileve it, either. Bush has done a bangup job of recreating many of the same policy errors under Johnson and Nixon that led to raging stagflation back then, except the underlying economy is now weaker than it was in the 1970s and the oil shocks we are likely to get are not political, as when OPEC was formed, but structural.

Oil will exceed $100/barrel some time this winter. The ever-weakening dollar will lead to smaller profit margins and rising retail prices on all imported goods (which means almost everything we buy in the USA). Transport costs will rise with pil prices. Stock prices will erode along with profits. With so many savings tied up in stocks and home equity, consumer spending will be crunched, and personal debt and bancruptcies will rise like a tide. Businesses will retrench and unemployment will rise. No end in sight.

I hope I am wrong.

Aimless, Saturday, 20 October 2007 19:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

Anyone want to join my modern-day James Gang? We shall ride across the lower Midwest, robbing and pillaging.

milo z, Saturday, 20 October 2007 19:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

sounds fun

jhøshea, Saturday, 20 October 2007 19:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

Sorry, I don't want to relocate. But this scheme sounds ripe for franchising.

Aimless, Saturday, 20 October 2007 19:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

Oil will exceed $100/barrel some time this winter. The ever-weakening dollar will lead to smaller profit margins and rising retail prices on all imported goods (which means almost everything we buy in the USA). Transport costs will rise with pil prices. Stock prices will erode along with profits. With so many savings tied up in stocks and home equity, consumer spending will be crunched, and personal debt and bancruptcies will rise like a tide. Businesses will retrench and unemployment will rise. No end in sight.

I hope I am wrong.

-- Aimless, Saturday, 20 October 2007 19:07 (14 minutes ago) Link

The coming of $100/barrel oil is not Bush's fault. It's yours and mine and everyone else's for using too damned much energy. I agree Bush could and should have done a lot more with policy to encourage energy efficiency, but there's little he could have done to stop oil's eventual rise to that price level.

Hurting 2, Saturday, 20 October 2007 19:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

Part of the pricing of oil represents the weakness of the dollar. This hurts the USA more than it does other countries. US citizens are paid in dollars and the US government collects revenue in dollars, so they are stuck. EU countries can use euros to buy increasingly cheap dollars, so they don't see the same rise in prices as we do. The weakness of the dollar is mainly Bush's fault.

Aimless, Saturday, 20 October 2007 19:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

The US also uses way more oil than other countries.

Hurting 2, Saturday, 20 October 2007 19:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

he could have done to stop oil's eventual rise to that price level.
Not starting a war in Iraq would definitely have helped here.

stet, Saturday, 20 October 2007 19:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

El Tomboto, Monday, 22 October 2007 17:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

arrgh, if that won't work then
http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/2007/10/imf-mortgage-reset-chart.html

El Tomboto, Monday, 22 October 2007 17:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

tombot u r freakin me out

gff, Monday, 22 October 2007 17:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

i hope my small apartment + modest savings plan + job in "information services" is enough to weather the shitstorm, if it comes. i got myself out of credit card debt a few months ago, at least

gff, Monday, 22 October 2007 17:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

well if you can hold down a job and don't have to worry about an ARM reset you should be okay, it's the homeowner with kids and a subprime loan and two cars who ought to be shitting themselves

El Tomboto, Monday, 22 October 2007 17:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

apart from some student loans and binging on credit cards over a few years, i'm kind of debt phobic.

which has actually made me lose out over the past several years, i realize, since i pay for EVERYTHING with a debit/check card... i could have just paid that balance on a credit card with some rewards scheme and has some air miles or something

gff, Monday, 22 October 2007 18:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

rolling gff personal finances into the shitbin thread, ha

gff, Monday, 22 October 2007 18:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

This will give you a boner Tombot

http://nymag.com/guides/money/2007/39952/

Dandy Don Weiner, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 11:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

the economy increased by 3.9% this quarter! bull market forever, baby. economy's better than ever. golden age.

yet me and so many people I know are getting laid off next month. granted we're all in the writing/design field, but urhhhhh. gggg.

burt_stanton, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 14:58 (nine years ago) Permalink


^^^ lol

most of that guy's scenario is not really news to regular bigpicture/CR readers I don't think. But #5, the "we don't pay attention" thing, yeah, well, evidently the awareness campaign is underway, but hell if the big players are paying attention.

He also leaves out the approaching demographic catastrophe as millions of inexperienced thirtysomethings and even some late-twenties kids are forced to move into arguably tougher jobs that the boomers have been holding for two decades. Beyond the social security and healthcare costs associated with mass retirement, I don't really know if this generation has the work ethic and definitely not the rolodex to just start filling in and not fuck up royally. too busy updating their linkedin pages.

El Tomboto, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 15:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

can someone explain what "being upside down on your mortgage" means, in plain English?

Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 16:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

essentially, owing more than your home is worth.

Dandy Don Weiner, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 17:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

also Tombot I'm not going to blame this generation as much as I blame their parents.

Dandy Don Weiner, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 17:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

isn't that the way people buy homes? by paying for the privilege of a loan?

Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 17:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

When you enter into a contract with a bank for a mortgage, both you and the bank assume that the property value will not plummet. The bank doesn't want you to default any more than you want to default. But if for whatever reason you need to sell your home, and you can't get what you owe on it, then you will owe the difference to the bank. And the bank knows that when that happens, you probably will not have enough assets to cover the difference.

Predatory-type loans (which seems like a nebulous description to me) typically compound the problem because they have higher transaction rates (points, etc.)

Dandy Don Weiner, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 17:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

oh certainly! well played baby boom letting healthcare slide for the 20 years you've owned the electorate

El Tomboto, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 17:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah Tracer it's also called "negative equity"

El Tomboto, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 17:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

unrelated but interesting that this of all threads was bumped the day after that census report

flopson, Wednesday, 14 September 2016 16:43 (five months ago) Permalink

i can't speak about an entire demographic, but i know a few men who work in chicago, are well-off, they really are workaholics, and, i swear to you, they actually love working and think it is so creative. the problem with these dudes is that this is all they want and can talk about. i go to dinner with them and they love talking business and most of their knowledge/expertise is in that area they work in

F♯ A♯ (∞), Wednesday, 14 September 2016 16:55 (five months ago) Permalink

That's most of DC. "What do you do?" isn't so much because it's how we size each other up, in my experience. It's a significant part of our identity. In that sense, it also effectively substitutes for "what things do you care about?" in a lot of ways.

Anacostia Aerodrome (El Tomboto), Wednesday, 14 September 2016 19:22 (five months ago) Permalink

Flopson otm btw that is kinda funny

Anacostia Aerodrome (El Tomboto), Wednesday, 14 September 2016 19:23 (five months ago) Permalink

That's most of DC. "What do you do?"

Hasn't this cliché about a certain class of people in DC existed for a long time now.

Meanwhile is Erik Hurst, an economist at the University of Chicago reference above, sure that the unemployed black men of DC are asking one another what video games they are playing? I hope someone is giving Hurst grief to his face

curmudgeon, Thursday, 15 September 2016 13:54 (five months ago) Permalink

unrelated but interesting that this of all threads was bumped the day after that census report

I don't know, maybe it's not so weird. As Morbs (Morbs!) quipped:

@JimPethokoukis
"This is the first statistically significant annual increase [in real median household income] since 2007" - IHS Global

and man, that one sure led to memorable things

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 15 September 2016 14:00 (five months ago) Permalink

I've come to have this cynical, knee-jerk reaction to news like this that if things are actually improving for the little guy, the shit must be ready to hit the fan.

the last famous person you were surprised to discover was actually (man alive), Thursday, 15 September 2016 14:11 (five months ago) Permalink

I think you guys are reading some malicious intent into Erik Hurst that's not there, imo. also Chicago booth is not Chicago Econ, and Chicago econ is not what it was in the 70's and 80's. also this is pretty atheoretical statistical research, you can disagree with his hypothesis but the basic facts are just like averages from surveys

flopson, Thursday, 15 September 2016 14:51 (five months ago) Permalink

"We thought the rich would get the most leisure time and the poor would get the least. But that's not happening, because shiftless poors, especially blacks, would rather live in their parents' basements and play video games, while elite MEN take pride in working long, grueling hours to power the economy that pulls everyone else along. One partial reason might be the incentive structure of jobs that aren't as much fun as video games while not providing enough financial incentive to make up the fun differential. But that's not the whole story."

This seems to read an absurd amount of malice into the text

flopson, Thursday, 15 September 2016 14:52 (five months ago) Permalink

let's say the Atlantic article was just the following bullet points

- long term unemployment among low-skilled men has increased from almost zero to 20%
- long-term unemployed report surprisingly high subjective well being in surveys, and in time use surveys report spending a lot of time playing videogames
- high-skilled men reduced leisure more than any other demographic in the last 20 years

would you be mad at that? I think you're reading a malicious interpretation into the stats that's I don't see

flopson, Thursday, 15 September 2016 15:00 (five months ago) Permalink

Like i don't think there is an implied moral judgment on the long-term unemployed (even if some right wing economists have m/l explicitly made such a judgment: Tyler Cowen this week said that "Maybe employers just aren't that keen to hire those males who prefer to live at home, watch porn and not get married. Is that more of a personal failure on the part of the worker than a market failure?" and got swiftly and justly roasted for it), imo it's completely a failure of government and society that they are unemployed in the first place. but it seems paradoxical from a social science perspective that they report high life satisfaction; we all imagine the stigma related to unemployment, stuff about 'work gives you purpose' would all weigh in the other direction. it's a statistic so obvs there are a lot of miserable unemployed in there, but it's interesting the average would go in the direction counter to our inuition, no?

flopson, Thursday, 15 September 2016 15:40 (five months ago) Permalink

isnt this a positive development for the 'end of work'? keep these unemployed young men sedated with their video games since the robots took all their jerbs!

carthago delenda est (mayor jingleberries), Thursday, 15 September 2016 15:44 (five months ago) Permalink

I've come to have this cynical, knee-jerk reaction to news like this that if things are actually improving for the little guy, the shit must be ready to hit the fan.

I can't help but feel the same way. I think it's the imperative of pattern recognition based on generalizing from the known to the unknown, even when the thing I'm observing is complex far beyond my ability to know or understand its patterns.

a little too mature to be cute (Aimless), Thursday, 15 September 2016 16:31 (five months ago) Permalink

I can't exactly come up with a logical justification of that reaction, but it just feels like our economy is so stacked to send all the benefits to the top that it's only at the peak of the bubble that you get a bit of trickle-down, and then the whole thing collapses.

the last famous person you were surprised to discover was actually (man alive), Thursday, 15 September 2016 16:33 (five months ago) Permalink

median income increased for 6 years from the trough of 1993 to peak in 1999, then increased for four years from 2004 to 2007, and increased for at least 5 years from 1984 to 1989. we probably have a couple years of growth ahead of us (fingers crossed)

flopson, Thursday, 15 September 2016 16:39 (five months ago) Permalink

As far as the pattern of 'things getting good just presage things being about to get bad', that's a tautology in any cyclical thing. You may as well say, the sun rising is just a sign that it's about to get dark soon

flopson, Thursday, 15 September 2016 16:41 (five months ago) Permalink

Honestly before Monday I had begun to suspect we would never see median income increase again

flopson, Thursday, 15 September 2016 16:42 (five months ago) Permalink

Are there any sector by sector stats (people in retail earning X% more, people in manual occupations earning Y% more) or is it bare household income across salary bands? I'm slightly suspicious of median household income as an indicator on its own, particularly in the lower bands, in the context of the current shift towards supplementing core income with casualised labour (driving for Uber in evenings and at weekends, etc).

On a Raqqa tip (ShariVari), Thursday, 15 September 2016 17:49 (five months ago) Permalink

had a quick look and couldn't find anything but here is the actual report: http://www.census.gov/library/publications/2016/demo/p60-256.html

F♯ A♯ (∞), Thursday, 15 September 2016 18:13 (five months ago) Permalink

isnt this a positive development for the 'end of work'? keep these unemployed young men sedated with their video games since the robots took all their jerbs!

www.ilxor.com/ILX/ThreadSelectedControllerServlet?boardid=67&threadid=104035

Anacostia Aerodrome (El Tomboto), Thursday, 15 September 2016 18:38 (five months ago) Permalink

how do I shot web

Everybody on ILG complains about Twitch

Anacostia Aerodrome (El Tomboto), Thursday, 15 September 2016 18:39 (five months ago) Permalink

http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2015/book-review/locked-up-and-locked-out-of-the-u-s-labor-market.htm

Didn't read the Atlantic article, but does it mention mass incarceration issues and how that now influences getting a job?

curmudgeon, Thursday, 15 September 2016 19:39 (five months ago) Permalink

'eight' rhymes with 'great'!

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 20 September 2016 21:17 (five months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

OK give me the bad news, how much has my wife's retirement fund already lost?

sleeve, Wednesday, 9 November 2016 16:38 (three months ago) Permalink

S+P 500 is actually up 0.8% perhaps reflecting that if nothing else the outcome was at least decisive

JLB Credit (Jack BS), Wednesday, 9 November 2016 16:42 (three months ago) Permalink

huh. thanks, i think.

sleeve, Wednesday, 9 November 2016 16:45 (three months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Booming along before the election, too, iirc. The Fed Board was already talking up the idea of a December rate hike last November.

a little too mature to be cute (Aimless), Monday, 12 December 2016 19:10 (two months ago) Permalink

sucks that Trump gets to ride a boom that he will get credit for, but otoh it's better to have Trump in good times and to have had Obama during bad times. 20th century fascists all took advantage of economic crises

flopson, Monday, 12 December 2016 20:35 (two months ago) Permalink

The Trump economy is going to be a total capitalism eats itself economy.

the last famous person you were surprised to discover was actually (man alive), Monday, 12 December 2016 20:41 (two months ago) Permalink

Not even a little convinced Trump is going to ride any sort of boom.

That's the problem with that article - almost no real people actually feel "economically confident" now, as a society we're all in a constant state of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Republicans say they do because their guy won but still doesn't have any power to do anything and the ultra-wealthy do, but there's no rational reason to believe that the economy is going to improve for the lower 3/4 of the economic spectrum (and plenty of Trump voters and Republicans would admit that, particularly after 6 months or a year of their reign). Maaaaaaybe those ultra-wealthy can convince themselves to keep the stock market high to prop up GOP policies but even that's questionable - global capital is even more effected by a trade war with China or declining world influence than the average person.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Monday, 12 December 2016 21:36 (two months ago) Permalink

if he doesn't fuck it up by starting a trade war (or literal war) with China he can ride a decent post-recovery boom (with help from deficit spending) for at least 2 years, just by sheer momentum

flopson, Monday, 12 December 2016 21:44 (two months ago) Permalink

There might be some initial stimulus effect from his tax plan I guess, but isn't the agenda otherwise to slash government spending?

the last famous person you were surprised to discover was actually (man alive), Monday, 12 December 2016 21:52 (two months ago) Permalink

Nah they're gonna let him do a big deficit-spending infrastructure bonanza. everyone is keynesian when their party is in power

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/trump-free-market-republicans-stimulus-232387

flopson, Monday, 12 December 2016 21:56 (two months ago) Permalink

That assumes the infrastructure spending doesn't get funneled directly to people who are going to stash it. Even more than under Reagan or Dubya, this round of trickle-down spending is going to go directly into the pockets of the billionaire class - Keynesianism only works if that money is actually being spent.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Monday, 12 December 2016 22:06 (two months ago) Permalink

ya Trump stimulus is gonna suck as hard as possible ito regressivity and ineffiency, but still might work demand-wise at least short- to medium-term

flopson, Tuesday, 13 December 2016 03:47 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah, I guess I need to read the details but it sounded to me like maybe it was just gonna be some tax credit giveaways to people who were already going to do the same shit anyway and aren't going to, like, go spend the extra money on new jeans and restaurant dinners.

the last famous person you were surprised to discover was actually (man alive), Tuesday, 13 December 2016 03:59 (two months ago) Permalink

relevant: https://mainlymacro.blogspot.ca/2016/12/reactionary-keynesianism.html

flopson, Tuesday, 13 December 2016 17:13 (two months ago) Permalink

Well, when GDP hits 7-8% you'll all have egg on your faces.

Eallach mhór an duine leisg (dowd), Sunday, 18 December 2016 17:59 (two months ago) Permalink

lol that's usually a precursor to a huge debilitating crash, so not really

a Warren Beatty film about Earth (El Tomboto), Sunday, 18 December 2016 19:15 (two months ago) Permalink

one month passes...
two weeks pass...

The US Treasury holds auctions of new US debt obligations (T-Bills and bonds) on a regular basis to fund the US government, which runs chronic deficits and must borrow to cover current expenses. There is also a secondary market where people or institutions can buy and sell US T-bills and bonds, too.

The more US debt that is dumped into the secondary market, the more competition there is for the new debt we're trying to fob off on investors. If normally big buyers of new US debt stop buying and turn into sellers instead, then the government will have to pay higher interest rates to attract buyers for the new US debt.

There is one big loophole in this process that can be exploited, if the Federal Reserve can be persuaded to play along. The Fed can enter the auction of new US debt and buy as much as it wants to, whenever it wants to, with money that it has created for that purpose. This process is called "monetizing the debt" and it is the infamous "paying for government by printing up more money" that is so poorly understood by the masses.

The drawback to monetizing the debt is that, if it is done immoderately, it can flood the financial system with new money and cause inflation, devaluing the dollar and triggering even more dumping of US debt, even higher interest rates and necessitate budget cuts or a new round of monetization. Can you say "vicious circle"?

Of course, the Fed is usually loath to tread anywhere near such a remedy except in the face of a crash and a looming depression. So, the main upshot we're talking about is higher borrowing costs for the US government.

a little too mature to be cute (Aimless), Monday, 13 February 2017 20:36 (one week ago) Permalink

The other side of the story is that (and I only speak anecdotally) bond yields in other countries are kinda shit right now (maybe even negative) and the US's are pretty attractive. In spite of this, people dont want to buy US bonds because Trump is insane and his policies will lead to lower yields/rates or something worse.

carthago delenda est (mayor jingleberries), Monday, 13 February 2017 20:42 (one week ago) Permalink

that's a great explanation, Aimless! :)

yah, breaking fed-treasury independence is how you get hyper-inflation

international sell-off mostly being countered by more domestic demand for t-bills: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-07/demand-for-treasuries-is-now-a-made-in-the-u-s-a-phenomenon

flopson, Monday, 13 February 2017 20:55 (one week ago) Permalink

Ha, asked on the wrong thread. What is stagflation?

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 13 February 2017 21:13 (one week ago) Permalink

Inflation + High Unemployment

flopson, Monday, 13 February 2017 21:21 (one week ago) Permalink

wasn't thought to be possible during Keynesian consensus (which maintained they would be negatively related) in the 50s and 60s, until it happened in the 70s. macroeconomics hasn't really recovered since

flopson, Monday, 13 February 2017 21:22 (one week ago) Permalink

high inflation also completely fucks over idiots like me who were too afraid of equities to invest and have just been sitting on an ever dwindling cash pile in a savings account. luckily I have a 401k from my old job where I was at for 12 years to make up for it.

carthago delenda est (mayor jingleberries), Monday, 13 February 2017 21:53 (one week ago) Permalink


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