Monday, November 20, 2017

There is ZERO % Chance the US Government Can Go Broke

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It Is Impossible For The US To Default

I want to explain how things work, not what you should believe.  

With so many economic, political, and social problems facing us today, there is little point in focusing attention on something that is not one. The false fear of which I speak is the chance of US debt default. There is no need to speculate on what that likelihood is, I can give you the exact number:

there is 0% chance that the US will be forced to default on the debt.

We could choose to do so, just as a person trapped in a warehouse full of food could choose to starve, but we could never be forced to. This is not a theory or conjecture, it is cold, hard fact. The reason the US could never be forced to default is that every single bit of the debt is owed in the currency that we and only we can issue: dollars. Unlike Greece, we don’t have to try to earn foreign exchange via exports or beg for better terms. There is simply no level of debt we could not repay with a keystroke.

Don’t take my word for it. Here are just a few folks from across the political spectrum and in different walks of life saying the same thing:

“The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So there is zero probability of default.” Alan Greenspan

“In the case of United States, default is absolutely impossible. All U.S. government debt is denominated in U.S. dollar assets.”Peter Zeihan, Vice President of Analysis forSTRATFOR

“In the case of governments boasting monetary sovereignty and debt denominated in its own currency, like the United States (but also Japan and the UK), it is technically impossible to fall into debt default.” Erwan Mahe, European asset allocation and options strategies adviser

“There is never a risk of default for a sovereign nation that issues its own free-floating currency and where its debts are denominated in that currency.” Mike Norman, Chief Economist for John Thomas Financial

“There is no inherent limit on federal expenses and therefore on federal spending…When the U.S. government decides to spend fiat money, it adds to its banking reserve system and when it taxes or borrows (issues Treasury securities) it drains reserves from its banking system. These reserve operations are done solely to maintain the target Federal Funds rate.” Monty Agarwal , managing partner and chief investment officer of MA Managed Futures Fund

“As the sole manufacturer of dollars, whose debt is denominated in dollars, the U.S. government can never become insolvent, i.e., unable to pay its bills. In this sense, the government is not dependent on credit markets to remain operational.” Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

“A sovereign government can always make payments as they come due by crediting bank accounts — something recognized by Chairman Ben Bernanke when he said the Fed spends by marking up the size of the reserve accounts of banks.” L. Randall Wray, Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute

It Is Impossible For The US To Default

John T. Harvey , CONTRIBUTOR
I want to explain how things work, not what you should believe.

With so many economic, political, and social problems facing us today, there is little point in focusing attention on something that is not one. The false fear of which I speak is the chance of US debt default. There is no need to speculate on what that likelihood is, I can give you the exact number:

there is 0% chance that the US will be forced to default on the debt.

We could choose to do so, just as a person trapped in a warehouse full of food could choose to starve, but we could never be forced to. This is not a theory or conjecture, it is cold, hard fact. The reason the US could never be forced to default is that every single bit of the debt is owed in the currency that we and only we can issue: dollars. Unlike Greece, we don’t have to try to earn foreign exchange via exports or beg for better terms. There is simply no level of debt we could not repay with a keystroke.

Don’t take my word for it. Here are just a few folks from across the political spectrum and in different walks of life saying the same thing:

“The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So there is zero probability of default.” Alan Greenspan

“In the case of United States, default is absolutely impossible. All U.S. government debt is denominated in U.S. dollar assets.” Peter Zeihan, Vice President of Analysis for STRATFOR

“In the case of governments boasting monetary sovereignty and debt denominated in its own currency, like the United States (but also Japan and the UK), it is technically impossible to fall into debt default.” Erwan Mahe, European asset allocation and options strategies adviser

“There is never a risk of default for a sovereign nation that issues its own free-floating currency and where its debts are denominated in that currency.” Mike Norman, Chief Economist for John Thomas Financial

“There is no inherent limit on federal expenses and therefore on federal spending…When the U.S. government decides to spend fiat money, it adds to its banking reserve system and when it taxes or borrows (issues Treasury securities) it drains reserves from its banking system. These reserve operations are done solely to maintain the target Federal Funds rate.” Monty Agarwal , managing partner and chief investment officer of MA Managed Futures Fund

“As the sole manufacturer of dollars, whose debt is denominated in dollars, the U.S. government can never become insolvent, i.e., unable to pay its bills. In this sense, the government is not dependent on credit markets to remain operational.” Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

“A sovereign government can always make payments as they come due by crediting bank accounts — something recognized by Chairman Ben Bernanke when he said the Fed spends by marking up the size of the reserve accounts of banks.” L. Randall Wray, Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute

Mind you, that doesn’t mean there might not be other economic or political consequences. Inflation and currency depreciation, for example, are possibilities. Also from Dr. Wray:

“Government needs to be concerned about pressures on inflation and the exchange rate should its spending become excessive. And it should avoid “crowding out” private initiative by moving too many resources to our public sector. However, with high unemployment and idle plant and equipment, no one can reasonably argue that these dangers are imminent.”

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Indeed, we have seen neither hide nor hair of inflation or high interest rates during the current run up of the debt. It is critical to bear in mind, too, that these deficits are not a result of the government trying to buy something it cannot otherwise afford (as would be the case for you or me). Rather, they are setting out to generate sufficient demand for goods and services to employ all those willing to work (that said, not every kind of government spending does this effectively, but that’s a different question). As there is no limit to how much debt we can successfully carry, we should be aggressively pursuing the latter goal rather than talking about being “fiscally responsible.” There is nothing responsible about leaving over 12 million Americans out of work.

We have plenty of problems in the world. No point in making one up.

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