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Barack Obama has spoken often of sacrifice. And as recently as a week ago, he said that to stave off the deepening recession Americans should be prepared to face "trillion dollar deficits for years to come."
But apart from a stirring call for volunteerism in his inaugural address, the only specific sacrifices the president has outlined thus far include lower taxes, millions of federally funded jobs, expanded corporate bailouts, and direct stimulus checks to consumers. Could this be described as sacrificial?
What he might have said was that the nations funding the majority of America's public debt -- most notably the Chinese, Japanese and the Saudis -- need to be prepared to sacrifice. They have to fund America's annual trillion-dollar deficits for the foreseeable future. These creditor nations, who already own trillions of dollars of U.S. government debt, are the only entities capable of underwriting the spending that Mr. Obama envisions and that U.S. citizens demand.
These nations, in other words, must never use the money to buy other assets or fund domestic spending initiatives for their own people. When the old Treasury bills mature, they can do nothing with the money except buy new ones. To do otherwise would implode the market for U.S. Treasurys (sending U.S. interest rates much higher) and start a run on the dollar. (If foreign central banks become net sellers of Treasurys, the demand for dollars needed to buy them would plummet.)
In sum, our creditors must give up all hope of accessing the principal, and may be compensated only by the paltry 2%-3% yield our bonds currently deliver.
Originally posted by JipStix
I think we're in for a rough ride, but it could also be an opportunity to clean out the corruption in our government.