At the final moments we see the news that in the 11th hour an agreement had been reached. Should we be happy? For now many will be happy, for now the Financial industry is relaxing and happy that their rent is safe, but the stress will return soon as the next ceiling will be reached in another 18 weeks.
So what is wrong with the USA today?
It sounds all fun and games to blame either the Democrats or the Republicans, yet overall, both have some level of guilt. Yes, at present the Democrats are wearing the hoodie of blame and shame, but the Republicans are not without issues either.
Consider that the government has maxed out the USA credit card. They have until now REFUSED in any way to take responsibility for the utter irresponsible spending. No, taxing more will not solve anything. That story is old, stale and redundant. If America would like to be taken seriously ever again it would have to cut no less than $350 billion in 2014. So, NOT more taxation, but LESSEN spending. That means if all was equal that every American will get $1000 less in support, which means that it would not impact the top 3% of the nation, but the others will have to pay. This is not me supporting the rich, this is me placing ALL politicians in a limelight where every spend dollar will be shown in the spotlight.
The Democrat story will be that they have a solution, and if these people pay just a few dollars more than….. It is nothing less than utter Bullshit! (Pardon my French!) With a debt of 17,000 billion dollar, a budget drop of 350 billion would mean that the interest of the outstanding debt could not be paid for.
On the other side, the Republican side will have to stop this ludicrous boast of less taxation. That is not, cannot and will not be a solution (for at least a decade). The debt must go!
But there might be a solution with the UN. When America has been diminished to a third world nation, then perhaps the UNDP will offer support to the USA. I know, the irony of it all, go figure!
I have remained in favour of the US remaining strong from day 1; however, the Democrats refused to step up to the plate to do what needed to be done. The Republicans had stepped up to the plate, but in hindsight, the result was almost nil and they have not endeared themselves to anyone.
The voiced speeches by the Democrats as they are shown on TV stations all over the world today seem to be in bad taste too. I will make an exception for Democrat Harry Reid from Nevada. He had been in the middle in of what might be called a ‘small hell’. If the Navy Seals are used to be between a rock and a hard place, then this man outclassed them to several degrees these last two weeks, as a Republican minded person I will admit to that. I will go further to say that should Harry Reid go for the oval office, then he stands a chance to convert a decent group of Republicans too. Values like respect and moral coming from Nevada? What a tangled web we see!
For many non-Americans it is not about the pure Democrat versus Republican fight, it has always been about the massive debt and the risk they push upon many other nations. It is even a case that the voice of many non-Americans should be heard. When a nation like America has so many corporations that operate their business outside of the USA and as such put hundreds of thousands of workers on the spot as their futures are linked to the status of the USA, then they must realise that accountability remains an international factor.
On Sky News there is a hilarious movie, shot in old fashioned silent movie style explaining the debt ceiling. It is fun to watch and it tells the story nicely (at http://news.sky.com/story/1155554/shutdown-senators-pass-bill-to-avert-default), I do however disagree with one part of it. At 1:53 Ed Conway states one part I do not agree with. “If America was to default, it is not because it cannot pay its bills. It is because their political system would not allow it“.
That is the part that has been my major issue!
It is what I disagree with. If we consider the T-Bill rate of 2.66 (as it was this morning), to get the 16,700 billion in debt, to pay it back, if it was all in T-bills, then the US had to pay an additional 444 billion dollars in ‘fees’. This seems very very little. However, this was not done in one day; it was over many many years. The problem is that as risk grows, the people will be offered a higher return, because if the debt cannot be paid, those bills will become null and void overnight. In the end, that money must be paid and overall, even though for now it is paid, the outstanding debt as it grows and grows, will mean that the chance of EVER paying it all back will become less and less. Consider that the following amounts are due: 2022: $1276B, 2021: $1228B, 2020: $1652B, 2019: $1885B, 2018: $1017B. So from 2018 onwards, the returns will have to be paid to those T-Bill owners. The amount will be in access of 1 Trillion dollars a year. Can anyone explain to me how that payment can be met 5 years in a row whilst the on average the collected annual taxation in 2013 will be an estimated $1.9 Trillion dollars? This means that from 2018 onwards 53% of all collected taxation will go to people owning T-bills. How unrealistic a goal is this?
This is part of the reality politicians ignore (as they will not be in office when it happens) and the people who gets settled with the bills will not have anything left.
Consider in addition that the Tax evasion bill has not been pushed into effect (which means the rich will continue to have additional tax shelters this year) and the Dodd-Frank Act is STILL not active, giving the financial sector too many non-accountable freedoms (which will make sense late on). If you want to know more about the Dodd-Frank Act, take a look at the next link, it has an interesting cheat sheet on the latter one. (at http://www.mofo.com/files/uploads/images/summarydoddfrankact.pdf). Morrison & Foerster is a global law firm. It might have been for internal use, so send them a thank you note if you download it. It is the easiest read in regards to this topic I have ever seen. They also have Patent and Trademark litigation, so I should send them my resume when I get my MIP after my next semester. Cool!
If you wonder about that reasoning after my strong voiced disgruntlement, then remember that the US is a great country. In my mind it was sold down the drain by politicians and exploiters. If we muzzle the first and neuter the second, the US could be a great nation quite quickly again, which would be good for Europe too. A win-win solution I say!
So why aren’t more people nervous about the entire deficit and debt ceiling? That is the part that does not make sense to me. Rolling over debts is a dangerous habit. The definition is clear enough, the dangers on adverse percentages is even more risky as politicians played 11th hour resolution makers. The second part is one that many more are ignoring. This is all based upon 100% of the due payments rolling over. What happens when another nation has a slightly stronger return? What happens when only 80% is sold? Is that such a hard concept? So at that point, where will the required $200B-$275B come from, additional raise of the debt ceiling? I have no actual facts to work from, so I do not know what the level of risk is, but consider that between 2018-2022 no less than $1T in investments are needed, and that the larger wallet friends (like the UK, FR, DE, IT and AUS) many of them at the maximum tapped out amount. How long until THEY (read governments) start the ‘swap’ game? Is that not how we lost most of what we had because we could not control the banks, now we let them advice on the same game, but now with full government budgets? So, we will not be looking at just a few trillion, when that game goes bust (and such a game always goes bust), the population will be stuck with a bill between $70T and $90T. How will we survive that?
Let us not forget that all those actions are taken in closed rooms with only a few insiders fully in the loop. If the next election causes reasoning for full disclosure on such events and only a referendum will allow for this, then the game will not just change fast, it will leave the USA on the outside looking in. A fact is that this risk grows almost exponentially each year the deficit is not dealt with. If Germany has been under pressure for the EU issues from Bernd Lucke and the UK from Nigel Farage from UKIP then we should expect additional players who will be fueling these fears. The upcoming price fight might not yet be the main event, but the debt ceiling issue that comes after the one on February 9th will be a main event and it will likely involve more players then just the US, several of them are unlikely to be one of the 18 Bernanke disciples.
So here we are, and only hours after Jill Treanor wrote her article ‘Financial Conduct Authority launches currency markets investigation‘ on the Guardian at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/oct/16/financial-conduct-authority-currency-markets-investigation-benchmarks.
This is a must to read!
Guardian’s Youthful Young City Editor, all complete with her own copy of SAS Miner plugged into her brain started today with “Suspicions that the vast global currency markets may have been rigged by major banks and traders has sparked the City regulator to launch a formal investigation into the £3tn a day market.”
This goes way further than just the LIBOR scandal. Earlier this year I had some doubts on all of this. My doubts were not on the interest part; my thoughts were that the main amount involved, which the percentages were based upon had also been tampered with in some way as well. I still expect my $1T bonus when that gets to be proven!
So what if the benchmark is not JUST the foundation, but part of more. You see, if we consider that governments have been involved in T-Bill Swaps, then the tradeable amount involved is not correct. More precisely, if the volume of T-Bill swaps is to the amount deficits go, then in which direction are the percentages rigged? It might accidentally involve the ‘accidental’ mentioned group of larger wallet friends. Now consider that Germany at present is the only one with an economy more on the stable and positive side then all the other players. So, would there be additional benefits for them in the long run? I actually do not know this (self-confessed lack of economic education), but the fact is that these issues go far beyond the banks themselves. Perhaps that is why the Dodd-Frank Act was never activated? It is just a thought.
So my advice for today, instead of long term investing your $5, this morning, have a pastry with your coffee, because at times there is nothing better than short term gratification and pastries will usually do the trick.