Discussion Board

Topic: Sovereign default by USA is not an issue

From: Phillip
Location: Aloha Oregon
Date: 07/26/2010

After hearing the recent interview on KBOO-FM I have read both Quantico and Mariposa which I greatly enjoyed and hope to see more in that series. Honestly, I have not read much future fiction since Robert Heinlein died but will investigate more in the future.

One minor point of disagreement. You seem to hold the widely believed but incorrect view that the USA could be forced to default on its debt. The US government neither needs to tax or borrow in order to spend all it wants to and in fact when it taxes money is destroyed and does not actually pay for anything. Many people do not seem to understand that Federal government debt is a private asset and that the so called national debt is equal to the privately held dollar denominated finacial assets to the penny. Nancy Pelosi recently asked Ben Bernanke how likely it was the US would default and he replied not likely at all "unless Congress decides to."

Some excellent souces for Modern (post-1971) Monetary Theory include:
1. Mosler Economics http://moslereconomics.com/ His new book available free is probably the best laymen's introduction.
2. New Economic Perspectives aka the Kansas City School http://neweconomicperspectives.blogspot.com/
3. Billy Blog - alternative economic thinking from Australian professor Bill Mitchell http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/
4. Mike Norman Economics http://mikenormaneconomics.blogspot.com/

Feel free to contact me if I can help clrify anything. I have been studying monetary reform and theory over 3 decades.

Ever trying to pave the road ahead but mostly dodging potholes, Phillip

Re: Sovereign default by USA is not an issue

From: Greg Bear
Date: 08/17/2010

Thanks for the thoughts and kind words, Philip!

So, if the Chinese (and Singapore) call our loans and we can borrow no more money on the international market, and the dollar is no longer acceptable as international currency, and whatever we are owed by another nation is garnished...

Worse case scenario, to be sure. But finances have always been important in the art of war. Not paying for a war--and rampant, reckless borrowing over time--have always had negative repercussions, with or without the gold standard in place. When the U.S. sneezes, the whole world catches cold, seems to be as true today as it was in the thirties.

We suffer, somehow, when the theory says we shouldn't!

As Mr. Heinlein said, TANSTAAFL.

Re: Sovereign default by USA is not an issue

From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose
Date: 08/19/2010

I've got to agree with Mr. Bear on this one.

The key is not that we would default, it's that as we get closer to the possibility (even if it remains remote) there is an incremental cost of capital to the change in perceived and measurable distance to the possibility.

It's a lot easier to get a loan at a low rate if you are not already knee deep in debt. It's a lot easier to pay it off when your currency isn't highly devalued.

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