In a new research piece, Goldman Sachs has noted that the “fiscal outlook for both Italy and the United States looks poised to go from bad to worse.” However, the market doesn’t appear to be responding to that prediction. Why not?
Goldman’s Allison Nathan turned to two outside experts, Harvard economist Carmen Reinhart and Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, in order to help gauge the importance of the government’s debt on the economy. A higher debt is a sign of a weak economy and lower economic growth rates over the long-term.
“This is in part because high debt levels constrain governments’ ability to respond to adverse shocks,” said Reinhart. “So even in a country like the US, where I don’t expect a crisis, history suggests there are reasons to be concerned. The most desirable way to reduce debt is through growth, and countries should take advantage of periods of relatively stronger growth to reduce debt. This, of course, is the opposite of the current approach in the US.” And it has been for quite some time.
MacGuineas added that she thinks that there probably isn’t much to worry about, but that could change anytime. “As bad as the fiscal situation is, I don’t think a crisis is likely anytime soon. The US has the benefit of being a safe haven; we seem capable of being at the very heart of a global crisis and still attracting demand for US Treasuries. … And, so far, markets have been able to show remarkable optimism in the face of a very pessimistic fiscal situation because many other factors in the economy and in corporate America have been favorable. But fiscal health is one of the foundations of the economy. And when you are built on such an unsustainable foundation, should market sentiment tip in a negative direction for any number of reasons, the response is likely to be more severe than if we had a healthy balance sheet. Again, we just don’t have the fiscal flexibility to address a major shock. So I believe we are on thin ice that can crack at any time. … The twisted silver lining here is that hurtling ourselves toward rock bottom, as we are today, may force action sooner than would otherwise be the case. And the likely return of a trillion-dollar deficit next year may be the wakeup call that we need.”
But many others believe that not just the government’s debt crisis, but the global debt crisis could cause a major economic meltdown that we will have a difficult time recovering from.
We have been adding more than a trillion dollars to the national debt per year since 2008, and we continue to steal more than 100 million dollars every single hour of every single day from future generations of Americans.
And even though the Republicans have been in control in Washington, very few of our leaders seem to want to alter the trajectory that we are on. But if something is not done, absolute disaster is a certainty. At this point, it is being projected that our debt will reach 30 trillion dollars by 2028 if we stay on this current path. It would be difficult to overstate the grave danger that we are facing, but nothing is being done to turn things around. -SHTFPlan
The only thing one can do is shield themselves from the debt problem. Make every attempt to pay off any debts you can and avoid going into debt any further. It’s a hole that’s difficult for an individual to climb out of, but it’s now become impossible for the government. The debt bubble will eventually burst as all bubbles do, and how you make preparations will determine to what extent you’ll be financially ruined when it does.