Thursday, May 27, 2010

Video: US and Global Debt Outlook

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform held some hearings yesterday, tragic.  Here is the video:  Carmen Reinhardt starts at about 9 minutes ths may be of interest to our astute readers.


Bob said...

This nonbinding committee was appointed by Obamanation and the Harvard printing machine.

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform?
The new world order is present with IMF pimp, MR. Carlo Cartorelli in attendance. I wonder how much of the 125 billion US dollars you took and put in your swiss bank account? Why can’t the USA give 125 billlion to the under funded pension funds that were robbed via 401k’s by the banksters and the racateers who sit on the board of directors of the united corporations of America.
This guy must be on drugs. The USA and Greece and every govt will never follow thru on this guys predictions. They will never do what is moral and correct, which is to Lay low the thieves and reward the workers for being productive. I would like to know their definition of good debt and bad debt. My definition is: Bad debt is leveraging up on a hot air asset no real value and shuffling this paper to and fro until you find a bigger fool to sell it to. Good debt is investing in a real asset with some leverage that is backed up by capitol or real assets. The borrower of this good debt then converts this debt into real worth to society, with growing your productions and putting a fair amount of the profits back into growing your business. The bad debt is a parasitic action of the asset shufflers that is sucking the life blood of Americas workers and their loved ones.

more to come

Bob said...

This group of self rightous fools

Is this so called commission going to address the reason for the collapse and lost of trillions in wealth of the American people.

They keep talking about what to do after the collapse happened. Where were you A holes when the banksters were perpetrating the rip off?

I like the definition of default,US defaulted in 1933 when it suspended the gold clause on the bonds.
Definition: “ Is anything that changes the initial contract to terms to anything that is unfavorable to the creditor”.
Standard and Poors a default is a change in contract that is less favorable to the creditor.

more to come

Bob said...

More negative sentiment to this commission on my part.
Alan Simpson keeps reminding us of how he is so good. He is correct when he says, “Got His” But he should add to that I got mine a long time ago gaming the system at the taxpayers (not the voters) expense.
I want payback Mr. Simpson. Why don't you get up and walk down the hall and kick the 2,000 bank lobbyists out of the financial reform hearings? How about insisting that Pequot CEO Samburg be arrested and thrown in jail, and invoke the RICCO act on his ass!
While your at it, throw that two bit lawyer who helped him commit insider trading violation in jail too. How about recommending to yourself and your fellow congressmen and women on this committe and to whomever else you are supposed to report to the following:

This group of bullshit artists does nothing but sit there, and do an expensive study to find out what their masters want them to find out. This commission reminds me of the Nazis proving their case of the supreme race by commissioning expeditions to prove the Arian supremacy. That is my opinion of the agenda of this group of clowns (meaning the elected officials sitting at this commission). I would not include Carmen Reinhardt in this group of clowns. She was hired on to give legitimacy to this sherade, and to not put on the table the truth. The truth is moral bankruptcy will bring down any democracy, there must be a true justice system to police this bunch of bootlickers. Everyone sitting in that room knows what needs to be done , but they don’t have the guts to do it. Notice the questions and the direction they are are trying to take the repotst? The gubament officials are attempting to bolster the agenda of avoiding the real issue, and just showing up for the free lunch. Their agenda is to get re-elected and that is all. The commissions agenda is as follows: How can I use these findings to come up with a way to spin the findings to get re-elected. I am glad to see anger with tea party types, I want every elected official at all levels to be voted out ,and replaced with outsiders. If that happens at least the lobbyists will have to start over again. They will have to work harder before they bend us over again.

I wish we had a man like John Adams with some guts: A quote from John Adams “In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.”

Oh two last comments one for Senator Conrad .
If you’re worried about the budget, “STOP VOTING YOURSELF A PAY RAISE EVERY YEAR!”
The second comment for Ann Fudge (GE board member)
If your’re concerned about growth and budgets of the US, how about recommending to GE that they put the money that was used to pay bonuses and fees to the board members back in the under funded pensions and under funded health benefits funds for your workers, and retired workers. How about recommending the elimination golden parachutes, and implementing a pay sysSem based performance with a no performance / no pay clauses in your contracts to the top management. Also where the hell were you when GE financial got overleveraged in Europe? PS. and tell your buddies on wall street to stop looting the company via the 401k’s ponzi scheme.

Yours truly a concerned taxpayer

Matt Franko said...

Great comments Bob.

You know another thing is that this commission is plain depressing. Can you imagine if this is what you had to do for the day? There is no energy in the room. No oxygen. everyone is solemn, serious, its like they want to be miserable in their delusions.

In contrast, I attended the fiscal sustainability counter conference in Wash DC last month and it was the opposite. There were smiles, energy, hope, education, revelation; I'd rather hang out with these types of people anyday! and this in the face of the giant stone wall of the opposition you point out here, (they have really got things stacked in their favor).

Mikes talked about this in the past. They have some deep seated desire for some form of "cleansing" or "purging" via the fiscal policy based on an overall 'self-denial'. Its like they think we are not worthy of a brighter future with higher living standards and developed public infrastructure. I think these people have some sort of psych disorder (or worse).

Rogoff and Reinharts book was published by Princeton University Press. Rogoff is at Harvard and Reinhart is at Maryland. I see Princeton involved in alot of this as a focal point.

L R said...

I just watched this video.

Do you seriously think that scarcity has ceased to exist? I can't imagine anyone who has an advanced degree in economics actually believes that crap... and yet you seem to.

What gives? Has the Keynesian vision been accomplished? Do pieces of paper create wealth?

mike norman said...


Scarcity? You have 20 million people who are capable of doing productive work, sitting around unemployed or underemployed (and that's in this country alone!), industry is running at 70% of capacity, you have 5 million unsold homes, 3 million unsold vehicles, 43 million people without health care when the services are there for them, half the families in America who can't afford to send their kids to college when there is room for them, millions of people throughout the world starving or malnourished when there is food to feed them. Scarcity? What scarcity are you talking about? The problem is not scarcity; the problem is abundance that goes unemployed and unused. All because we focus on some arbitrary number (the money) rather than utilizing the capital and resources that exist. Money is a public monopoly under the current monetary system. Like all monopolies, if it restricts supply, then you have excess capacity, which is what we have right now. That's deflationary and will (has) lead to a broadening of poverty.

mike norman said...

Can you imagine growing up as a kid with Alan Simpson (or any of these stern, dour, authoritarians) as your father? What a horrid childhood. That's why I firmly believe most people shouldn't have kids. The world would be a lot better place. You should have to go through a psychological evaluation first and score highly in the areas of humor, optimism, tolerance and empathy. I wish these guys would just go away and mire in their own misery.

Nicholas66 said...

I ran into your site on a search for Carmen Reinhart's presentation.

I AM LOOKING FOR A TRANSCRIPT. Anyone find one, please link. (The C-SPAN transcript is not accessible as a text block - It seems to consist only of markers that you press to jump forward to a point in the video.)

Or else if you know where I can find the presentation otherwise, please tell. But I would like it with the questions she gets from the political suits, as these were revealing.

As for Prof. Reinhart's talk: Scientifically commendable! Actually accumulating as much data on the questions as she can.

She's just timid about going past the brink of telling the suits what her data actually says. At the point in the latter part where she's asked how runaway debt is overcome, the phrase "fiscal austerity" comes easily to her because that's what the suits want to hear. But she goes on, because there is a second answer.

While I yell "default! default! default!" it takes her a minute of nervous filler before she can finally drag out a word the suits don't want to hear - really aren't equipped to hear: restructuring. Which she finally defines, correctly, as a form of default.

Her empirical data clearly suggest that after banking crises, governments go more heavily into debt because bankster and private debts pass into public debts, and that this is what happened in our own case.

This should be a direct challenge to the idea that the banksters then retain command and get to enforce (through the political suits) fiscal austerity as though the public debt was solely to blame, or evidence of some kind of moral failing. But she doesn't say it to the suits, she may not dare to think it.

To her credit, she remains a scientist - I was so charmed to see her say that she has a limited number of cases of willed sustained countercyclical spending not related to war, so she can't reach a conclusion. She's saying that to the suits, most of whom are willing to use the slightest apocrypha and anecdotes as the evidentiary basis for conclusions that were predetermined by their ideology.

As a member in a scholarly community, she's trapped by the language, and perhaps she wants to keep her "credibility," a word sadly that is confused with conformity to hegemonic opinion. At the very end she uses one of the doublethink words of capitalist economics: "financial repression." Which means, when the government starts setting stable interest rates and directs how banks give out credit. Common in the 1950s and 1960s, periods of stability and growth in the capitalist world, prior to the crises and the neoliberal reactions. So when credit is directed by a public entity that may (or may not) make rational decisions, rather than the riotous foolishness of the unregulated market - when the banks are made to follow rules - this should be called directed, rational investment, but since the banksters make the language, it's "financial repression." Oh, horrors!

Matt Franko said...

I think she paints the history with too broad a brush. She treats all govt debt of the past times as the same. While ignoring facts such as whether the govt debt was denominated in a foreign currency, or whether the govt operated a convertable currency regime. These two factors (which are quite different for the current US arrangements vs much of the history she presents) are very important conditional aspects that she ignores/overlooks. (both she and co-author Rogoff).

So I dont think I have as much professional respect for her work here as you seem to Im afraid.

WRT her and Rogoffs book, I wish we could find out how Princeton University Press came to publish (via a grant from whom?) this work by Professors from Harvard and U of MD.

Matt Franko said...

You know if you think about it, she and Rogoff focused on this 90% of GDP level where they push the panic button for govt deficit levels; but all of their historic examples are where you had external sources of funding due to either convertability or debt denominated in a foreign currency.

So what they really found was the level (90% of GDP) to which external funding would go before cutting them off. So any nation that would set up their system like that could expect to push it to the 90% level before they would have to shut it down.

Thanks Reinhart & Rogoff, you have stumbled upon the funding constraint of scoundrel nations!

mike norman said...


That's right. These Harvard educated "geniuses" failed to see that distinction.

Matt Franko said...

I picked up the fact that they ignored the distinction between soverign issuers vs external funders from other MMT blogs for sure.

but their 90% threshold may be of interest if you used it for forex trading. ie, if you had a govt that had foriegn denominated debt, or external funding, and was at the 90% historic doomsday threshold they (R and R) have come up with, maybe you really short it at that point.

I may have to pick up their book afterall (once it sells for below $10 used on amazon of course!)

mike norman said...


Yes, good point. I also like following changes in monetary policy. Did you see that Canada raised rates today. Loonie rallied, then fell. Buy it! (Short USD/CAD)

mike norman said...


Check out the USD/CAD today (6/2). Yesterday I said to short it based on Bank of Canada's shift in monetary policy. It's down hard. This is what we talked about in Macro Class.

Nicholas65 said...

Interesting comments...

I hope anyone's still reading, it's June 15!

I finally made my own transcript of Reinhart's remarks, and have published it at the following link, with the charts included, and annotated with my own commentary.

That is on page 33 of a discussion board thread that archives hundreds of really interesting articles and comments dating back to 2008. Please have a look if you're interested.