Monday, 17 November 2008

Will you look at the size of the pump!

If you've had trouble keeping up with all the 'stimuli' that the Fed and the US Government has been applying to the US economy -- that is, spraying around dollar bills they've either printed, taxed or borrowed -- then you're not the only one.  

So thank goodness someone is keeping up -- and since we'll all be picking up the tab for the largesse eventually, I thought you'd like to know what the total bill is so far: it's US$5 trillion.

That's US$5,000,000,000,000! (I figured you'd like to see all those zeroes you'll be paying for.)

And that's without even making a start on buying up all those "toxic assets" that was apparently so urgent just a few weeks ago.  Apparently, notes Robert Murphy,
 It didn't occur to me that Paulson might blow through the whole $700 billion on other Super Highly Important Things before getting around to spending a cent on what (he told us) was necessary to avert a worldwide financial collapse.
Good to know, isn't it, that the 'International Rescue' is in such good, not to say profligate hands.


  1. Never mind the whopping deficit last month of $250bln....the debt mountain is collapsing and trying to shore it up with more debt just isn't going to work.

    At some point those US treasuries are going to look like wallpaper accessories....and then the Japs will be saying sayonara.

  2. Raf, do you think the Saudis will follow suit?

  3. Ann,

    I don't know. They are more hooked into the US with oil and the possibility of commodity swaps.

    But it's interesting the Japs are talking up the $ as the world's reserve currency. Imagine a scenario where the US simply cancels its sovereign debt. Can't pay, won't pay.

    It's like someone eating at your restaurant and then writing you a rubber cheque.

    The food is gone. What can you do?

    The imbalance has repurcussions for the surplus countries as well as the deficits.

    It's becoming a game of chicken as well as a race to the bottom.

    Interest rates are heading to zero and our cash in the bank looks more precarious by the day.

    But land is overpriced. What can you do except buy a big mattress :-)

  4. Raf

    How about borrowing as much as you can get? Max out those credit cards. Write those cheques. Then when the time comes, walk away!


  5. LGM, with the twin safety nets of welfare and voluntary bankruptcy that so many bludgers care not a toss about, I think you've pointed out one of the most popular career options of modern NZ society.

  6. LGM,

    I wouldn't recommend it but it's possible that many debts will simply be written off.

    Mind you it's much harder to get credit now which is half the problem.


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