Peak Debt is in essence the point at which a sovereign nation reaches its maximum indebtedness and cannot afford to service the debt anymore, thus prompting a reduction in the debt (principal).
So, Europe proved yesterday with the uplift of the EFSF (European Financial Stability Fund) from its current base of €440bn to €1tr (boosting it by 127%), that it certainly has nowhere nearly reached European Peak Debt.
Well, as long as the Capital Markets buy this solution, can make a profit and move on to the next wave of Debt delusion, who are we mere citizens and commentators to criticise the massive instability Big Government and a BIGGER EU causes?
We argued back in 2009 that you cannot solve a “debt crisis with more debt” and this sentiment still rings true today. So when will they ever learn?
Yours forever indebted,
Ever since the Great Depression and JMK’s ‘The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936)‘, have we had more intense government interference and hence taxation in most advanced economies. Thank you JMK.
But seriously, how much is too much? There must be value in controlling fiscal policy, monetary policy and (social) employment policy, but is this being done in an integrated fashion and with ‘value maximising’ principles?
We at theMarketSoul Limited believe this not to be the case.
We prefer to take a leaf out of Joseph Schumpeter’s book and view the economic cycle as either short (1 – 2 years), medium (around a decade) and long-term (many decades).
The trouble with any form of economic analysis is that taking any temperature readings during any specific cycle is just that – A temperature reading. Meaningless without being set in its proper context. We generally have a major problem in identifying where we are in any given long-term cycle.
It is only with hindsight and the historical perspective that we can truly determine where we were and where we thought we were heading.
It is our belief that we are (still) in the midst of a major paradigm shift, triggered by the innovation wave of the ICT revolution over the last 20 years.
We still have not fully grasped the consequences and full extent of this ‘drift’ to a new equilibrium.
As one of the unintended consequences we are currently facing up to a sovereign Debt balloon and are desperately trying to determine when we will encounter ‘Peak Debt’.
One of the popular libertarian ideals is to cut government’s stake as a percentage of total output of GDP. We endorse this view, but it appears that at the end of the day (because we have forgotten what Laissez faire looks like); we’ll still need someone to keep the lights on, adjust the interest rates and collect our taxes. All this in the name of job creation…
For today’s brief analysis of the US Treasuries (T-Bill) Yield rates, we constructed the chart and table below utilising data from the US Treasury official site.
We took a point in time being mid August for 5 consecutive years from 2006 through to 2011 and compared the 1-month through to 30 Year T-Bill Yield Curves.
As can be seen, the slope of the curves from 2006 – 2011 on all T-Bills is downward from left to right.
Some analysts view this as an erosion in confidence over this specific time period, with the lower yields indicating lower confidence in the US economic situation. This feels a bit counter intuitive, when we compare it to our article The US Treasury Yield Curves – Are the markets really that bothered? However, the argument is that there is a ‘flight to safe-haven / alternative asset classes’.
However, it might only partly explain the Standard & Poor’s position.
In tomorrow’s chart, we will expand the time horizon we are looking at to 10 years and choose the quarter ends to see if a different picture and analysis emerges for 1 Year and 10Year US T-Bills.
theMarketSoul © 2011