Technical Default Options – US Government Shutdown Analysis (Part2)

Seal of the United States Department of the Tr...
Seal of the United States Department of the Treasury (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The real challenge and issue:

The US Debt default that is looming ever larger with each passing day that the US Congress, Senate and White House seem to treat as a brinkmanship fatigue challenge will have a specific default structure or process attached to it, that the rest of the world needs to get to grips with very quickly.

Breakdown of political party representation in...
Breakdown of political party representation in the United States Senate during the 112th Congress. Blue: Democrat Red: Republican Light Blue: Independent (caucused with Democrats) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What are the consequences:

Because, if Americans are willing to engage in quasi-negotiations with each other on this acrimonious level; then world beware, they will treat you with even more disdain and petulance than they have been treating each other.

And yet, no Creditor Nation of the USA seem in the least bit prepared for the hard bargaining the USA Treasury officials will engage in when the technical default moves into a more serious phase.

This is commercial war on a scale we have not experienced for quite some time.

And the most disparaging part of this process or potential risk is that no commentator has yet stood up and called time on this challenge or at the very least attempted to pull the veil from the threat and fall-out the rest of the world will experience.

The western front of the United States Capitol...
The western front of the United States Capitol. The Capitol serves as the seat of government for the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located in Washington, D.C., on top of Capitol Hill at the east end of the National Mall. The building is marked by its central dome above a rotunda and two wings. It is an exemplar of the Neoclassical architecture style. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What next?

Of course 17 October 2013 is a technical default breach days only; because as most business people who experienced bankruptcy will attest to is the fact that you can continue to trade (on the goodwill of your creditors) beyond the point of being solvent, so long as those creditors continue to good-naturedly extend some further credit or payment terms to you.

theMarketSoul ©2013


Where will all the new money come from?


Wipe our Debt
Wipe our Debt (Photo credit: Images_of_Money)

We discovered it unpublished in our web archive today and as the theme is still very relevant today, we decided to publish it:

Today’s brief analysis of US Treasury Yield curves and the Debt profiles of both the USA and Italy highlights the enduring question in the title of this post.

The first graphic highlights one important issue.  We chose 2 August 2011 versus 17 February 2012 as key dates to compare the US Treasury Yield curve.  If we cast our minds back to 2 August 2012 two key facts emerge:

  1. This was the D-Day of the US Debt Ceiling vote
  2. The US still had a Triple A credit rating


The key take-away from the Yield Curve comparison is that even with a ratings downgrade, the US is actually able to borrow new capital at a lower rate of interest 6 months on.

However, to pour a bit of realism into the analysis, we highlight two interesting Debt profile graphics below.


The first one is the USA Treasury Maturity curve (admittedly 6 months out of date), highlighting when the current debt will need to be redeemed or rolled over.  The second is the Italian Bond Maturity curve.  You will notice just how similar the USA and Italy Debt Maturity profiles are.


From this comparison, the critical question currently for us is:

Where will all the new money come from to roll over the debt maturing during the next 3 – 12 months?  QE is one option, but investors still need to be convinced that their capital is safe and relatively risk-free.  It is the Risk-free equation (or investor risk appetites) that needs to be explored in more detail.

theMarketSoul ©2012

PS. Off course QE was the option and still remains so, for the moment…

The trouble with Innovation – Part 1

Today we address one of the critical and key factors of production, it is a factor we have severely neglected addressing earlier in this forum.  It is about Innovation.


Speaking to a few delegates and attendees at CeBit 2010 we found that most people view Innovation as a key driver in advancement.  Yet we have a big problem with innovation in Europe.

Our model is broken!

If we investigate some of the underlying factors ‘driving’ this problem, we would point the finger at the social experiments we embarked on over the last two centuries in Europe.  The simple fact is that we just did not get on with each other.  There are two ways of accumulating wealth very quickly, one of them being to steal it and the other is to trade activity to get it.  However, in both choices you side require a lot of the other factors of production, namely land and capital and labour.

If neither of these two options are open to you then you need to follow the slow road of progress.  But here is where Innovation comes to the fore as an enabler.

The USA is a far better incubator and fertile soil for entrepreneurial and innovative development.

An orthographic projection of the world, highl...
Image via Wikipedia

In Europe we lack the cohesion of two factors that drove American innovation:

(1)  A common language (English) and

(2) a common goal (making money).

Irrespective of the language issue, we treat ‘raw’ capitalism with disdain and suspicion in Europe, whereas the States embraces this  with open gusto, so much so that the current administration is frustrating its efforts to burst forth once more as a power house of  growth.

Now we are not advocating abandoning regulation per se, what we would ideally like to see is innovation in the Regulatory space too, where regulation is thought through on an end to end basis, with due consideration for the law of unintended consequences that knee jerk regulation sets in motion.

So the hope in Europe now is this:  We have been building the platform for collaboration for a while now, with the EEC, EC and EU experiments and we now have continuity at the top with an appointed President and Foreign Secretary.

Lets bury the hatchet and utilise the platform of collaboration in order to launch and harness the power of ‘Innovation Incubation’, thereby eliminating the wasted effort and duplication of processes currently taking place and shaping our European hinterland.

Let’s explore these ideas further in future posts.

theMarketSoul ©2010