The federal deficit may soon cause a “collapse” of the dollar, Stanford University economics professor Scott S. Powell writes. In an opinion piece in The New York Post, Powell notes that the ratings agency Fitch just cut Portugals bond rating to AA negative — a clear sign that the insolvency crisis that began in Greece is far from over. “And dont think its merely a problem for the European Union. In fact, a debt-driven collapse of the dollar may be closer than most Americans realize,” he writes. Before the government bank bailouts, gross federal debt was 70 percent of gross domestic product GDP. “Its now estimated at about 90 percent of GDP. Add in the $1.6 trillion debt liability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and were already at that 100 percent debt-to-GDP tipping point,” writes Powell. “No, the United States isnt Greece: For a host of reasons, we can probably get away with higher debt. But our problem is about to grow worse.”Right now, low interest rates make federal borrowing seem cheaper than it actually is — because those interest rates wont stay at zero forever.“And when rates head back to normal, Uncle Sams borrowing costs could easily double. We spend 11 percent of the current budget — $382 billion — on debt service; that could rise two- or three-fold to more than $800 billion, warns the CBO,” says Powell. Adding to the pressure on the dollar — inflation related to new job creation once the economy really starts to expand, reports CNNMoney.© Moneynews. All rights reserved.
Category Archives: Deflation
A very popular doctrine maintains that progressive lowering of the monetary unit’s purchasing power played a decisive role in historical evolution. It is asserted that mankind would not have reached its present state of well-being if the supply of money had not increased to a greater extent than the demand for money. The resulting fall in purchasing power, it is said, was a necessary condition of economic progress. The intensification of the division of labor and the continuous growth of capital accumulation, which have centupled the productivity of labor, could ensue only in a world of progressive price rises. Inflation creates prosperity and wealth; deflation distress and economic decay. A survey of political literature and of the ideas that guided for centuries the monetary and credit policies of the nations reveals that this opinion is almost generally accepted. In spite of all warnings on the part of economists it is still today the core of the layman’s economic philosophy. It is no less the essence of the teachings of Lord Keynes and his disciples in both hemispheres.
The popularity of inflationism is in great part due to deep-rooted hatred of creditors. Inflation is considered just because it favors debtors at the expense of creditors. However, the inflationist view of history which we have to deal with in this section is only loosely related to this anticreditor argument. Its assertion that “expansionism” is the driving force of economic progress and that “restrictionism” is the worst of all evils is mainly based on other arguments.
It is obvious that the problems raised by the inflationist doctrine cannot be solved by a recourse to the teachings of historical experience. It is beyond doubt that the history of prices shows, by and large, a continuous, although sometimes for short periods interrupted, upward trend. It is of course impossible to establish this fact otherwise than by historical understanding. Catallactic precision cannot be applied to historical problems. The endeavors of some historians and statisticians to trace back the changes in the purchasing power of the precious metals for centuries, and to measure them, are futile. It has been shown already that all attempts to measure economic magnitudes are based on entirely fallacious assumptions and display ignorance of the fundamental principles both of economics and of history. But what history by means of its specific methods can tell us in this field is enough to justify the assertion that the purchasing power of money has for centuries shown a tendency to fall. With regard to this point all people agree.
Read the rest here: The Inflationist View of History – Ludwig von Mises – Mises Institute.