Submitted by Jesse of Le Café Américain
“We are out of money.” Barack Obama May 23, 2009
Obama openly says what anyone with common sense has known for quite some time: the US is broke, and will not be able to honor in full its financial and fiduciary obligations.
The question remains how the US restructures that debt and how big a haircut the debt holders will take as a part of it.
20%? 30%? More like upwards of 50% at least in real terms.
And who are these debt holders?
Anyone who has Treasury debt obligations and financial assets, from the Long Bond to the US Dollar, and financial assets guaranteed by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury.
Technically the debt will be serviced and the interest paid according to the terms of the agreements, with devalued US dollars.
The process will continue until the debt is restructured and the dollar is replaced with a new dollar. This may take some years.
Oh, don’t worry too much. There will be spin and qualifications piled upon this admission, most likely before the markets open in Asia on Monday. But this trial balloon of admission is how you start breaking the bad news to people unwilling and ill prepared to receive it.
But regardless of what is said, we are now in the endgame for a credit bubble of historic proportion.
‘WE’RE OUT OF MONEY’
Sat May 23 2009 10:32:18 ET
In a sobering holiday interview with C-SPAN, President Obama boldly told Americans: “We are out of money.”
C-SPAN host Steve Scully broke from a meek Washington press corps with probing questions for the new president.
SCULLY: You know the numbers, $1.7 trillion debt, a national deficit of $11 trillion. At what point do we run out of money?
OBAMA: Well, we are out of money now. We are operating in deep deficits, not caused by any decisions we’ve made on health care so far. This is a consequence of the crisis that we’ve seen and in fact our failure to make some good decisions on health care over the last several decades.
So we’ve got a short-term problem, which is we had to spend a lot of money to salvage our financial system, we had to deal with the auto companies, a huge recession which drains tax revenue at the same time it’s putting more pressure on governments to provide unemployment insurance or make sure that food stamps are available for people who have been laid off.
So we have a short-term problem and we also have a long-term problem. The short-term problem is dwarfed by the long-term problem. And the long-term problem is Medicaid and Medicare. If we don’t reduce long-term health care inflation substantially, we can’t get control of the deficit.
So, one option is just to do nothing. We say, well, it’s too expensive for us to make some short-term investments in health care. We can’t afford it. We’ve got this big deficit. Let’s just keep the health care system that we’ve got now.
Along that trajectory, we will see health care cost as an overall share of our federal spending grow and grow and grow and grow until essentially it consumes everything…