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Debt watch

 
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raspberry-blower



Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 1625

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:21 pm    Post subject: Debt watch Reply with quote

This thread is for everything related to the unsustainable and unrepayable levels of debt today - whether it is Sovereign, Corporate or Household.
Here's a good primer:

Grant Williams: Crazy - A Story of Debt
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raspberry-blower



Joined: 14 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's those infamous words "Diminishing Returns" again this time it is being applied to debt.

Henry Dent: We've Reached the Zero Point of Debt Creation

Quote:
Ever since that disruption, the trends have pointed back down – making a beeline toward that zero point again.

Back in 2002, Swiss investor and market prognosticator Marc Faber published a similar chart. His findings showed the zero point for debt creation would occur around 2015. With updated data, we now see that the zero point will hit around the beginning of 2017.

In other words – right about NOW!

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raspberry-blower



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More on debt - this time on how it could derail Trump's economic plans:

David Stockman wrote:
As of the Daily Treasury Statement for February 17, for example, the public debt was $19.895 trillion compared to $18.99 trillion on the same date a year ago. When you factor in a slight gain in the Treasury’s cash balance to $262 billion, the math speaks for itself.


During the past year Uncle Sam’s “cash burn rate” was nearly $75 billion per month. That means Washington actually consumed $885 billion of cash during the last 365 days — or far more than implied by the official budget deficit of $587 billion for the fiscal year just ended (FY 2016).

It also means that once the tax collection season ends in April, it will be Katie-bar-the-door time on the debt ceiling front. When the latter becomes frozen into place on March 15 after the insidious Boehner-Obama debt ceiling “holiday” expires, there will not be enough cash to last the summer — even if the Treasury resorts to the usual gimmicks, such as temporarily divesting the trust funds.

So let this part be crystal clear.

What is coming down the track is the mother of all debt ceiling showdowns and the virtual certainty of government shutdowns and deferred payments to states, contractors and even some transfer payment beneficiaries


David Stockman: The Fiscal Horror Show Soon Playing in Washington

Expect lots of late night shenanigans and last minute deal bargaining and the sound of a steel toe capped boot kicking a can further down the road...
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raspberry-blower



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A real tour de force from Michael Hudson on ancient civilisations and debt cancellations:

On the bible and Jesus Christ:

Michael Hudson wrote:
Now most of the Biblical translations miss this point because, one they were translated in the 17th and 16th century, people didn’t know cuneiform, they had no idea what these words meant and what the background of the Jubilee year was. And maybe 50 years ago, there was almost a universal idea that the Jubilee year was something idealistic, utopian, and could never actually be applied in practice, but we know that in Babylonia, Sumer, Near Eastern regions, it was applied in practice. Because not only do we have the royal proclamations, we have the lawsuits by debtors saying “This creditor didn’t forgive me the debt,” and the judgments for that. We have each member of Hammurabi’s dynasty after him ending up with this great grandson Ammi-Saduqa had more and more detailed anderarum acts, debt cancellations, to close all the loopholes that creditors tried to resort to.

So what Jesus was referring to was a very tangible fight. And in his time, this was the fight throughout Greece, it was the fight throughout the whole ancient world, the fight to promote debt cancellation. And the Dead Sea Scrolls show this. For instance, Melchizedek 12 is a huge Dead Sea Midrash of all of the Biblical citations of the jubilee year, tying them together. And we now understand that the Dead Sea Scrolls were not a sectarian Essene product, but they were basically the library of the Temple of Jerusalem, that was sent and put in these caves for safe-keeping during the civil wars.

So what Jesus was referring to was a very widespread argument in what was really a class war between creditors and debtors that swept throughout the whole period, including Rome itself. And this has not been clear to most people who think they’re taking a literal version of the Bible. And it’s very funny that the people who call themselves fundamentalist Christians will have dioramas of dinosaurs and human beings all sharing the same landscape, literally. But what they ignore is, if you take the Bible literally, it’s the fight in almost all of the early books of the Old Testament, the Jewish Bible, all about the fight over indebtedness and debt cancellation



On what was happening elsewhere at around the same time:

Michael Hudson wrote:
The debts that were forgiven were personal debts, agrarian debts, and the idea was to liberate the bond servants so that they could be available to perform the corvée labor, which was the main kind of taxation in the Bronze Age, and serve in the army. If you were a debtor and you were a bond servant to a creditor, you wouldn’t be available for corvée labor, you’d be working (for) the creditor, you wouldn’t be available for the army. And you have this very clearly in Sparta in Greece, for instance, by the third century BC, the ranks of the army were depleted because the citizenry had lost its land tenure, and that’s what led kings Aegis and Cleomenes and Agis to push for a debt cancellation to restore the land ownership.

So what we find is something that occurs not only in the Biblical lands, but in Greece, Rome, Egypt, the rest of the Near East. It was universal at that time, and there’s been almost no economic history of this. Either in the Bronze Age, or in Classical Antiquity. And when I began to write this book in the 1980s, it was generally believed that these debt cancellations were simply utopian statements as I said, there was no idea that they were actually enforced. And the idea seemed radical at the time, and now after the five volumes that my group has published through Harvard, now these ideas are generally accepted by Assyriologists and archeologists, but they haven’t spread to the public at large yet, because of cognitive dissonance. People can’t believe that the debts actually were canceled. But this is what revolutions were all about in Greece and Rome for hundreds of years


What caused people to go into debt:

Michael Hudson wrote:
Well that’s the big fallacy. Most debts did not occur from lending money. It’s easier today to figure if you have a debt, you must have borrowed it. But three quarters of the debts in Babylonia, for instance, where we have records because they were on clay, cuneiform records that were baked and have survived, most debts were simply unpaid bills. The debts were unpaid taxes, unpaid debts, unpaid rent, and unpaid obligation for services that had been supplied. There was no initial lending of money, necessarily. Maybe one quarter of the circumstances were that.

So the people who say lenders wouldn’t have lent miss the point that most debts were … it’s like if somebody at the end of the spring doesn’t have enough money to pay the income tax that’s due, nobody’s lent them this money, but the income tax is due. So it’s an obligation that is mounted up in the normal course of life that they’ve fallen into arrears on it. It’s a payment arrears, not the result of a loan, except in some cases.


The whole of the Michael Hudson/Tribes Magazine interview:

Bronze Age Redux - What ancients can teach us about debt
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