Monday, July 18, 2016

Credit as percentage of economy growing in US and Europe

I'm in support of dismantling of the whole EU, and having individual countries, but I have to add to the problem of the currency the following: the Europeans and the Japanese and also the U.S., they always talk about the reforms and so forth and so on.

How do you go about the market-based reform, if the market was reforming countries? The worst policy is, essentially, zero interest rates, because at zero interest rates, governments can borrow money without any cost, for a while. In other words, the U.S. government debt has grown, from $4 trillion in 1994, to now over $19 trillion, but the interest expense is down because the level of interest rates has collapsed. The same in Europe - if you look at the debt profile of Europe... 

Also, we, economists, we distinguish, I mean, at least I do, between "productive" debt and "unproductive" debt. The "productive" debt is you and I borrow money and you would build a factory, buy the machinery and we produce something, and then the cash flow from this business will sustain the interest payments and the repayment of the debt.  

Unproductive credit, is, basically, government credit - you lend money to the government, and the government will then give it away to people - you know, the redistribution of wealth - that is a very unproductive credit. In Europe, and in the U.S., government credit as the percentage of the economy has grown enormously over the last 10 - 20 years, enormously.