Disclaimer. After nearly 40 years managing money for some of the largest life offices and investment managers in the world, I think I have something to offer. But I can't by law give you advice, and I do make mistakes. Remember: the unexpected sometimes happens. Oddly enough, the expected does too, but all too often it takes longer than you thought it would, or on the other hand happens more quickly than you expected. The Goddess of Markets punishes (eventually) greed, folly, laziness and arrogance. No matter how many years you've served Her. Take care. Be humble. And don't blame me.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The Global Public Debt Problem
This chart sums it up.
So should all the big deficit/big debt countries be slashing spending and upping taxes? No. Because that will just worsen the downturn and in turn increase the deficits and the debt. So how do you square this circle? You freeze spending, not cut it, and you increase taxes (modestly) in future years. You can freeze spending by freezing defence spending, and removing or reducing indexation of pensions and public sector salaries. While you're at it, you might also do some fundamental reforms, for example by introducing a gradual increase in the old age pension qualifying age. Then you make sure monetary policy is very accomodative, and if inflation drifts up a little you pretend you haven't noticed.
Don't hold your breath.
Posted by Nikolaos at 12:58 PM