Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Debt that cannot be repaid, will not be repaid

At some point in the VERY near future, there simply must be a global debt restructuring.  Not long ago, Jonathan Schwarz over at Tiny Revolution did a great piece on the nature of debt.  Highlights include:
So, the world's elites have decided to focus all their efforts on generating another Great Depression. Their cunning plan is to destroy their countries in order to save them:
As Europe’s major economies focus on belt-tightening, they are following the path of Ireland. But the once thriving nation is struggling, with no sign of a rapid turnaround in sight.
Nearly two years ago, an economic collapse forced Ireland to cut public spending and raise taxes, the type of austerity measures that financial markets are now pressing on most advanced industrial nations...
Rather than being rewarded for its actions, though, Ireland is being penalized. Its downturn has certainly been sharper than if the government had spent more to keep people working. Lacking stimulus money, the Irish economy shrank 7.1 percent last year and remains in recession...
[David Stronge] moved to reinvent himself, returning to school with thousands of other Irish, in hopes that a higher degree would lead to better prospects. Mr. Stronge plans to seek alternative energy jobs in Britain once he gets his master’s degree in August.
"Ireland isn’t going to spend on infrastructure probably for another 10 to 15 years," he said. "So you have to go to where the opportunities are."
At the D Café, a sandwich shop facing a stretch of empty buildings in Dublin’s Docklands enclave, even that dream seems impossible. “If you’re self-employed and lose your job, you’re entitled to nothing, not even the dole,” said Debbie, the owner, who would only give her first name.
She transformed her convenience store into a deli when Liam Carroll, a property baron, threw up the nearby developments. But the tenants never came, and her business evaporated.
"It’s so destroying," she said, gazing out the window. "We all live day by day, and we don’t know when it will ever pick up."
Of course, much of the world's elite understand exactly what they're doing: i.e., use the economic catastrophe they themselves created as a pretext to kill the welfare state they've despised for 65 years. Nonetheless, a significant chunk of them actually believe they're doing the right thing for everyone.
And then Schwarz goes on to discuss the reality of unsustainable debt.
National debts are treated today as if they were unforgiving gods with the power to control, alter and if necessary destroy a country. This financial trap is usually presented as if it were peculiar to our time, as well as being a profound comment on the profligate habits of the population. The reality may be less disturbing.
1. The building up of unsustainable debt loads is a commonplace in history. There are several standard means of resolving the problem: execute the lenders, exile them, default outright or simply renegotiate to achieve partial default and low interest rates.
2. There is no example of a nation become rich by paying its debts.

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