The biggest economic threat today is not the interest rate, nor the exchange rates, nor the possible trade war fuelled by Trump: it’s the debt accumulated by countries across the world. This has increased 12% of GDP since the crisis, totalling 225% of global GDP. Starting with China, followed by Europe and ending up with the US, the threat from the current and future debt is terrifying.
Articles by Miguel Navascués
About the Author
The interest on the US 10-year bond has reached 3%, its highest level in 10 years (blue line). There is nothing exceptional about this given that, as we can see in the graphic, expected inflation has also taken off.
It’s been some time since Europe has had a leader with such clear ideas as Emmanuel Macron, but Angela Merkel is not really happy about it. And that’s logical, because she has been calling all the shots. She has the power in Europe and so don’t expect even the slightest concession from her which is anything more than esthetic.
The height of the paradox, or the oxymoron, is that Venezuela has such high inflation that bank notes have become one of the most sought after ítems! Added to this is the fact that Maduro has decided to round up the value of the bank notes, knocking off zeros.
Spain is far from complying on deficit and State debt targets. It’s still surprising that out of a total amount of debt issued equivalent to 137% of GDP, there can be an official debt of 98%, thanks to a cut which, under the EU’s conditions themselves, is fully approved. This growing divergence has been there for years, particularly since the PP entered government in November 2011.
If I haven’t got the wrong end of the stick, Italy plans is to create a parallel currency to the euro, guaranteed by the Italian government, but which I don’t know who will control. A Bank of Italy? The government would issue these BOT, endorse them with the BI, which would give it the money to be shared out amongst the unpaid creditors. It seems a lot like Helicopter Money.
Europe, where everyone is against everbody else. The victory in Italy of the populist Five Star Movement and Lega has shattered into a million pieces the slight possibilities of having a more united Europe, or a more federal one, or whatever you want to call it.
There is a habitual practice on Wall Street of companies buying their own shares to reward shareholders who hold them, and at the same time give a bonus to top executives. The advantage of these share buybacks is that they are not taxed.
After twenty years of similarity between 10-year rates in the US and Germany, for the last six years there has been a growing decoupling of the US rate, reaching a spread of 2%. So what are the macroeconomic differences justifying such behaviour? Germany’s huge savings play a big part.
It’s clear that the prices of physical and financial assets are growing a lot, while debts are increasing strongly. As experience shows, it’s difficult for everything to get back to normal systematically.