Jul 14, 2009 8:52 pm


Mortimer Zuckerman is right. The Economy is Even Worse Than You Think but not only because of the terrible unemployment and underemployment numbers. It is worse because, ultimately, only private investment can revive the productive economy. Unfortunately, the insecurity and the unpredictability created by Congress and the Obama administration makes it impossible for any level headed private investor to plan with any degree of accuracy. So, private investors buy treasuries and wait. This unfortunate phenomenon is the reason treasury has so little difficulty raising money. It has no competition from the private sector:

Some economists said the growing deficit hasn't had much impact on interest rates so far, despite a brief spike a few weeks ago. In part, that is because private-sector borrowing remains weak. . . .

"The private-sector retrenchment is allowing the Treasury to raise a lot of funds at very low interest rates," said Jan Hatzius, chief U.S. economist for Goldman Sachs & Co."There's a lot of demand" for federal debt.

Believe it or not, the treasury does not even have to print money to pay for it's unprecedented spending spree:

By the way, this data supports Brad Setser’s theory that the fall in private borrowing is more than offsetting the rise in government borrowing and therefore, at least for the time being, financing the deficit isn’t a problem.

In other words, we are doomed to get deeper and deeper in debt while much needed growth remains a mirage. I have nothing against building bridges but it will not pay for the expenses of our ever expanding social safety net. For that we have to create an atmosphere in which private enterprise will feel secure enough to start laying golden eggs yet again.

In other words, while we are debating the various ways to split the pie, it is becoming a smaller and smaller pie! Need I add more?!

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