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Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Debt’

Is our debt to China a national security risk?

May 10, 2011 Comments off

salon

AP/Jacquelyn Martin
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meets with China’s Vice Premier Wang Qishan, center, during the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue meetings, Monday, May 9, 2011

China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt (with estimated holdings of $1.16 trillion) — and, according to a newly proposed U.S. military spending bill, this constitutes a national security concern for America.

The 2012 Defense Authorization Bill proposed Monday by Rep. Howard McKeon, the California Republican who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, includes a section on China. Why would China feature in a 2012 military budget? The answer is leverage. As the AFP noted, the question the bill poses is whether “Beijing could draw a military advantage from its status as a major U.S. creditor.”

There is some precedent for this concern. In early 2010, as Reuters reported, senior Chinese military officials urged that China sell some U.S. government bonds as a punishment of sorts for Washington having sold arms to Taiwan (although the threat was not Read more…

US, China to hold economy meeting in May

April 26, 2011 Comments off

AFP

WASHINGTON — Top officials from the United States and China will meet in Washington early next month, the Treasury Department said Monday, as tensions between the two economic superpowers simmer.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will host Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo, amid continued tensions over debt, exports and the value of China’s currency.

The Treasury Department has delayed the publication of a report that could lead to sanctions against Beijing until after the meeting, despite US lawmakers complaining that China is still manipulating its currency for trade advantage.

The semi-annual report, which was due on April 15, has become a focal point for critics who accuse Beijing of unfairly keeping the yuan weak against the dollar to boost Chinese exports.

The US government said it would wait until a meeting of the Group of 20 finance chiefs, the IMF’s annual spring Read more…

Japan catastrophe could make U.S. debt costlier

March 15, 2011 Comments off

reuters.com

The U.S. Treasury market could feel financial aftershocks from Japan’s tragic U.S. Treasury. Offloading some of the Asian giant’s $1 trillion of foreign reserves could raise cash to help rebuild after Friday’s disaster. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is due to end its Treasury bond-buying program in June. If Japan, the second-biggest foreign holder, starts selling that’s another support gone — with the potential to make borrowing more expensive for the U.S. government.

It’s too early to estimate the cost the Japanese government and private sectors will have to shoulder for reconstruction efforts. But bond investors can’t any longer take for granted that Japan will leave its ample reserves intact as it has, broadly speaking, for the past several years. For the government, cashing in could be more palatable than yet more borrowing. Japan’s debt already amounted to more than 200 percent of Read more…

Record U.S. deficit projected this year

January 27, 2011 Comments off

The still-fragile economy and fresh tax cuts approved by Congress last month will drive the federal deficit to nearly $1.5 trillion this year, the biggest budget gap in U.S. history, congressional budget analysts said Wednesday.

The grim forecast from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office came hours after President Obama called in his State of the Union address for Republicans and Democrats to work together to rein in record deficits that are pushing the national debt into uncharted territory. At $1.5 trillion, the deficit would equal 9.8 percent of the economy, the CBO said, making it one of the largest by that measure since the end of World War II.

Lawmakers scrambled on Wednesday to respond to the darkening budget picture, with Republicans pressing their call for sharp and immediate cuts in domestic spending. Twenty-one Senate Republicans, meanwhile, unveiled a plan to amend the Constitution to require balanced budgets, a top priority of the tea party movement.

Democrats resisted both initiatives, arguing that amending the Constitution, a lengthy process that requires a vote in all 50 state legislatures, would do little to address the current problem. They dismissed as “drastic” a proposal by House Republicans to slash $100 billion from the current budget, arguing that cuts of that magnitude would endanger a million jobs on public- and private-sector payrolls at a time when the unemployment rate already stands at 9.4 percent.

“We have to cut government, but Republicans are going at this with meat ax when what is needed is a Read more…

12 Economic Collapse Scenarios That We Could Potentially See In 2011

January 21, 2011 Comments off



What could cause an economic collapse in 2011? Well, unfortunately there are quite a few “nightmare scenarios” that could plunge the entire globe into another massive financial crisis.  The United States, Japan and most of the nations in Europe are absolutely drowning in debt.  The Federal Reserve continues to play reckless games with the U.S. dollar.  The price of oil is skyrocketing and the global price of food just hit a new record high.  Food riots are already breaking out all over the world.  Meanwhile, the rampant fraud and corruption going on in world financial markets is starting to be exposed and the whole house of cards could come crashing down at any time.  Most Americans have no idea that a horrific economic collapse could happen at literally any time.  There is no way that all of this debt and all of this financial corruption is sustainable.  At some point we are going to reach a moment of “total system failure”.

So will it be soon?  Let’s hope not.  Let’s certainly hope that it does not happen in 2011.  Many of us need more time to prepare.  Most of our families and friends need more time to prepare.  Once this thing implodes there isn’t going to be an opportunity to have a “do over”.  We simply will not be able to put the toothpaste back into the tube again.

So we had all better be getting prepared for hard times.  The following are 12 economic collapse scenarios that we could potentially see in 2011….

#1 U.S. debt could become a massive crisis at any moment.  China is saying all of the right things at the moment, but many analysts are openly worried about what could happen if China suddenly decides to start dumping all of the U.S. debt that they have accumulated.  Right now about the only thing keeping U.S. government finances going is the ability to borrow gigantic amounts of money at extremely low interest rates.  If anything upsets that paradigm, it could potentially have enormous consequences for the entire world financial Read more…

What is Plan B if China dumps its U.S. debt?

January 20, 2011 Comments off

By Emily Flitter

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When borrowing money it’s always good to have a Plan B in case a big creditor pulls the plug. That should be true whether the sum is a few thousand dollars or about a trillion, the size of the United States government’s debt to China.

With Chinese President Hu Jintao due to arrive in Washington on Tuesday, it is worth asking about U.S. officials’ Plan B just in case one day relations take a surprise turn for the worse and Beijing dumps its holdings of U.S. treasuries.

China is officially the United States’ biggest foreign creditor, with roughly $900 billion in Treasury holdings — or over $1 trillion with Hong Kong’s holdings included.

That means it could do severe damage to U.S. debt markets if it suddenly started selling large amounts.

Most experts say if there were signs of this happening, the U.S. government would go for a combination of persuading Americans to buy more U.S. debt, the same way they did in World War II, and finding friendly foreign governments to make additional purchases.

Banks could be called on to increase their holdings of treasuries, and as a last resort, the Federal Reserve could also be called on to fill the gap, though this could risk turning any dollar weakness into a slump. Read more…