The Great Debate

The route to a real budget deal

February 25, 2013

There are glimmers of light in our battle to put America’s finances in order. New hope for a long-term budget deal has come in the form of two ideas, both from outside Congress, that many of our elected officials have embraced:“No Budget, No Pay” and “No Deal, No Break.”

Time for a serious deficit plan

February 5, 2013

 President Barack Obama pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. But because he focused on political gimmicks, rather than real reform, we’ve seen trillion-dollar deficits and nearly $6 trillion added to the debt instead. Based on what we heard from the president at a news conference Tuesday, his unserious attitude is likely to continue.

El-Erian on the S&P’s negative outlook for US debt

April 18, 2011

JEN ROGERS, REUTERS INSIDER: S&P sending a shock through the markets after the credit rating agency cut its long term outlook for the US to negative from stable saying it believes there’s a risk US policymakers may not reach an agreement on how to address the country’s long term fiscal pressures. PIMCO has also had serious concerns about the US fiscal outlook, shifting to a short position in US government-related debt in March. PIMCO’s CEO Mohamed El-Erian joins us now. So Mohamed, can you help us make sense of the bond market reaction to this news. Treasuries by and large now higher on the day; equities seem to be the one’s taking it on the chin. What do you make of this?

from James Saft:

Private equity wins, U.S. creditors lose

December 7, 2010

James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The move to reform taxation of billions of dollars in so-called carried interest paid to hedge fund and private equity executives is dead and prominent among the mourners should be investors in U.S. debt.

Government debt’s Minsky-ish moment

May 13, 2010

If government debt is the new subprime, it may just turn out that Greece is a Florida condo while the United States is a single-family house in a nice mid-Western suburb, the kind of place that fell 15 rather than 50 percent.

Global imbalances: out with a bang?

September 22, 2009

jamessaft1.jpg(James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

The simplest way to end the imbalances in the world’s economy is also sadly perhaps the most likely: for the Chinese to stop buying U.S. debt.