ForumsWEPRThe Fiscal Cliff

44 5141
Mickeyryn
offline
Mickeyryn
278 posts
1,870

What do you guys think about the fiscal cliff?

  • 44 Replies
nichodemus
online
nichodemus
14,482 posts
24,880

I don't think that really makes a difference.

goumas13
offline
goumas13
4,776 posts
24,075

A deal has been made. The Senate approved a bipartisan agreement to let income taxes rise for the first time in two decades. The agreement mainly targets taxpayers who earn more than 450000 $ per year, raising their rates for wages and investment profits, while protecting more than 100 million households earning less than 250,000 $ a year from income tax increases scheduled to take effect January first.

nichodemus
online
nichodemus
14,482 posts
24,880

That is good, but it doesn't target the root of the whole problem, one of which is spending beyond their means, an unsettling trend for the past 40 years.

goumas13
offline
goumas13
4,776 posts
24,075

The various US governments usually try to out-grow the deficit, especially the Republicans. The idea is that productivity improvements (and tax cuts) could feasibly generate sufficient economic growth to offset the deficit and debt challenges facing the Economy. Think of it like a Ponzi scheme.
The USA almost always uses expansionary macroeconomic policies, they're simply not big fans of recessionary policies.

nichodemus
online
nichodemus
14,482 posts
24,880

Ha, I don't think so. The animal spirits aren't looking all too well. The US simply cannot compete in key areas of manufactoring after they lost they're comparative advantages. They've not innovated that much in the car, steel industries, they rely on high-tech products, yet there's only so many workers able to be absorbed.

Mickeyryn
offline
Mickeyryn
278 posts
1,870

It appears there wasn't too bad of a "fiscal cliff".
This is still nuts though.

nichodemus
online
nichodemus
14,482 posts
24,880

That's because you haven't actually averted the fiscal cliff? Lol.

goumas13
offline
goumas13
4,776 posts
24,075

That's because you haven't actually averted the fiscal cliff? Lol.

Now the Senate has to find an agreement to avoid hitting the debt ceiling. The fiscal cliff was simply postponed until mid-February, when the country is expected to exhaust the authority to borrow. Considering the fact that the Senate has not passed a budget in almost four years (the last budget passed was April 2009), there is still a possibility of a market-rattling default. This whole thing is not over yet.

Another solution that has been proposed to solve the debt ceiling crisis is minting a platinum trillion dollar coin, because of loophole in minting laws. There is a limit to how much money the U.S. is permitted to circulate in regards to paper money, as well as gold, silver and copper coins. However, under Title 31 of the United States Code, there is no limit to the amount of platinum coinage the U.S. Treasury makes. This way the Government could meet its spending obligations without having to ask Congress for the authority to borrow more money to do so.
wolf1991
offline
wolf1991
3,461 posts
1,955

Another solution that has been proposed to solve the debt ceiling crisis is minting a platinum trillion dollar coin, because of loophole in minting laws. There is a limit to how much money the U.S. is permitted to circulate in regards to paper money, as well as gold, silver and copper coins. However, under Title 31 of the United States Code, there is no limit to the amount of platinum coinage the U.S. Treasury makes. This way the Government could meet its spending obligations without having to ask Congress for the authority to borrow more money to do so.


Wouldn't this start a precedent though? And possibly lead to crazy inflation rates? I'm of course running this under the assumption this loophole is taken advantage of every time a situation like this were to arise.
nichodemus
online
nichodemus
14,482 posts
24,880

That's because you haven't actually averted the fiscal cliff? Lol.


Wrong word. Solved. Not averted.

Wouldn't this start a precedent though? And possibly lead to crazy inflation rates? I'm of course running this under the assumption this loophole is taken advantage of every time a situation like this were to arise.


It's a joke. The US doesn't have a trillion dollars of platinum.

At least, i hope it's a joke.
goumas13
offline
goumas13
4,776 posts
24,075

Wouldn't this start a precedent though? And possibly lead to crazy inflation rates? I'm of course running this under the assumption this loophole is taken advantage of every time a situation like this were to arise.

The Treasury would mint this coin and then deposit it into its bank account at the Federal Reserve. Now because this coin is legal tender, the Fed would have no choice but to accept it. It would work pretty much like a regular bank deposit, the Treasury's bank account would increase by one trillion dollars, real money, which then the Fed would put into circulation by buying Federal debt.
So, yes, this loophole would render the debt ceiling meaningless, because the government -when in need of money- would simply create money to pay its bills. Hence, no real need for borrowing anymore.

This wouldn't necessarily cause inflation, at least not directly. The exact same amount of money will be in the financial system whether the Treasury Department uses this platinum coin or simply continues borrowing. Printing money isn't at all inflationary under current conditions i.e. with the economy depressed and interest rates up against the zero lower bound. The vast majority of the debt right now is simply an accounting exercise, the debt is just a claim by one more or less governmental agency on another governmental agency.
However, the coin could increase inflation expectation (i.e. the rate of inflation that workers, businesses and investors think will prevail in the future, and that they will therefore factor into their decision) and this in turn could increase the actual inflation. Empirical evidence shows that the state of inflation expectations greatly influences actual inflation and, thus, the central bank's ability to achieve price stability, that's due to the fact that beliefs about the future affect the current behavior of economic agents. The theory is that if inflation is expected to be persistently high, workers bargain for higher nominal wages to protect their real income. This creates a pressure on firms' costs and they may in turn increase prices to maintain their profits. Independently, the producers' own inflation expectations also affect inflation directly by influencing their pricing behavior. If companies expect general inflation to be higher in the future, they may believe that they can increase their prices without suffering a drop in demand for their output.

So, to recap:
We don't know if it will cause inflation. It shouldn't, but it could.

Anyway, the main problem with this coin-idea is as you said that it would set a precedent, which would reduce the credibility of the U.S. government and scare the financial markets and consequently make an already weak recovery feebler.
The financial system is based on trust, it can't function without it and no investor is going to trust a government that pulls money out of thin air.

It's a joke. The US doesn't have a trillion dollars of platinum

The coin would contain only one ounce of platinum, worth about $1,500 in reality. By law, it would be magically assigned a value of one trillion dollars.

At least, i hope it's a joke.

It's seriously under consideration! haha Paul Krugman supports it.
nichodemus
online
nichodemus
14,482 posts
24,880

The coin would contain only one ounce of platinum, worth about $1,500 in reality. By law, it would be magically assigned a value of one trillion dollars.


How convenient. Sigh.
Kasic
offline
Kasic
5,598 posts
3,675

The coin would contain only one ounce of platinum, worth about $1,500 in reality. By law, it would be magically assigned a value of one trillion dollars.

How convenient. Sigh.


The economic equivalent of the middle finger.
Mickeyryn
offline
Mickeyryn
278 posts
1,870

Tut tut. *sigh*

Showing 31-44 of 44