Busted: Bankers and The Global Economy

February 4, 2011

Bernanke: Catastrophic Implications for U.S. Economy

Filed under: banking, business, corporatism, economy, federal reserve, government, money, recession — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — digitaleconomy @ 6:09 am

 

USA facing debt crisis

Ben Bernanke of U.S. Federal Reserve has warned that the failure to promptly raise the national debt ceiling would catastrophic.  This catastrophe would clearly have a negative impact on paper assets denominated in dollars and other fiat currencies.

Bernanke was blunt about the threats by some congressional Republicans to use the upcoming debt-ceiling vote as sledgehammer to force harsh spending cuts:

“I would very much urge Congress not to focus on the debt limit as being the bargaining chip in this discussion, but rather to address directly the spending and tax issues that we have to deal with in order to make progress on this fiscal situation,”

“Beyond a certain point … the United States would be forced into a position of defaulting on its debt. And the implications of that on our financial system, our fiscal policy and our economy would be catastrophic.”

It’s important to realize that Bernanke did not use his typical conservative language regarding the necessity of addressing U.S. fiscal challenges. To the contrary, he painted a bleak picture of the possible consequences of failing to act:

“… if government debt and deficits were actually to grow at the pace envisioned, the economic and financial effects would be severe. Sustained high rates of government borrowing would both drain funds away from private investment and increase our debt to foreigners, with adverse long-run effects on U.S. output, incomes, and standards of living. Moreover, diminishing investor confidence that deficits will be brought under control would ultimately lead to sharply rising interest rates on government debt and, potentially, to broader financial turmoil. In a vicious circle, high and rising interest rates would cause debt-service payments on the federal debt to grow even faster, causing further increases in the debt-to-GDP ratio and making fiscal adjustment all the more difficult.”

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