Interest Rate Roundup

Friday, May 22, 2009

All you do to me is "Talk, Talk!"

Remember that catchy 80s song "Talk, Talk"? That's what I think of when I read stories like this. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner keeps blathering about how he's concerned about U.S. borrowing and how he will -- somehow -- figure out a way to bring down the deficit over time. But it's all just that -- talk.

Everything the administration and Congress is actually DOING is driving the deficit up, not down. And the bailouts keep on coming. On top of the additional $7.5 billion GMAC got last night, it looks like we're going to shovel ANOTHER $30 billion into GM as part of a bankruptcy filing. It never ends.

Anyway, if you happen to enjoy talk, here's an excerpt from the Bloomberg story referenced above ...

"Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner committed to cutting the budget deficit as concern about deteriorating U.S. creditworthiness deepened, and ascribed a sell-off in Treasuries to prospects for an economic recovery.

“It’s very important that this Congress and this president put in place policies that will bring those deficits down to a sustainable level over the medium term,” Geithner said in an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday. He added that the target is reducing the gap to about 3 percent of gross domestic product, from a projected 12.9 percent this year.

"The dollar extended declines today after Treasuries and American stocks slumped on concern the U.S. government’s debt rating may at some point be lowered. Bill Gross, the co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., said the U.S. “eventually” will lose its AAA grade.

"Geithner, 47, also said that the rise in yields on Treasury securities this year “is a sign that things are improving” and that “there is a little less acute concern about the depth of the recession.”

UPDATE: I sure do enjoy the currency commentary of a guy named Jack Crooks (of Black Swan Capital). His latest missive has some great observations on what is going on. Here's an excerpt:

"We are in a gut wrenching transition in the global economy because the wildest orgy of debt the world has ever seen is over. Thus, excesses across all sectors, especially financial, must be removed from the marketplace in order for real quality long-term globally balanced growth to take hold. Instead, day after day we witness dinosaur saving from Geithner and friends, while stunningly they tell us this with a straight face (as straight as any government official possibly can) that we need to put more debt into the market in order to solve the problem of too much debt being in the market. Mr. Orwell call your office!

"Now granted, few of us have toiled away at the top economic Ivy League institutions and rubbed elbows and other things against the top seers. Granted, we don’t have the luxury of feeding our ideas and inputs into the most sophisticated econometrics models imaginable built of course by the "best and brightest." But it seems our angst grows from something the power elites don’t have — common sense.

"Putting more debt into a system desperately working to alleviate debt is just plain stupid no matter how the Neo-Keynesians slice or dice it. Is it any wonder why the globe is losing confidence in the dollar?"


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