Interest Rate Roundup

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

A pair of interesting stimulus stories

Bloomberg has a great pair of stories on economic stimulus and the locus of economic power in the world. The first piece chronicles how Obama administration adviser Laura Tyson gave a speech urging a second economic stimulus package. She suggested the first stimulus was too small and that the economy "is a sicker patient" than originally thought. Here's a passage from the story:

"Obama said last month that a second package isn’t needed yet, though he expects the jobless rate will exceed 10 percent this year. When Obama signed the first stimulus bill in February, his chief economic advisers forecast it would help hold the rate below 8 percent.

"Unemployment increased to 9.5 percent in June, the highest since August 1983. The world’s largest economy has lost about 6.5 million jobs since December 2007.

“The economy is worse than we forecast on which the stimulus program was based,” Tyson, who is a member of Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory board, told the Nomura Equity Forum. “We probably have already 2.5 million more job losses than anticipated.”

"Republicans, including House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, seized on the latest labor numbers to attack the Obama administration’s handling of the economy.

"Even Democrats have bemoaned the pace of the package’s implementation. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said on “Fox News Sunday” June 5 that Congressional Democrats are “disappointed” stimulus funds weren’t distributed faster."

The second story talks about the consequences of all these stimulus packages in the leading industrialized nations. All of these countries (the U.S. included) are spending massive amounts of money they don't have, borrowing it from emerging nations. Debt as a percentage of GDP is soaring throughout the G-8. The result: The emerging world nations, as net creditors, are gaining economic power, while the developed world countries, as huge net borrowers, are losing it. An interesting read for sure.

Here's an excerpt:

"The world’s most affluent nations will take decades to work off the biggest buildup in debt since World War II. The political costs may be permanent, laid bare at this week’s Group of Eight summit of leading industrial powers.

"Bank bailouts and recession-fighting measures will explode the debt of the advanced economies to at least 114 percent of gross domestic product in 2014, more than triple the 35 percent of the main emerging economies including China, the International Monetary Fund forecasts.

"The run-up in debt has hastened a power shift that is sapping the industrial world’s authority to impose its economic doctrine, currency arrangements or greenhouse-gas reduction strategies. Even some G-8 officials acknowledge that the group has lost its grip amid the global recession they spawned.

"The eight-nation forum that starts tomorrow in L’Aquila, Italy is “a lot less relevant given its makeup and given developments in the world,” French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said July 5. “Big players, like emerging economies, India, China or Mexico, are invited, but they’re given only a jump seat outside of the main summit.”

"The industrial world is beset by the harshest economic conditions in a lifetime: a projected U.S. budget deficit of 13.6 percent of GDP in 2009, unmatched since World War II; an annualized 14.2 percent contraction in Japanese GDP in the first quarter, also the worst since the war; in the first three months of 2009, German exports had their steepest quarterly decline since 1970 when the data were first compiled."


Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Meter