Skip to main content
No. of Recommendations: 4
Two European charts for US fiscal cliff negotiators

"The first [chart] suggests that the US public finances should already be a major source of policy concern. It does so by showing how much worse are the US public finances than those of Europe taken as a whole. Whereas the Euro area as a whole currently has a budget deficit of around 3 percent of GDP and a gross public debt to GDP ratio of 90 percent, the US budget deficit at around 8 percent of GDP is presently more than twice the size of that in Europe. And at around 105 percent, the US gross public debt to GDP ratio is more than 15 percentage points higher than that in Europe.

The second chart suggests that US policymakers should not be lulled into a false sense of security on the budget front by the record low long-term interest rates at which the US Treasury can presently fund its deficit. It shows that as late as 2009, countries like Greece and Portugal could fund their budget deficits at practically the same interest rate as could a fiscally sound country like Germany. However, when the markets turned against these countries in the first part of 2010, it did so in the most vicious of ways, which had the effect of triggering major financial crises."

It's almost like you can't borrow and spend your way to wealth and prosperity.
Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.