debt relief, bailout and economic stimulus

Okay so I know I should be writing about culture and stuff. I just got back last Sunday from ten days abroad and have been digging out from under a heap of emails and huge massive piles of backlog work. I was in Tel Aviv for awhile, which is amazing. It is like Paris with Palm Trees. I saw tons of cool art, partied with the Batsheva dance company at the Susanne Dellal center and much, much more. It was hard to come back to cold, cold, NYC. But I’m getting back in the swing of things.

And what with the holidays and all, my thoughts turn to credit card debt. According to Wikipedia (and their sources):

It just seems to me that if the government can bailout AIG to the tune of some $85 billion and Citi to the tune of, what, $45 billion? And a total bailout plan to all the fatcat investors of nearly $1 trillion dollars – that maybe it would be a really great idea to bailout more regular american who are burdened by credit card debt. Many people have accumulated debt that they’ve had since they were in their 20’s. The credit card people target students, we live in a culture that saturates common consumers with overwhelming messages to get into debt for a better life, etc. etc. Wages have remained stagnant at the  price of living has gone up, etc. etc.

Imagine the financial stimulus if people who are spending significant parts of their annual budget trying to pay down credit card debt – and never being able to get out from under it – could actually start over? What if they could have the opportunity to restructure their personal finances to get ahead and become a more robust and healthy part of the economy? Surely someone could figure out a way to distinguish between the chronically malfeasant and the redeemable but burdened debtors?

How about a bailout plan for the little guy?!!!

2 thoughts on “debt relief, bailout and economic stimulus”

  1. The Intellectual Redneck says:

    The USA is approaching bankruptcy

    As hard is it is to believe, the US may have to default on it’s debt. Public debt has grown by more than 100% with all the bailouts. We currently have a debt level 3 times what the European Union allows it’s members. We are financially in far worse debt as a percent of GDP than Italy. Unfortunately, our Social Security Trust Fund is financed almost entirely by special bonds. Our government loaned themselves the money in the Trust Fund and spent it like drunken sailors at a strip club. We are left holding what may be worthless pieces of paper to guarantee our Social Security checks.

    ASIA – UNITED STATES

    U.S. debt approaches insolvency; Chinese currency reserves at risk

    by Maurizio d’Orlando

    In a few months, America’s public debt has grown to more than 100% of GDP. Fear of a valuation crisis for the dollar, with tremendous consequences for Asian countries, major exporters to the United States.

    Milan (AsiaNews) – In the United States, the danger of debt insolvency is growing, putting at risk the currency reserves of foreign countries, China chief among them. According to new figures published by Bloomberg in recent days (Nov. 25, 2008 [1]), the American government has employed a total of 8.549 trillion dollars to stop the financial crisis. This means a total of about 24-25.4 trillion dollars of direct or indirect public debt weighing on American taxpayers. The complete tally must also include the debt – about 5-6 trillion dollars – of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are now quasi-public companies, because 79.9% of their capital is controlled by a public entity, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which manages them as a public conservatorship.

    In 2007, public debt in the United States was 10.6 trillion dollars, compared to a GDP (gross domestic product) of 13.811 trillion dollars. Public debt in 2007 was therefore 76.75% of GDP. In just one year, direct and indirect public debt have grown to more than 100% of GDP, reaching 176.9% to 184.2%. These percentages exclude the debt guaranteed by policies underwritten by AIG, also nationalized, and liabilities for health spending (Medicaid and Medicare) and pensions (Social Security)[2]. By way of comparison, the Maastricht accords require member states of the European Union (EU) to reduce their public debt to no more than 60% of GDP. Again by way of comparison, in one of the EU countries with the largest public debt, Italy, public debt in 2007 was equal to 104% of GDP.

    In 2007, 61.82% [3] of America’s public debt was held by foreign investors, most of them Asian. So the U.S. public debt held by nonresident foreigners is equal to about 109.39% (113.86%) of GDP. According to a study by the International Monetary Fund, countries with more than 60% of their public debt held by nonresident foreigners run a high risk of currency crisis and insolvency, or debt default. On the historical level, there are no recent examples of countries with currencies valued at reserve status that have lapsed into public debt insolvency. There are also few or no precedents of such a vast and rapid expansion of public debt. Link here.

    The United States of America is approaching bankruptcy

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