EppsNet Archive: Debt

Greece is Going Out of Business

9 Jul 2015 /

I remember the good old days when we only had to worry about small banks going out of business. Then big banks started to go out of business, then non-bank financial institutions, and now small countries.

The problem with having a lot of debt is that, with some exceptions (“too big to fail”), bad things happen when your investors get nervous.

My memory is not photographic as some of the legends about me say, but I am sure I would remember if the works of Adam Smith included the phrase “too big to fail.” — Garry Kasparov

What are the odds that people running companies or countries will make smart decisions about money if they don’t need to make smart decisions — if they can do just as well or better making dumb decisions and being rescued from the consequences?

According to the government debt chart below, the next countries in line for a day of reckoning are two more small countries (Ireland, Portugal) and a medium-sized country (Italy). Further down the chart are two big countries.

The United States, the biggest of the big, is not shown on the chart but is currently at 100 percent debt to GDP.

Government debt


This Photo of A Guy Tap Dancing in a Pink Floyd Shirt Explains a Lot

20 Mar 2015 /

A Wall Street Journal article on college students, the weak job market and high debt loads is illustrated by this photo of a guy in a Pink Floyd t-shirt taking a tap dancing class.

The crazy thing is that not only are these kids running up debt and killing their job prospects, they don’t even appear to be having a good time doing it . . .

Tap dancing


The Problem With Debt

16 Nov 2010 /

These are all from today’s headlines:

Thirty years ago, we had the savings and loan crisis. Those were the good old days, when investors were only nervous about small banks.

Investors have since become nervous about big banks, then non-bank financial institutions, and now small countries — Greece, Portugal, Ireland . . .

That’s the problem with debt — bad things happen when your investors get nervous.

What’s next? Medium-sized countries, obviously — Italy, Britain — and eventually the biggest of the big: the United States.


The Rising Burden of Government Debt

12 Nov 2010 /

Our analysis paints a sobering picture of worsening public debt dynamics and a sharply rising debt burden in advanced economies (AEs). But perhaps the worst is yet to come. First, AEs as a group are experiencing little population growth. Second, they are facing rapidly aging populations. Third, their economies are likely to register slow growth . . . Fourth, entitlement spending on health care and pensions is likely to explode due to unfavorable demographics.

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Twitter: 2010-08-01

1 Aug 2010 /
Twitter
  • RT @eddiepepitone: If only there was a way 2 turn crushing debt, despair & horribly awkward interactions w/ people into lifelong happiness! #
  • RT @SarahKSilverman: I try not to be as hard on myself as I am on other people. #