The National Debt Doesn't Exist

Stumbled across this article and don’t even know what to say.

Cliff Notes Version: The author, who is an economist, says the national debt doesn’t exist because treasuries are just another form of cash and the government redeems them all the time.

I haven’t gone to the link yet, but if the debt is owed in our own currency, there is the “I can just print up more of that for you if you need it” option which gives the national debt a different quality than debt would mean for you and me.

That said, it’s not as if resolving the debt in that manner is without consequences, most of which would be unpleasant.

It’s Idiocracy, the economists never had much brain to lose anyhow. laugh

The USA does not exist outside the laws of finance math.

Right, he appears to be saying what I’ve been saying for years; the USG just prints the shortfall, even printing $90T a year, but nothing happens, the world doesn’t fall apart, and so they grow the fiscal gap, until one year when they print some larger amount, and the world does fall apart. But he is missing the last part of that sentence. He thinks the game can go on forever…which goes back to not understanding basic finance math.

treasury debt is sort of like contingent convertible debt due to the ability to print as much as one wants. it should be treated as tier 1 capital. thus if all treasury debt is tier 1 capital, the U.S. has no debt as tier 1 capital is equity. cash = printing money now, debt = printing money later (if it’s excessive debt, which is up for debate)

It’s a very tricky situation - sometimes the national debt is white paint and sometimes it’s oil.

“The debt is not a bad thing, it is an asset of the non-government”

This seems to be his basic statement. It’s hard for me to accept this, since the government, to pay back the non-government, has to tax the non-government. Imagine that I owe you money. However, I also have access to your ATM card. Furthermore, the government can issue more money in times of financial stress, thus depreciating the asset on your balance sheet (even if the Fed is not “political”, they do respond to the same conditions as fiscal policy).

From the government’s perspective though… debt is great. They never have to repay it, as long as they keep paying the interest. But when they are having a hard time, they can change the interest rates or depreciate the currency. Why would you not have an ever increasing (unlimited?) balance sheet if you could borrow at US government rates?

It doesn’t matter when there’s a near certainty of life ending asteroid striking earth in our immediate future.

Our corporate AI overlords will recruit some oil drilling flesh bags to destroy it enlightened. However, they will probably fail because oil drilling flesh bag Americans suck at analysiscrying. Not to worry though, the species will survive because the Chinese will have long fled to Mars having foreseen the catastrophe with their superior analytical expertise. yes

This is why I am short Earth and currently investing in star dust and Martian doubloons cool

^Spot on. laugh

The good thing about climate change is that we don’t have to worry about the national debt. Al Gore has no clue how to solve our problems.

It’s definitely white paint…shit, or is it oil

nope definitely paint

NICE!! angry

Do you have a timetable on this?

I checked Weather Underground ( and they don’t mention it in their 10-day forecast. Of course, they might not consider an asteroid to fall under the rubric of weather, but you’d think that at least they’d mention the – sorry – impact it would have on the weather.

I don’t get the paint/oil reference. What’s that all about?

^Viral internet junk

Clearly, I am meme challenged. Thanks a lot, BValGuy. I enjoyed that.

HOF post right there.

“The photo was originally posted to Hunter Culverhouse’s Instagram account. Speaking to Insider, Culverhouse explained that the crazy optical illusion happened purely by accident.”

Those legs belong to a dude. Wait, is he wearing pants?

Washington Post describes Hunter as a “her” while Buzzfeed uses androgenous language. Also, who paints lines on their legs with left over paint?