We’re Overdosing On The Debt Opioid

On Friday, I talked about how the last 11 years have been no better than cumulative GDP during the Great Depression (1929-1940). I’ll talk more about that on Thursday. Today I want to point out the biggest difference between this Economic Winter Season and the one 80 years ago…

That is: Central banks!

Thanks to their interference, our massive debt bubble didn’t deleverage as it should have!

Total debt peaked at $58.4 trillion, or four times GDP, in the first quarter of 2009 and just barely deleveraged in the financial and consumer sectors during the Great Recession.

But massive money printing and cowardly suspension of mark-to-market policies for loans let the banks off the hook.

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The Economic Winter Season’s primary purpose is to flush out unproductive debt and deleverage financial asset bubbles that are weighing down the and stoking income inequality. It forces businesses to cut excessive costs and get more efficient.

All of this makes the economy much more productive and ignites a strong recovery, like the one we saw from 1933 to 1937… and for decades to follow.

Well… no detox means no strong recovery!

Japan is the poster child for a comatose economy three decades after their great crash.

Our poor GDP numbers over the last 11 years is evidence closer to home.

Still, our debt continues to grow. Government debt leads the way, with corporate debt close on its heels.

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Federal government debt has exploded from $7.8 trillion to $17.9. That’s a 129% increase.

The government debt has been doubling about every two administrations or every eight years. Counting the trust funds like Social Security (sitting around) $5.9 trillion, we’re up to $23.8 trillion.

Overall government debt, including state and local, is now at $26.8 trillion; up 77%.

Foreign debt is up the most: 152%, to $4 trillion… but it is the smallest sector.

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