Thursday, June 04, 2009

A world awash in money is going to be overwhelmed by debt

I am not an economist, but can the following be right:

The 1990's saw the creation of new financial mechanisms (derivatives) used in the absence of regulation to greatly expand the amount of money available to be lent out as compared with the capital available to cover bad debts. One assumes that increasing returns to ever more highly leveraged capital led to more capital invested in financial enterprises. The oil price spike in the late 1990's also resulted in a glut of money in the oil exporting states, which they must have lent and invested. So there should have been a glut of money, encouraging the developing nations to borrow. Lots of money to lend leads to low interest rates, leads to borrowing for relatively lower valued investments.

Now the nations of the world are borrowing like crazy to have the money to stimulate their economies. Trillions of dollars in borrowing should drive up interest rates. Developing countries which have borrowed to invest in low return projects will not have the ability to borrow even to invest in high return projects!

It seems we have gone through something like this after the oil shocks of the 1970s.

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