Stikkordarkiv: Gjeld

John Cochrane utgreier om forholdet mellom gjeld og inflasjon. En kobling mange finner svak.

20110920 Cochrane4VERYSMALL
I den siste utgaven av National Affairs har John Cochrane staket ut sin intensjon i tittelen av artikkelen Inflation and Debt
. I grafen over viser Cochrane forholdet mellom NBNP og pengemengden (M1, M2) de siste 21 årene. Det er vanskelig å se noen sterk korrelasjon og dette er utgangspunktet til at gjeld burde få mer oppmerksomhet i diskusjonen om fremtidig inflasjon enn hittil. John:

[…] As a result of the federal government’s enormous debt and deficits, substantial inflation could break out in America in the next few years. If people become convinced that our government will end up printing money to cover intractable deficits, they will see inflation in the future and so will try to get rid of dollars today — driving up the prices of goods, services, and eventually wages across the entire economy. This would amount to a «run» on the dollar. As with a bank run, we would not be able to tell ahead of time when such an event would occur. But our economy will be primed for it as long as our fiscal trajectory is unsustainable.

Needless to say, such a run would unleash financial chaos and renewed recession. It would yield stagflation, not the inflation-fueled boomlet that some economists hope for. And there would be essentially nothing the Federal Reserve could do to stop it.

Disse to paragrafene er basert på antakelsen om «If people become convinced that our government will end up printing money to cover intractable deficits…» Mer presist så trykker sentralbanken penger, men det er detaljer i alt dette. Han fortsetter:

The key reason serious inflation often accompanies serious economic difficulties is straightforward: Inflation is a form of sovereign default. Paying off bonds with currency that is worth half as much as it used to be is like defaulting on half of the debt. And sovereign default happens not in boom times but when economies and governments are in trouble.

Most analysts today — even those who do worry about inflation — ignore the direct link between debt, looming deficits, and inflation. «Monetarists» focus on the ties between inflation and money, and therefore worry that the Fed’s recent massive increases in the money supply will unleash similarly massive inflation. The views of the Fed itself are largely «Keynesian,» focusing on interest rates and the aforementioned «slack» as the drivers of inflation or deflation. The Fed’s inflation «hawks» worry that the central bank will keep interest rates too low for too long and that, once inflation breaks out, it will be hard to tame. Fed «doves,» meanwhile, think that the central bank can and will raise rates quickly enough should inflation occur, so that no one need worry about inflation now.

Deretter tar han Keynesianere og Monetarister til dags, begge har nedprioritert underskudd og gjeld som kilder (viktige sådan) til inflasjonsbekymringer:

The Federal Reserve, and most academic economists who opine on policy, have an essentially Keynesian mindset. In this view, the Fed manages monetary policy by changing overnight interbank interest rates. These rates affect long-term interest rates, and then mortgage, loan, and other rates faced by consumers and business borrowers. Lower interest rates drive higher «demand,» and higher demand reduces «slack» in markets. Eventually these «tighter» markets put upward pressure on prices and wages, increasing inflation. Higher rates have the opposite effect.
The Fed describes its recent «unconventional» policy moves using this same general framework. For example, the recent «quantitative easing» in which the Fed bought long-term bonds was described as an alternative way to bring down long-term interest rates, given that short-term rates could not go down further.

One serious problem with this view is that the correlation between unemployment (or other measures of economic «slack») and inflation is actually very weak. The charts below show inflation and unemployment in the United States over the past several decades. If «slack» and «tightness» drove inflation, we would see a clear, negatively sloped line: Higher inflation would correspond to lower unemployment, and vice versa. But the charts show almost no relation between inflation and unemployment. From 1992 to 2001, inflation and unemployment declined simultaneously. More alarming, from 1973 to 1975, and again from 1978 to 1981, inflation rose dramatically despite high and rising levels of unemployment and other measures of «slack.»

Måten å forklare denne korrelasjonen mellom ledighet og inflasjon bedre er å introdusere forventninger (noe jeg har gjort på en tavle ca. 200 ganger og ca 200 ganger hørt «hva er den lille e’n for?») Det finnes problemer med dette også:

To Bernanke, costs, slack, and expectations drive inflation — and not the money supply, or the national debt. In this view, monitoring the «stability» of long-term expectations is vital, as is making sure that expectations stay «anchored.» We do not want people to respond to little blips of inflation with a fear that long-term inflation is about to break out.

So how does the Fed know whether expectations are stable? The central bank’s more extensive reports mirror the logic of the quote above: They point to surveys, forecasts, and low long-term interest rates. But the trouble is that surveys, forecasts, and long-term interest rates did not anticipate the inflation of the 1970s. For example, the chart below plots the interest rate on ten-year Treasury notes and the inflation rate over the past four decades. If long-term interest rates offered reliable warnings of inflation, we would see the interest rates rise before increases in inflation. That does not happen. Apparently «anchors» can get unstuck quickly, and inflation can surprise the bond market as well as the Fed.

Inflasjonsforventninger kan se robuste ut på papiret, men det skal ikke mye til, ifølge Cochrane, før ankeret ryker:

Major explosions of inflation around the world have ultimately resulted from fiscal problems, and it is hard to think of a fiscally sound country that has ever experienced a major inflation. So long as the government’s fiscal house is in order, people will naturally assume that the central bank should be able to stop a small uptick in inflation. Conversely, when the government’s finances are in disarray, expectations can become «unanchored» very quickly. But this link between fiscal and monetary expectations is too often unacknowledged in our conventional inflation debates — and it’s not only the Keynesians who ignore it.

Hva med Monetaristene:

While I also worry about inflation, I do not think that the money supply is the source of the danger. In fact, the correlation between inflation and the money stock is weak, at best. The chart below plots the two most common money-supply measures since 1990, along with changes in nominal gross domestic product. (M1 consists of cash, bank reserves, and checking accounts. M2 includes savings accounts and money-market accounts. Nominal GDP is output at current prices, which therefore includes inflation.) As the chart shows, money-stock measures are not well correlated with nominal GDP; they do not forecast changes in inflation, either. The correlation is no better than the one between unemployment and inflation.

Grafen han sikter til er den jeg har øverst i denne posten. Hvis du nå er nysgjerrig på hvilke kanaler underskudd og gjeld påvirker inflasjon må du lese i artikkelen. For mye og komplisert til å brytes opp i sitater her. La meg bare sitere deloverskriftene: FISCAL INFLATION, INFLATION AND INTEREST RATES, A RUN ON THE DOLLAR, THE IMPOTENT CENTRAL BANK og AVOIDING THE CRISIS. fra det siste delkapittelet:

We stand at the brink of disaster. Today, we face the possibility of a debt crisis, with the consequent financial chaos and inflation, that the Fed cannot control. In order to address this danger, we have to focus on its true nature and causes. The current inflation debate, focused on tinkering with interest rates and Fed announcements, completely misses the mark. Our desire to avoid a dangerous inflation should point us in the same direction as just about every other economic indicator and concern: It should point us toward finally bringing our deficits and debt under control and spurring long-term growth.

Hans løsning på dette, i et nøtteskall, er derfor rettet mot statsfinansene:

Our largest long-term spending problem is uncontrolled entitlements. Our entitlement programs require fundamental structural reforms.

Over decades, growth comes only from more people and more productivity — more output per person. Productivity growth fundamentally comes from new ideas and their implementation in new products, businesses, and processes.
Our tax rates are too high and revenues are too low. We should aim for a system that does roughly the opposite — raising the necessary tax revenue with the lowest possible tax rates, especially in those areas in which high rates create disincentives to work, save, invest, and contribute to economic growth.

Regulatory and legal roadblocks can be even more damaging to growth than high tax rates, tax expenditures, and spending. The uncertain threat of a visit from the Environmental Protection Agency, National Labor Relations Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, or the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can be a greater disincentive to hiring people and investing in a business than a simple and calculable tax.

Av disse tre, starter det sterkt og slutter svakt.

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Finanstilsynet har tatt Moody’s på alvor. Inviterer til pressekonferanse.

Moody’s skrev dette i juli, hvor de opprettholdt AAA ratingen til Norge:

Moody’s believes that one area of concern for the Norwegian sovereign is the high level of household indebtedness. However, this issue should be kept in perspective as the banking sector is relatively small in comparison to the overall economy and the banks are well capitalised. Nevertheless, this is a source of risk because: (i) the proportion of highly indebted households is significant; (ii) 90% of mortgages are on variable rates; and (iii) economic growth could be adversely affected if an unexpectedly large rise in interest rates were to significantly increase the cost of servicing mortgage debt.

I dag inviterer Finanstilsynet til:

Finanstilsynet inviterer til pressekonferanse onsdag 28. september 2011
Finanstilsynet presenterer rapporten «Finansielle utviklingstrekk 2011».

Tid: Onsdag 28. september 2011 kl. 10.30-11.30
Sted: Finanstilsynet, Revierstredet 3, Oslo (inngang ved hjørnet mot Dronningens gate)

Rapporten dekkjer utviklinga i finansmarknadene. I presentasjonen vil den finansielle stillinga til husholdningane og utviklinga i boligmarknaden bli via særleg merksemd.

Enkel servering.
Rapport og dokument vil vere tilgjengelege frå kl. 10.15 på Finanstilsynets nettstad og i lokalet.

Vi minner om at dei som ønskjer å delta på pressekonferansen må ha med seg legitimasjon med bilete.


På en skala fra 1-10, hvor bekymret tror du Finanstilsynet er over nordmenns gjeld og boligprisene?

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Det nytter ikke med brannslangen, EU brant ned for lenge siden.


Det er noen her som husker 1 januar 1999? Det var den dagen eurosonen fikk felles valuta og det felles økonomiske samarbeidet i EU begynte for alvor. Eurosonen teller nå 17 land med en samlet populasjon på 329 millioner. Jeg vil bruke litt tid på å terpe på fødselen til denne økonomiske tangoen på kontinentet.

I Maastricht-avtalen står betingelsene som medlemslandene må oppfylle, samt hvilke forpliktelser som gjelder i fremtiden for medlemslandene. Det var (er) fire hovedkriterier som stod (står) i fokus:

  1. Inflasjonsmål: Medlemslandet forplikter seg til en inflasjonsrate ikke høyere enn 1,5% poeng høyere enn gjennomsnittet til de tre medlemslandene med høyest vekst.
  2. Statsfinanser
    • Årlige statsunderskudd: Årlig statsunderskudd skal ikke overstige 3% av BNP ved enden av regnskapsåret. Bare eksepsjonelle og midlertidige overskridelser kan godkjennes.
    • Statlig gjeld: Brutto statlig gjeld som prosent av BNP må ikke overskride 60% ved slutten av regnskapsåret. Hvis overskridelser skjer grunnet uforutsette forhold må en plan for å oppnå 60% framlegges.
  3. Valutakurs: Søkerland må ha vært medlem av exchange-rate mechanism (ERM II) i minst to år på rad og ikke ha devaluert sin valuta i denne perioden.
  4. Langsiktig rente: Nominell langsiktig rente må ikke overskride 2% poeng høyere enn de tre medlemslandene med lavest inflasjon.

La 1, 3 og 4 være for denne gang, og la oss fokusere på 2 – statsfinanser. Enkelt sagt skulle ikke Hellas, eller Italia vært medlemmer av eurosonen. Og ja, Hellas ble ikke fullverdig medlem før i 2001, og ja, Italia var for store til å ikke inkludere i samarbeidet selv om Italia lå rundt 120% av BNP i gjeld.

Dette viser generaltabben som eurosonen begikk: ingen finanspolitisk kontroll eller konsekvenser. Utgangspunktet var en pengepolitisk union, med en felles valuta og en felles europeisk bank. I alle landets universiteter forteller økonomiprofessorene i innføringforelesningene hvert år – det gylnede triangel eksisterer. Velger du felles valuta og fri kapitalflyt må du gi opp pengepolitikken i landet. Dette betyr at statsfinansene blir eksponentielt viktig for å kunne påvirke nasjonale økonomier. Den europeiske sentralbank eksisterer, finnes det ett europeisk finansdepartement?

Nei, bare komiteer, direktorater og råd, alle med tilnærmet ingen innflytelse på nasjonal finanspolitikk. Var det maksimalt 3% underskudd av BNP hvert år?


Det lå så bra an, helt til statsfinansene gikk av skaftet med ingen konsekvenser for de ansvarlige.

Keiseren har ikke hatt klær nå i over 10 år. Brannslangen nytter ikke, huset har allerede brent ned.
(Merk: Dette er offisielle tall, har ikke lyst å tenke på hva mørketallene er)

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Verdt å lese | Jeffry Freiden skriver om europas gjeldsproblemer.

Jeffry Freiden skriver om Europa. Om dysfunksjonaliteten og de harde fakta. Her er hele artikkelen:

Econbrowser: Guest Contribution: «Europe’s Lehman Moment»: «Europe’s Lehman Moment

By Jeffry Frieden

Europe is in the midst of its variant of the great debt crisis that hit the United States in 2008. Fears abound that if things go wrong, the continent will face its own «Lehman moment» — a recurrence of the sheer panic that hit American and world markets after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in October 2008. How did Europe arrive at this dire strait? What are its options? What is likely to happen?

Europe is retracing steps Americans took a couple of years ago. Between 2001 and 2007 the United States went on a consumption spree, and financed it by borrowing trillions of dollars from abroad. Some of the money went to cover a Federal fiscal deficit that developed after the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003; much of it went to fund a boom in the country’s housing market. Eventually the boom became a bubble and the bubble burst; when it did, it brought down the nation’s major financial institutions – and very nearly the rest of the world economy. The United States is now left to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of its own debt crisis.

Europe’s debtors went through much the same kind of borrowing cycle. For a decade, a group of countries on the edge of the Euro zone borrowed massively from Northern European banks and investors. In Spain, Portugal, and Ireland, most of the borrowed money flooded into the overheated housing market. “At the height of the building boom,” Menzie Chinn and I write in our new book, Lost Decades: The Making of America’s Debt Crisis and the Long Recovery (W.W. Norton):

One Spanish worker of every seven was employed in housing construction. Half a million new homes were being built every year—roughly equal to all the new homes in Italy, France, and Germany combined—in a country with about 16 million households. The amount of housing loans outstanding skyrocketed from $180 billion in 2000 to $860 billion in 2007. Over the ten years to 2007, housing prices tripled,second only to Ireland among developed countries; by then, the average house in Madrid cost an unheard-of $400,000. (pp. 49-50)

Greece was a different story. It borrowed, as we write, “mostly to finance a continual budget deficit and an American-style consumption boom.”

Greek borrowing went beyond the sensible: at its peak, in one year Greece borrowed an amount equal to nearly 15 percent of GDP, so that more than one euro in seven spent locally was borrowed from abroad. By 2009, the country’s eleven million people owed more than $500 billion to foreigners, more than the foreign debts of Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico combined (with thirty times the number of people and ten times the economic output of Greece). (pp. 186-187)

Europe’s experience differs from that of America’s because of the existence of the euro, a common currency for both the lenders and the borrowers. The monetary policy of the European Central Bank (ECB) kept interest rates very low, even for rapidly growing countries in Southern Europe that had previously had high interest rates. And the expectation that other members of the Euro zone would step in if a debtor member state got into trouble led lenders to believe that lending within the Euro zone was close to riskless. But as in the United States, the boom was not sustainable. When the global financial crisis began in October 2008, the European debtors were largely frozen out of financial markets. As their economies spiralled downward, they faced grave difficulties in servicing their debts. The problems of Europe’s debtors were not just worrisome for the debtors themselves. Most of their debts were owed to Northern European banks and investors, and the crisis threatened the very solvency of major European financial systems. This – not some abstract desire to extend a hand to the Greek and Portuguese people, or to save the euro – has been the principal reason for Europe’s ongoing debt bailout:

The rationale here was like that of bailing out a bank: a collapse of Greek or Portuguese finances could harm the rest of the euro-zone financial systems. If Bank of America was too big to fail, then so was Greece. And since a deepening of the financial crisis that drew in the entire euro zone would affect the entire global financial system, the International Monetary Fund was also drawn into the rescue….And because the Greek emergency triggered a crisis of confidence in other euro-zone countries whose failure could harm the region as a whole, the European Union was driven into a massive trillion-dollar package for other troubled European debtors. (page 188)

But the first bailout was not enough. It seems clear that the Greek and Portuguese austerity measures will not be sufficient to allow the countries to continue to service their debts; Spain seems on the verge of a similar slide into default; and even Italy is now at risk of going the way of the other debtors. Some or all of these debts will have to be restructured, the interest rates reduced and maturities extended. If not, there will be a wave of defaults whose reverberations will rival those of the Lehman failure.

For two years, Europe’s governments have been grappling with how to address this continuing debt crisis. But most of the public discussions have been highly misleading. In Northern Europe, and especially Germany, the tone has been one of outraged indignation. This high moral tone is misplaced. Certainly many Southern European banks and households, and the Greek government, borrowed irresponsibly; but German and other Northern European banks and investors lent just as irresponsibly. It’s not clear that there’s any real ethical distance between irresponsible borrowers and irresponsible lenders.

And most Northern Europeans also seem to believe that the bailouts have gone to lazy Southern Europeans. In fact, their purpose has been to shore up the fragile Northern European financial systems. German banks are among the weakest in Europe; some of them (especially the state-owned landesbanks) are effectively bankrupt. If they were forced to mark down their Southern European debt, they might well collapse in a heap, and the European financial system could grind to a halt. Just as in the United States, the real impact of the European bailout has been to shore up the continent’s banks – not to help the continent’s debtors. The recent downgrading of two of France’s most important banks, due to their holdings of Greek debt, reminds us of how exposed Northern Europe’s financial systems remain. And rumors of a recent IMF report that European banks are over $270 billion short of the capital they need to confront their current problems served to drive the point home.

Some of the European debates end up considering whether the euro has been good for its members. Most Germans seem to think that the European Union has become what in Eurospeak is often called “Transfer Europe,” a mechanism to channel honest Northern European money to lazy Southern Europeans. This makes it hard to understand why any German government would put up with such a thing. But it ignores the gains that Germany has realized by being the leading economy in the eurozone. For a decade, Germany’s growth has come almost exclusively from its exports; and the eurozone and its periphery have been central to this export growth. German industrialists, at least, seem to believe that the euro has been crucial to their business. Just as bailing out Nevada and Florida may be the price people in Massachusetts and New York pay for sharing a continental economic and monetary union, so too does this calculation apply to Germany. Certainly many Germans would prefer not to have to contribute to resolving the European crisis; but these skeptics seem not to understand that the alternative might be, in the short run, a gut-wrenching collapse of the German banking system, economic distress in the rest of the eurozone, and in the long run, a loss of a major source of German economic growth.

There is also an air of unreality about European discussions of how to deal with the debts themselves. In just about every debt crisis, the eventual workout requires both debtors and creditors to pay some of the price for crisis resolution. Delay in recognizing this only makes matters worse. In the aftermath of the Latin American debt crisis that began in 1982, the U.S. government tried to maintain the fiction that the debts would eventually be paid – forcing a decade of austerity on Latin America that led to the region’s lost decade. Ultimately, in 1989 the George H. W. Bush Administration recognized reality and engineered a regional write-down that allowed the banks to get the bad debts off their books, and allowed the countries to resume growth.

Eventually Europe’s creditors and its debtors will have to admit that these debts will not be serviced as contracted, and the debts will be restructured. Pretending otherwise will only prolong the agony – not just for the debtor countries imposing austerity, but also for the financial systems that are now crippled by debts that nobody believes will be repaid. When major central banks, earlier this week, threw a lifeline to the European financial markets, they undoubtedly helped avoid what appeared to be an imminent panic. However, this initiative will only postpone the final reckoning with the region’s underlying financial weaknesses.

In Europe as in America, the real question is how the costs of this devastating debt crisis will be distributed. Who will pay – creditors or debtors? Taxpayers or government employees? Germans or Greeks? More realistically, what combination of sacrifices will be politically tenable, both across countries and within countries. The aftermath of every debt crisis sinks into conflict over who will bear the burden of adjustment to the new reality. The sooner Europeans recognize the true nature of the debates they’re having, and the inevitability of working out some mutually acceptable conclusion, the better off they will be.»

(Via Econbrowser.)

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Hvordan er pasienten doktor? Han har 117 i feber! #hellas

Screen shot 2011 09 12 at 21 53 45 Det har vært en dårlig dag for Hellas. Økonomisidene hos nettavisene har gått bananas med dramatikk, situasjonen er alvorlig. Det skulle ikke være noen tvil at de greske myndighetene har iverksatt tiltak som ikke har vært i nærheten av hva som har vært nødvendig. Problemet løser seg ikke ved å be pressen holde seg unna mens de viktige menneskene diskuterer de viktigste sakene og ikke gjør noe med saken.

Eiendomsskatten som skulle tette igjen hullet i budsjettet har ikke imponert markedet. ECB har kjøpt greske statsobligasjoner, men ikke i stor nok grad. Reformene i finanspolitikken har vært for lite, for sent. Fagforeningene valgte å tråkke i våt sement og er nå på veien til bunns. Merkel hjelper ikke.

Sannsynligheten for at Hellas trer ut av EU og gjeninnfører drakmer har akkurat økt dramatisk. Og det bare på èn dag.

Øverst i posten var greske 1-års obligasjoner. Her er 2 og 10:
Screen shot 2011 09 12 at 21 52 33Screen shot 2011 09 12 at 21 53 01
Hellas er konkurs om ikke mange dagene.

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Storbritannia og Frankrike fremstår som de fremste som eksperimentører med ekspansiv kontraksjon.

La meg forklare. Som jeg skrev for noen timer siden, og som du som hobbyøkonom burde stusset ved, var at to tilsynelatende motstridende verdener eksisterer samtidig.

Frankrike øker skatter for å nedbetale gjeld, samtidig som vekstutsiktene og arbeidsledigheten ser dårligere ut i umiddelbar fremtid. Ville du hevet skattene i dårlige tider? Og hvis du gjorde det, ville du bruke de ekstra pengene på å betale utenlandske kreditorer?

Frankrike har dårlig vekstutsikter samtidig som arbeidsledigheten sitter fast på et høyt nivå.
Screen shot 2011 08 25 at 17 14 47
(Foto: Google)
Og den naturlige arbeidsledighetsraten (NAIRU) er også høy:Screen shot 2011 08 25 at 17 19 23
(Foto: Fra Stock and Volger-Ludwig, 2010 (PDF))

Frankrike driver derfor med hva økonomer sier er helt bakvendtland-politikk. Selv om Frankrike nærmer seg hva Rogoff og Reinhart mener er den magiske grensen på 90% gjeld av BNP (det er da de virkelige problemene kommer), så har Frankrike andre problemer enn gjeld, men det er i frykt av at markedet kommer til å straffe Frankrike i form av høye lånekostnader at Frankrike velger å bruke tid, krefter og penger på å senke gjelden og tilfredsstille markedet.

Forresten, hvor mye må Frankrike betale for å låne penger:France10Ybond (Foto: ECB, Bloomberg)

Hva Frankrike og Storbritannia gjør er langt fra konvensjonell økonomi. På den ene siden står det faktum at arbeidsledigheten er miserabel, ofte mellom 8%-12% i EU. Veksten i økonomien er ikke nok til å holde følge med befolkningsvekst, og eksportsektorer blir truffet hardt. På den andre siden står gjeldsspøkelset, som truer gjeldsbyrden til ett land hvis rentene øker (Hellas, Irland, Portugal).

Frankrike og Storbritannia er ikke slike land hvor gjelden burde veie tyngst.

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Frankrike skattlegger bedrifter og de med høy inntekt for å senke gjelden.

1503124 3 6914 francois fillon le 3 avril 2011 a hanovre
(Foto: Reuters/Morris Mac Matzen)

Mannen ovenfor er Frankrikes finansminister, Francois Fillon. Her er orginalartikkelen i Le Monde:

Comme prévu, François Fillon a précisé, mercredi 24 août, l’ampleur et le détail d’un plan de rigueur très attendu. Ce plan d’austérité a été précipité par un ralentissement de la croissance et vise à maintenir les engagements financiers de la France en matière de réduction des déficits.

Le total s’élève à 1 milliard d’euros pour 2011 et 11 milliards pour 2012, a détaillé le premier ministre. Il s’agit de la fourchette haute des réductions attendues, estimées entre 5 et 10 milliards d’euros. De même, les révisions des hypothèses de croissance annoncées par Matignon sont assez importantes : 1,75 % au lieu de 2 % pour 2011. Et 1,75 % pour 2012, soit 0,5 % de moins que prévu.

Sur TF1, le premier ministre a justifié ces mesures en expliquant qu’elles portaient à «83 %» sur «les détenteurs de patrimoine, les grandes entreprises et les ménages aux revenus très élevés». L’opposition a unanimement dénoncé ce qu’elle qualifie de politique d’austérité au détriment des plus faibles. Pour M. Fillon, ces critiques «ne donnent pas une très grande crédibilité à l’opposition».

Cette mesure à portée politique et symbolique vise à montrer que les «ménages aisés» sont mis à contribution, a commenté le premier ministre. Ces chiffres sont plutôt plus élevés que la proposition faite par Gilles Carrez, le rapporteur UMP du budget, qui proposait une taxe de 1 à 2 % à partir de 1 million d’euros. Cette mesure exceptionnelle prendra fin quand le déficit français retombera à 3 % du PIB, soit fin 2013, selon les engagements français. Elle ne rapportera que 200 millions par an.

Fransken min er fortsatt på nybegynnerstadiet, men det er nok økonomi og fremmedord her at vi skal knekke koden.

Finansministeren vil senke gjelden med 1 milliard euro i 2011, og med 11 milliarder euro i 2012. Også i artikkelen er det dårlige nyheter, nemlig at vekstutsiktene i Frankrike er nedjustert til 1,75% fra 2% i 2011 og til 1,75% fra 2,25% i 2012. Landet ser ut til å ikke kunne vokse seg ut av problemene.

Screen shot 2011 08 09 at 15 12 18
Kanskje det viktigste i artikkelen er hvordan denne nedbetalingen av gjeld, 1 milliard euro i 2011 og 11 milliarder euro i 2012, skal finansieres. 83% av dette skal finansieres ved å skattlegge bedrifter og de med høy inntekt. I 2011 skal disse bidra med 830 millioner euro og i 2012 blir dette tallet 9,13 milliarder euro.

Vi følger Frankrike med argus øyne.

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Jan Arild Snoen i E24: Hvor er fakta?

I dekningen av gjeldsdebatten i USA er det ikke uventet at norsk presse har en noe annen vinkling en den økonomer har. Vi går rett til pengene og hvor de kuttes, hvem som vinner og hvem som taper. Vi leser lovtekst, leser faktaark, leser kredible prognoser, osv. osv.

Har du fått med deg at nesten halvparten av utgiftsreduksjonene i det amerikanske budsjettforliket vil ramme forsvar og sikkerhet?


Med Ole O. Moen som upålitelig kilde spres denne feilinformasjonen av Aftenposten, VG, Dagbladet, NRK – og E24. Jeg har vanskelig for å forstå at Moen og de norske journalistene kan ha tatt seg bryet med å lese det korte sammendraget med nøkkelinformasjon om avtalen som Obama-administrasjonen har sendt ut.

Ordene er skrevet av Jan Arild Snoen, kommentator i E24.

Jeg har forøvrig til gode å se en eneste norsk journalist besvare to sentrale spørsmål som setter kuttene inn i en relevant kontekst. Hvor stor andel av forventede underskudd vil avtalen fjerne? Svaret er et sted mellom en femdel og en firedel, samlet for de neste ti årene. Hvor høye vil de føderale utgiftene være etter kuttene? Svaret er 22-23 prosent av BNP, snaue to prosentpoeng høyere enn gjennomsnittet de siste førti årene. Offentlige utgifter vil, etter at virkningene av krisen er faset ut i 2013, fortsette å vokse nesten like mye som veksten i BNP, som er anslått til snaue 3 prosent i året.

La meg sjøsette en hypotese: Disse tallene har lite, eller ingen verdi for den gjennomsnittlige avispapirleser. Hvis dette er synspunktet til vaktsjefene, at for å tolke disse tallene (utover en faktaboks på høyre side av avisen), så forkludres det virkelige nyhetsverdige ved dette, nemlig spillet. Spillet i forhandligner, spillet i politikken, spillet blant folkevalgtes evne til å styre en stat.

Man må kanskje være økonom for å ta en skikkelig interesse i hva Snoen etterlyser for å kunne danne seg et bilde av hvordan økonomien ser ut i fremtiden nå som vi vet hva avtalen inneholder. Avisene forventer vel at de som bryr seg om slikt ikke trenger å følge med i nasjonalmediene for å holde seg oppdatert. Så synd at ikke alle er økonomer da.

Merket med , ,

Hellas nedgradert, igjen.

Standard & Poor’s har akkurat nedgradert Hellas fra B til CCC. La oss først definere hva ‘B’ og ‘CCC’ betyr:

  • ‘AAA’ — Extremely strong capacity to meet financial commitments. Highest Rating.
  • ‘AA’ — Very strong capacity to meet financial commitments.
  • ‘A’ — Strong capacity to meet financial commitments, but somewhat susceptible to adverse economic conditions and changes in circumstances.
  • ‘BBB’ — Adequate capacity to meet financial commitments, but more subject to adverse economic conditions.
  • ‘BBB – Considered lowest investment grade by market participants.
  • ‘BB+ — Considered highest speculative grade by market participants.
  • ‘BB’ — Less vulnerable in the near-term but faces major ongoing uncertainties to adverse business, financial and economic conditions.
  • ‘B’ — More vulnerable to adverse business, financial and economic conditions but currently has the capacity to meet financial commitments.
  • ‘CCC’ — Currently vulnerable and dependent on favorable business, financial and economic conditions to meet financial commitments.
  • ‘CC’ — Currently highly vulnerable.
  • ‘C’ — Currently highly vulnerable obligations and other defined circumstances.
  • ‘D’ — Payment default on financial commitments.

Nedgraderingen er i all hovedsak endring fra ‘currently has the capacity to meet financial commitments’, til ‘currently vulnerable … to meet financial commitments’.
Dette fra Wall Street Journal:

The downgrade reflects our view that there is a significantly higher likelihood of one or more defaults, as defined by our criteria relating to full and timely payment, linked to efforts by official creditors to close an emerging financing gap in Greece. This financing gap has emerged in part because Greece’s access to market financing in 2012 and possibly beyond, as envisaged in the current official EU/IMF program, is unlikely to materialize.

This lack of access, in our view, creates a gap between committed official financing and Greece’s projected financing requirements. Greece has heavy near-term financing requirements, with approximately EUR95 billion of Greek government debt maturing between now and the end of 2013 along with an additional EUR58 billion maturing in 2014.

Moreover, the downgrade reflects our view that implementation risks associated with the EU/IMF program are rising, given the increasingly complicated political environment in Greece coupled with its current difficult economic climate.

S&P’s argumenterer for at Hellas kommer til å få svi når krisepakken til EU og IMF er oppbrukt:

This financing gap has emerged in part because Greece’s access to market financing in 2012 and possibly beyond, as envisaged in the current official EU/IMF program, is unlikely to materialize.

Husk at S&P’s nedgradering er ‘bare en mening’ fra ratingbyrået, men det er lettere å forstå hvorfor nedgraderingen på offentlig gjeld skjer og ikke CDS/CDO papir.

Uansett er det dårlig nytt for Hellas:
Grafen viser hvor høy rente markedet setter på 10-års obligasjonene til den greske stat. Ville du betalt 17% rente på huslånet ditt?

Merket med ,

Krugman regner litt på gjeld. Du vet, roten til alt ondt for tiden.

Jeg husker den siste øvingstimen jeg holdt handlet om gjeld. Nivå av gjeld og utvikling av gjeld. At det finnes noe som kalles primærunderskudd og samlet underskudd. At det finnes eksisterende gjeldsbyrde og fremtidig gjeldsbyrde. Renteavdrag og økonomisk vekst. Jeg mener jeg ikke inkluderte inflasjon, men Krugman tar det med i sin gjennomgang av ‘fenomenet’ gjeld:

Debt Arithmetic (Wonkish) – «Debt Arithmetic (Wonkish)
The whole tone of current discussion about deficits is one of urgency: deficits must be brought down now now now or crisis looms. Where is this coming from? Not from the arithmetic.

The way the story is often told, deficits mean higher debt, which means higher interest payments, which can mean a spiral into bankruptcy. And qualitatively that’s not wrong. If you put numbers to it, however, for countries that are not facing huge risk premia, the spiral is very, very slow.

Here’s a sample calculation.

The latest IMF Fiscal Monitor predicts that general government in the US — that’s federal, state and local combined — will run a deficit of 7.5 percent of GDP next year, and that net debt will be 75 percent of GDP.

So how fast would the debt spiral be going?

You need to bear in mind that growth and inflation limit the rate of rise in the debt ratio. Suppose that we have 4 percent nominal GDP growth, which is actually low by historical standards. This shaves 3 percentage points off the rise in the debt/GDP ratio. So a year later, given those numbers, debt rises by 4.5 percentage points of GDP.

What’s the interest burden of that rise? At minimum we should correct for inflation, so use the TIPS yield. That’s currently below 1, but let’s be pessimistic and call it 2. Even so, the added interest burden is less than one-tenth of one percent of GDP.

So even with substantial deficits, the pace of long-term budget worsening is very slow. If it’s a debt death spiral, it’s a slooooowww motion death spiral.

But, say the critics, psychology can change suddenly, sharply raising those interest costs. The question then is why psychology should change. Investors can do the same arithmetic I’ve just done; why should they panic over a small rise in the interest burden?

Now, investors might well panic over signs of political deadlock — but that could happen regardless of the current year’s deficit.

Still, Serious People tell us that investors will turn on us unless we slash the deficit immediately — and they know this because, well, um …

As I’ve often written, we’re in a strange state now where people who actually take textbook economics and simple arithmetic seriously are seen as dangerously radical and irresponsible, while people who believe in invisible bond vigilantes and confidence fairies, who claim to know what the market will want even though there’s no sign of that desire in current asset prices, are viewed as Very Serious.

Anyway, the arithmetic of debt is much less scary than you might think.»

Så hva med Hellas, Portugal, Irland og Italia?

Noen som vil prøve seg før jeg gjør det?

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