Debt creation behaves like printed money until the time at which the creditor demands to be repaid in full rather than extended through refinancing. The continuous expansion of debt is therefore no different than continuous money printing up to the point at which the credit markets will no longer tolerate more debt.
The U. S. economic system is riddled with more debt now than in 2008 when a de facto financial collapse the Great Financial Crisis occurred. Debt behaves like printed money until the time at which the debt has to be repaid. The Federal Government never repays the debt is issues. It rolls over maturities while at the same time it issues more debt. This happens every two weeks. There’s now $19 trillion in Treasury debt outstanding. That number was about $10 trillion when Obama took office in 2008.
Perpetual debt refunding and increased issuance is NO DIFFERENT THAN OUTRIGHT MONEY PRINTING. Until of course, the creditors will no longer tolerate the refinancing of existing debt. That’s what happened in 2008. The market forced the issue and the financial system was collapsing until the Treasury facilitated an eventual $4.4 trillion in outright money printing.
The difference between then and now is that the amount of debt issued is significantly greater today than it was in 2008. While everyone was watching the Fed’s printing press to monitor the creation of money, no one was keeping track of the spending ‘power’ being created by the fractional banking system’s credit market funding mechanism.
This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on March 1, 2016.