Sunday, July 31, 2011

Is the only way to solve the debt ceiling through a crisis?

The European visionary Jean Monnet once quipped that “people only accept change when they are faced with necessity, and only recognize necessity when a crisis is upon them.”

Would we be better off if the debt ceiling was passed months again without any national discussion? How can we have any talk of cutting expenditures without some discussion on actions that will bind behavior? Why hasn't there been any discussion on current cuts in expenditures? Why did Congress and the president cut taxes at the end of the year but want to increase them now? How is the current talk at all related to job creation? How come we have not heard anything about the slow growth problem?

Th discussion and crisis has been good for the country but we still have not been able to focus on solving the problem? Perhaps the crisis should continue until we have that meaningful discussion.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Debt ceiling and exhausted negoitations

From RBS analyst on debt ceiling crisis,

"non-negotiation is actually negotiation... the deals are getting closer ..."

"A Washington official told me many months ago that by definition, real substantial compromise can only happen when both sides have decided they have exhausted all their options completely and can no longer negotiate."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Let the contagion begin - Portugal downgraded

Moody's has pushed Portugal down to junk to Ba2 from Baa1. S&P and Fitch are both at BBB-. It is the belief of the rating agency that another round of official financing will be necessary before private markets will be will to provide financing. This means that Ireland will be next so the dominoes will start to fall.

The Greece issue is not over even with the strong equity rally. The bank deal for maturity extension still has to be made and the ECB still has to fund even if there is a default. Having Portugal start to move to junk starts another slippery slope.