Monday, 1 August 2011
A sigh of relief?
Some say that in life timing is everything...
And so too it is with economics. We don’t yet have a fully developed and ‘mature’ [in terms of life-cycle] grasp of the impact of timing with leads and lags in the economy in general.
Yes, we have very sophisticated and advance models, analytics, knowledge management, quantitative theories, etc.; but we still do not fully comprehend the impact of time and timing in general on the factors of production influencing our ‘modern’ global economy.
In short, it looks like the potential calamitous US Debt Ceiling crisis has been averted (events during Monday 1 August still need to unfurl), meaning that the US nation can continue to settle its debt obligations for a little while longer, without President Obama having to resort to the 14th Amendment.
And this is where the timing conversation picks up its thread again. The Debt Ceiling needs to the raised in order to settle obligations already incurred, not new spending. Therefore, the future continues to look uncertain for the point at which ‘peak US Debt’ will be reached and how long creditor nations and other institutions will continue to fund the US appetite for amassing what seems to be an insurmountable and unsustainable level of sovereign debt. In our previous article we discussed the negative Real US T-Bill Yields on both new 5 and 7 year US Treasuries. If this is anything to go by, ‘peak US Debt’ must still be little while off in the distant future.
If only we could get the timing thing right and have a more insightful and meaningful (adult) debate not just in the US, but including global partners, both creditors and debtors alike.
But such is the nature of markets and spontaneous order, as espoused by our friends at the Austrian School, that we still believe and endorse the fact that ‘the market’ is still the best and most efficient mechanism for allocating resources (even financial and debt instruments) and informing the participants of potential risks and opportunities for clearing this market.