Sunday, May 24, 2009


“We are out of money.”

This is the “news” we’ve feared, although expected, but not so soon: the admission that the US economic system (not necessarily the stock market which lives in its own fantasy land before it adjusts to reality) is insolvent. President Obama, responding to a question about the cost of health care in an interview on C-SPAN yesterday, said, “Well, we are out of money now.”

Just a couple of weeks ago I noted, “One gets the feeling that the Obama administration has little choice but to let this kind of bad news out slowly, hoping the market and the psyche of the country can absorb it without disrupting the tenuous nature of the recovery, particularly in the credit and stock markets. Until REAL unemployment recedes deficits will inevitably grow beyond forecasts.”

Obama’s admission seems to be a continuation of the letting-the-news-out-slowly “strategy” the consequences of which are staggering, not only for holders of US Treasuries, but just about every world currency because of the symbiotic relationships between the lending economies and the consuming economies. For sometime I’ve been concerned about this, particularly because of the mathematical confluence of rising healthcare costs and rising unemployment. “Are T-Bills “risk free,” especially as the US seems to be on a course to guarantee every debt and every major corporate shortfall, not to mention the twin time bombs of Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid as the baby boomers retire and unemployment rises? Now there is a Black Swan.” So, today’s headline “Fix is hard for Medicare, Social Security finances” does not come as a surprise, but it is disturbing that we have so long delayed the inevitability of facing up to this hydra headed conundrum. “If we cannot even acknowledge these economic truths, there can be no national plan to deal with the dire consequences.”

Maybe President Obama’s statement was more of a Freudian slip, but it is now out there, to be “pondered" by the markets, and, hopefully, to be finally faced up to by Congress.