Friday, October 30, 2009

Is the Treasury Department a Giant Ponzi Scheme?

Think about this one for a second. If you replaced the U.S. Government with a giant multinational corporation, and the Treasure Department with it's financing arm it seems like all you are left with is a giant Ponzi scheme. Lets say you have this big company, and it raises cash to invest through its financing arm by issuing short and long term bonds at market interest rates. These bonds are given the highest ratings allowable due to the strength and stability of the underlying big company. They get favorable low interest rates as a result. The business that the company is in does not matter, but lets just say they have a natural monopoly. It is believed that they can raise their prices across the board or for certain higher end customers at any time they would like, and this would increase their revenues. This has never been proven, yet it remains a widespread belief. This is a pretty good thing because the underlying business of the company has been losing money for over 30 years now with huge losses in the most recent years, and massive losses project into the future. But this does not matter much, as the financing arm just issues more bonds to cover the losses. So rather than the funds from the bonds issued going into some tangible investment that could earn the returns required to cover the interest and pay back the principle, it goes to pay for the companies operational losses, and for interest and redemptions on previously issued bonds. So now after 30+ years of this, and a huge downturn in the economy that has crippled it's revenue it is left with 12 trillion in outstanding bonds, and not a penny left to pay any of it back. In fact the company is projected to lose an additional trillion+ dollars a year for the next ten years, and will have to issue more bonds to cover that. So pretty soon we are going to be looking at 2o trillion dollars owed, with none of it invested in anything tangible, and still no prospects to pay any of it back. Is this a Ponzi scheme? If this was the U.S. Government and Department of Treasury does that make it not a Ponzi Scheme?

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