Monday, May 10, 2010

World's Largest Defibrillator: Will It Work?

Yesterday the European Union announced a trillion-dollar plan to rescue the region's weaker economies. In his weekly market comment this morning, John P. Hussman explains why the attempted "shock and awe" will succumb to "aw, shucks."


Looking at the current state of the world economy, the underlying reality remains little changed: there is more debt outstanding than is capable of being properly serviced. It's certainly possible to issue government debt in order to bail out one borrower or another (and prevent their bondholders from taking a loss). However, this means that for every dollar of bad debt that should have been wiped off the books, the world economy is left with two - the initial dollar of debt that has been bailed out and must continue to be serviced, and an additional dollar of government debt that was issued to execute the bailout.

Notice also that the capital that is used to provide the bailout goes from the hands of savers into the hands of bondholders who made bad investments. We are not only allocating global savings to governments. We are further allocating global savings precisely to those who were the worst stewards of the world's capital. From a productivity standpoint, this is a nightmare.

Complete article viewable at

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