Top Analyst: "Developed Market Governments Are Insolvent By Any Reasonable Definition" → Washingtons Blog
Top Analyst: "Developed Market Governments Are Insolvent By Any Reasonable Definition" - Washingtons Blog

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Top Analyst: "Developed Market Governments Are Insolvent By Any Reasonable Definition"

Dylan Grice, a top analyst for European financial giant Société Générale, writes:

Developed market governments are insolvent by any reasonable definition.

Who could have known?

Everyone, actually.

As I wrote in December 2008, "The "Central Banks' Central Bank" says Bailouts Putting Nations at Risk, as Confirmed By Higher Credit Default Swap Spreads":

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is often called the "central banks' central bank", as it coordinates transactions between central banks.

BIS points out in a new report that the bank rescue packages have transferred significant risks onto government balance sheets, which is reflected in the corresponding widening of sovereign credit default swaps:

The scope and magnitude of the bank rescue packages also meant that significant risks had been transferred onto government balance sheets. This was particularly apparent in the market for CDS referencing sovereigns involved either in large individual bank rescues or in broad-based support packages for the financial sector, including the United States. While such CDS were thinly traded prior to the announced rescue packages, spreads widened suddenly on increased demand for credit protection, while corresponding financial sector spreads tightened.
In other words, by assuming huge portions of the risk from banks trading in toxic derivatives, and by spending trillions that they don't have, central banks have put their countries at risk from default.

Grice also says:

Eventually, there will be a crisis of such magnitude that the political winds change direction, and become blustering gales forcing us onto the course of fiscal sustainability. Until it does, the temptation to inflate will remain, as will economists with spurious mathematical rationalisations as to why such inflation will make everything OK . Until it does, the outlook will remain favorable for gold. But eventually, majority opinion will accept the painful contractionary medicine because it will have to. That will be the time to sell gold.
For background, see this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

H/t: ZeroHedge.


  1. I don't get it. How can a government that has the franchise on issuing it own currency and does not ever borrow in any other currency EVER default? I mean, I suppose they can, but that would be a political decision and not a financial one. Why does everyone keep insisting it is anything other than that?

    Ah, but Grice is a gold bug. Explains everything.

  2. What you are failing to understand is that printing your own money doesn't mean anything. It is the bond market that establishes the inherent value and risk of your currency. Why would anyone is their right mind loan continue to loan the U.S. money for 30 years at current rates? That is the mother of all bubbles that is forming and when it pops. Pop goes the weasel.

  3. The more money you print, the less each dollar is worth. You can't print VALUE, only paper notes.

  4. Would you lend ten thousand dollars a month to someone who was spending fifteen?


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