Why deficits are bad

2 June 2011

There have been many posts here on the blog arguing that government debt and deficits should not be feared, at least not in countries with their own free-floating currency and without foreign currency public debt*. In doing so, I have never discussed the reasons people may have for holding a contrary view. But I have […]

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S&P being silly again

20 April 2011

The debt rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has placed their rating of the US on negative outlook. What this means is that they are giving advance warning that they may downgrade their rating of the US from its current AAA level (the highest possible rating). Their actions were motivated by concern about “very large […]

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Where is debt headed now?

20 March 2010

As expected, government debt levels exhibit a marked up-swing. What is striking, however, is that the levels of household debt have not yet fallen. While US and the UK are consumers “deleveraging”, Australian households are showing no signs yet of reducing their debt.

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Junk Charts #3 – US Business Lending

23 February 2010

Clusterstock’s “Chart of the Day” has a chart showing business lending “falling like a knife”. But closer examination of the chart reveals that it is in fact quite misleading.

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Blame Greece’s Debt Crisis on the Euro

18 February 2010

Ever since they joined the European monetary union and adopted the Euro as their currency, they lost the power to create their own money. The Euro is the real reason Greece finds itself facing a debt crisis.

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The Mule on Mortgages

13 February 2010

So you’ve saved up a deposit for your first house, you want to take advantage of the government’s first home owner grant while you still can, and the bank is actually prepared to lend you money. But how much should you borrow?

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Deleveraging and Australian Property Prices

22 July 2009

A few weeks ago, I had a preliminary look at Australian property prices. That post focused on rental yields and argued that the fact that property prices have consisently outpaced inflation over the last 10-15 years can be associated with a steady decline in rental yields which has been matched by a decline in real […]

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Park the Debt Truck!

16 July 2009

About two months ago, I tried to bring some perspective to concerns about growing government debt in Australia. Last week the opposition has rolled out the “debt truck” to add to the hysteria about growing government debt, so I feel compelled to return to the subject for another attempt. Last time I looked at net […]

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Australian Property Prices

30 June 2009

Property prices have always been a popular topic of conversation in Sydney, but the subject has become more contentious since the onslaught of the Global Financial Crisis. Views on prospects for Australian property prices range from the bleakly pessimistic to the wildly optimistic. Iconoclastic economist Dr Steve Keen is one of the more prominent pessimists […]

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Pinching Debt Data

22 May 2009

Regular readers of the Mule will know that I am a bit of a data-mining junkie. Whenever I come across an interesting chart I start Googling for the underlying data. But, even with well-honed Google skills, it’s not always possible to find the data. Sometimes it is simply not publically available. I ran into just […]

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