Deficits

The US Can Afford Its Debt

10/01/2015

US deficits and debt are not problematic for the economy.

Balanced Budgets and a Surplus of Sociology

06/15/2015

The UK government’s plans to pass a balanced-budget rule are sociologically sweeping, but their economic and market-moving scope appears limited.

The Other Volcker Rule: State Budget Transparency

06/11/2015

Three cheers for state budget transparency, but even if former Fed head Paul Volcker’s crusade doesn’t win, the risks for investors seem small.

The UK Might Do Some Things to Taxes and Spending

12/04/2014

The UK’s latest tax and spending plans are about as “austere” as the last five years—and likely have little net economic impact.

A Surplus of Fun Factoids About the Federal Deficit!

09/12/2014

The deficit is way down, to a chorus of silence.

Adventures in Forecasting: CBO Edition

08/28/2014

Whether you think they’re too sunny or sour, the Congressional Budget Office’s latest debt forecasts probably won’t match reality.  

America Gets All Austere

06/20/2014

The Federal budget deficit is way down, and deficit fears should be too.

Deficit Hype

11/04/2013

A broad lack of enthusiasm over the sharp drop in the US’s federal deficit suggests investors are as skeptical as ever.

Tick Tick Boom?

10/15/2013

Don’t sweat Congress’s latest shenanigans—we still won’t default.

Defaulty Logic

10/08/2013

Despite what our President, Treasury Secretary and House Speaker say, hitting the debt ceiling doesn’t mean imminent default.

Indebted to the Future?

09/18/2013

Will rising interest rates mean insurmountable debt in the not-too-distant future?

Don’t Fret the Debt

08/16/2013

Should investors be concerned about the size of US debt?

One Quadrillion and Counting

08/13/2013

What should investors make of the news Japan’s gross public debt passed one quadrillion yen in Q2?  

Piquing Interest in US Debt

07/05/2013

Interest rates may be up a bit, but the US’s debt is still plenty affordable.

Budget Blunders

04/11/2013

The White House released its budget for the upcoming fiscal year, but the details are once again up for debate.

Seq-Watered-Down

04/03/2013

A month ago, folks seemed to think the sequester was more of a “sequonster,” but now we’re seeing its bark was worse than its bite.

SIGHprus

03/26/2013

Cyprus and the EU hashed out bailout terms, but there’s precious little to like about the agreement.

France’s Fiscal Compact Hindsight

02/22/2013

On the verge of violating the EU’s budget deficit limit of 3% and suffering a penalty much of their own design, French leaders might be cursing in hindsight.

Lower for Longer

01/14/2013

A broader look at the affordability of US debt shows a crisis isn’t likely any time soon.

The Fed’s Commemorative Coin Collection

01/09/2013

According to some, a $1 trillion platinum coin wouldn’t just be a sight to be seen—it’d be a solution for the US debt ceiling.

Greek Debt Deal, Take 43.7

11/28/2012

Eurozone leaders reached a deal concerning Greek debt troubles earlier this week—so what does that mean for Greece moving forward?

Greece Is the Word

11/13/2012

The latest on Greece’s aid negotiations.

Homage to Catalonia

08/29/2012

Catalonia’s bailout request provides a window to Spain’s fascinating history.

Ich Will Europa

08/24/2012

During the latest critical week for the euro, Angela Merkel makes a video and the Greek bailout renegotiations heat up.

P Is for Politicking, Progress and Portugal

08/07/2012

As Greece continues politicking over economic reform, Portugal demonstrates the benefits of getting more competitive.

Is It Gold for the Americans?

08/02/2012

Politicians allegedly reached an agreement to agree to a budget by the end of September—but is the deal worth a gold medal?

Spain, Spain, Spain

07/24/2012

Valencia became the first Spanish region to seek help from a new bailout fund—but, contrary to wide belief, it’s not the first region to get state help this year.

Europoliticking

06/19/2012

All the latest on the Greek and French elections.

Here Come the Men in Black?

06/12/2012

The skinny on Spain’s bank rescue agreement.

A Spanish-German Compromise?

06/05/2012

As Spain and Germany debate how to support Spanish banks, there are signs a compromise is in the offing.

Just You Wait, Henry Higgins

05/21/2012

Rising yields and mounting banking problems aren’t great for Spain, but a few key facts should help mitigate their impact.

Slow and Steady Spain

05/11/2012

Spanish woes are nothing new, but announcements Thursday could help alleviate uncertainty around its banks.

Europe the Morning After

05/08/2012

A look at the French and Greek election results.

Crossing the Pyrenees

04/20/2012

Demand was strong at Spanish and French debt auctions despite jitters over Spain’s borrowing costs and France’s election.

The Pain in Spain?

04/05/2012

Spain dominated headlines Wednesday, but has its situation changed for the better or worse?

The Great Greek Swap Meet

03/06/2012

An in-depth look at Greece’s ongoing private-sector debt restructuring.

Running the Greek Marathon

02/14/2012

Greece’s parliament passed a key austerity vote on Sunday, but that’s just one mile marker in a grueling marathon.

Tick Tock Goes the Clock

02/09/2012

Greek debt talks are down to the wire. But what does that mean?

A European Spectacle

01/31/2012

At EU leaders’ first 2012 summit, officials jousted over Greek funding and the new fiscal compact.

Success in Action (Or Auction)

01/12/2012

Italy and Spain each conducted their first 2012 debt auctions Thursday. Here’s a brief look at the results.

Dancing About Europe

01/10/2012

A survey of the eurozone’s latest.

Weighing Italy’s Debt

12/13/2011

An alternate perspective of Italy’s debt costs shows today’s levels are low by historical standards.

Technoplans From Italy’s Technocrats

12/06/2011

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti announced tough new austerity measures and 10-year yields fell below 6%.

Super Stalemate

11/22/2011

The US budget super committee delivered not-so-super results.

Italian Debt Perspective

11/10/2011

Italy's bond yields moved sharply higher Wednesday, contributing to broad market volatility. But let's add some perspective to the central issue: Italy's debt and its costs.

Mediterranean Musical Chairs

11/08/2011

The latest on Greece and Italy.

Don’t Bank on the Big Bang

10/18/2011

Germany tempered the world’s expectations for an overnight eurozone fix, keeping with the gradual approach we’ve seen thus far.

Planfully Planning a Plan

10/11/2011

Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel have a plan to keep the eurozone intact, but they won’t share it until month’s end. 

What Matters in Greek Chatter?

09/27/2011

We survey the latest Greek headlines and sift between those stories with substance…and those without.

Eyeing Ireland

09/20/2011

Ireland and Greece were both bailed out in 2010. But the similarities don’t go much further than that.

The Greek Shuffle

09/19/2011

Greece was in the news—again—last week. Some still await a dramatic end, but is that a likely conclusion?

Half Full or Half Empty?

08/03/2011

Debt ceiling dramatics came to a conclusion Tuesday, leaving many frustrated in its wake. Here’s a look around the news at what’s poking that frustration—and largely unnoticed remedies.

The Politics of Fear

07/27/2011

White-hot, fear-based rhetoric is flying around the debt ceiling as politicians try to sell their positions. And, some links.

Huddling Up on Greece

07/25/2011

Agreement was reached on the newest plan to quell peripheral European sovereign debt issues. What does the deal accomplish?

Fisher Investments On Debt Ceilings and Downgrades

07/14/2011

The US was warned its debt rating is on review, tied mostly to a political debate over an arbitrary marker—something that has happened before with no ill effect.

Indebted Europe

05/24/2011

News out of Europe on Monday refreshed PIIGS worries.

Attack of the Muni Monsters

05/19/2011

2011 was predicted to be the year of the municipal bond default—but how has that played out so far?

Breaking the Debt Ceiling

05/17/2011

On Monday, the US hit the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, stressing the need for Congress to raise the debt ceiling—which will likely happen eventually.

Greek Theater

04/27/2011

The PIIGS spotlight swings back to Greece amid talks of Greek debt restructuring.

The Scarlet Letter

04/19/2011

S&P downgraded the US’s credit rating outlook by a notch, but it shouldn’t mean much.

An Impasse Comes to Pass

04/06/2011

Congressional Democrats and Republicans continue to battle over the budget.

America Express

03/02/2011

US economic growth is accelerating faster than most of the developed world—boding well for American stocks.

A Budget Battle

02/15/2011

President Obama revealed his 2012 budget Monday—and true to form, lawmakers are already bristling over proposed spending cuts and tax increases.

No Pain, No Gain for Ye Olde Brits?

10/21/2010
Will big British spending cuts bring down its public deficit without bringing down the economy?

Debunking Debt Concerns

06/10/2010
We're big enough to handle our debt—and more.

America, Still Popular

05/18/2010
Recent data show it takes more than badmouthing to strip US assets of their popularity.

Not in the Mood

03/16/2010
Moody signaled its displeasure with US debt levels by announcing the country was closer to a rating downgrade.

Lopsided Trade

11/19/2009
Concerns about the US-China trade imbalance are overwrought. Historically, trade deficits haven't held back the US economy and stock market—and likely won't now.

More Countries, More Problems

11/12/2009
European worries over Greece's large deficit underscore some of the EU's structural issues and possible risks surrounding the euro.

Not Just Debt Weight

10/27/2009
Worried about today's high government debt? History shows we're still well within manageable levels.

A Dose of Reality

07/14/2009
China swallowed a hard dose of reality as two recent government debt auctions failed to attract enough investors.

Packing on the Pounds

04/23/2009
The UK budget isn't bloated—substantial government spending is appropriate in today's economic environment.

Debt-jà Vu

03/18/2009
Concerns foreigners will cease to finance the US's growing debt are nothing new.

Treasuring Treasuries

02/17/2009
Major holders of US government debt aren't about to abandon this important market.  

On Borrowed Dime

02/05/2009
The government can go a long way on borrowed dime.

Deficient Thinking

02/04/2008
The common fear big budget deficits are bad for stocks is wrong. In fact—the reverse is true!

Pass on the Patch

03/27/2007

Ah . . . Spring. That magical time when crocuses poke their timid heads out to greet longer days, tender shoots of green remake the world anew, everything smells fresh and clean, and you discover you owe the U.S. government another 8 grand because you got nailed by the @#$%-ing AMT.

Trade Deficits Pop Quiz

10/13/2006
Pop-quiz time! (Don't worry, this won't go on your permanent record.

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