Market Watch Update: April 12-16

U.S. Treasury markets were relatively quiet most of this week, although some Friday morning news had translated into market gains, as of early afternoon. (Most notably mentioned, the SEC indictment of Goldman Sachs moved investors from stocks to bonds and lower consumer confidence in early April suggested a weak recovery in the near term.)

Commentators generally reported that demand was bolstered by safe haven effects related to continuing uncertainties with Greece’s sovereign debt challenges and possible concerns about other high debt Eurozone members. 

Let's Establish a Solidarity Fund

In order to help address its debt crisis, the country of Greece has set up a "solidarity account" to which people can donate money to help pay down the debt.

Weekend Editorial Roundup

Here are the highlights from this weekend’s editorials on fiscal and budget policy:

The Wall Street Journal noted the lessons that the United States could learn from Greece and their debt crisis.  They noted how the US's debt held by the public was projected to reach 90% in ten years, close to the 113% level Greece is at now.  According to them, "Greece's signaling loud and clear that the spend-and-tax economic model has hit the wall."

Sovereign Risk Jitters

For budget and market watchers, the month of March has been a little scary. It is not easy to come out of the deepest recession and financial crisis since the 1930s, particularly when the fiscal outlook and prospects for its successful management are so uncertain.

Sovereign risk jitters are on the rise as markets are being asked to digest massive amounts of government debt, at the same time the supply of private sector debt going to market is increasing and investors' appetite for risk is returning. The changes underway are complex and shifts could well be sudden.

Weekend Editorial Roundup

 Here are the highlights from this weekend’s editorials on fiscal and budget policy:

Ireland's Tough Decisions Create Fiscal Credibility

Ireland, like other European Union nations including Spain, Portugal, and Greece, risked losing the confidence of its creditors when it did not have a strategy to get its fiscal house in order after taking on massive debt to rescue its economy and financial system over the past few years. 

Weekend Editorial Roundup

Here are the highlights from this weekend’s editorials on fiscal and budget policy:


The New York Times called on Congress to do more to create jobs.  They criticized Congress for not being able to pass "a puny bill that is expected to create, at most, a few hu ndred thousand jobs this year.  The Times suggested making another round of fiscal aid to the states to prevent counterproductive fiscal tightening.

The U.S. Needs a Fiscal Turnaround

The United States is not the first nation to face tough fiscal challenges. Other countries have faced similar fiscal challenges – and gotten out of them.

In a new paper ("Fiscal Turnarounds: International Success Stories"), CRFB’s Fiscal Roadmap Project looks at successful fiscal turnarounds around the world and possible lessons for the U.S.

What are the lessons?

The Debt is Not Just a Beltway Problem

In this week’s debate on the Senate floor and the release of several congressional plans to address the deficit and debt, the national debt is on the radar inside Washington. But a recent op-ed by two of CRFB board members (Jim Jones and Douglas Holtz-Eakin) highlights why the national debt is an issue far outside the Beltway and could have huge international consequences.

U.S. Debt: Not Bound by our Borders

With U.S. debt held by the public on track to exceed 100% of the economy in a little over a decade, policymakers must come together now and implement a plan for getting our fiscal house in order. Otherwise, our economic future, as well as that of the rest of the world, is at risk. The Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform recently released a report that examines the consequences of the large government debt and suggested a plan for lowering that debt to 60 percent of GDP (an international standard).

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