Tim Watkin

Really, standards are slipping:

When George Bush took office the debt was $5.7bn; when the national debt hits $10bn, probably sometime around the time Bush leaves office in January 2009, the debt clock in New York\’s Times Square will not have enough zeroes to register the fact; paying the interest on this debt is now the third largest item on the US budget, behind only retirement and health entitlements and defence.

Out there by three orders of magnitude I think. Trillion, not billion. Still, nice to see that someone is indeed worrying aout the level of US public debt. Like that nice Mr. Bush is, as he\’s been gettin te deficit down these past couple of years, hasn\’t he?

This though is worse:

Once upon a time, we ordinary folks saw banks as places to put our savings. Following the dictum that it takes money to make money, and using economies of scale, they would then work their bankerly magic to make profits and pay dividends. Now, they sell credit, not savings.

That bankerly magic has always depended upon the banks selling credit. That\’s actually what they do. How elsedoes anyone expect them to make a profit so as to pay us our interest?

Sigh.

8 comments on “Tim Watkin

  1. Sorry, “trillion to mean 1,000,000,000”

    No. Actually, it was the other way around. What Americans used to call a trillion we Brits called a Billion. But usage has now converged on US usage. 1,000,000 million, 1,000,000,000 billion, 1,000,000,000,000 trillion.

    It’s a typo though, as if you look at his para one up from the quote he gets it right.

  2. You’re confusing deficits with debt. The US public debt is still rising, despite the deficit falling.

  3. The problem with the british billion was hardly anything was large enough to use it. It might have a change nowadays with inflation etc.

  4. “How elsedoes anyone expect them to make a profit so as to pay us our interest?”

    Well Timmy, perhaps they think all those banknotes get together and make baby banknotes after dark, when the staff go home.

  5. Good old Grauniad, they’re simply carrying on the grand old tradition espoused by the unions in “Red Robbo’s” era, where it was a well-known fact that the money to pay the wages was printed in the payroll office.

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