One of my goals in my newsletter is to bring to your awareness things that I find interesting or alarming.
The article below is in the “alarming” category.
Japan borows more than it raises in taxes, and its debt amounts to two years’ worth of Japan’s economic output.
Japan has the highest debt-to-GDP ratio in the world. Half of the country’s tax income is directed to simply servicing it’s debt.
In addition to Europe and China (which I’ve written about in the past), Japan is one of the next huge players we’ll be unraveling in the future. I have great concerns about investing in Japan, and a Euro-Pacific investment is the most troublesome to me.
Be careful if you have that allocation in your portfolio.
Finally a government program with cost estimates LESS than projected.
The $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program is estimated by the CBO to come in at $25 billion dollars.
At the time, if you remember, it was billed as a gift and we were out the money. However, due to repayments and other fortunate events, most of the money allocated has either not been used or has been repaid.
AIG and the auto industry are costing about $45 billion whereas the other aspects are giving the taxpayers $20 billion of profit, for a net of $25 billion cost.
I’ve been warning about the municipal bond market for some time now.
I think the problems are starting to hit and 2011 will be a big year of reckoning.
Look at the chart to the right. Ugly.
Why is this happening?
There’s the looming end of the Build America Bonds program, questions about how state and local governments will manage their debts, and the impact of huge pension and health care obligations that seem unsustainable.