In response to an FT article by Martin Wolf on 24th February 2015, entitled 'How addiction to debt came even to China'
Thanks Mr Wolf. This is the best article I have read from you.
Lack of aggregate demand is a symptom not the cause - the cause is debt, we are saturated in it. We have not recently started suffering from Chronic Demand Deficiency Syndrome, we are suffering from Chronic Cart Before the Horse Syndrome, and have been for the past two decades at least.
Countries that print their own currency can maintain the illusion of solvency for longer than ones that can't. The printer of the global reserve currency, the US, has the privilege, or the curse, to be able to do it ad infinitum - or so some think. People as diverse as Professor Krugman and Dick Cheney share the same belief that debt doesn't matter - the US can always print what it needs. In theory this is true, in practice it is idiotic - 'confidence' sits at the base of the US economy just as it does at the base of every economy - debt is eroding the faith people have in this huge Ponzi scheme, just as it is eroding the value of currencies in their race to the bottom.
The social contract between governments and the people is being eroded everywhere - and ultimately it is the people who decide if governments are solvent and are keeping their end of the deal - not the guy in the Treasury. Confidence matters.
One other thing. You say:
"Some mixture of financial repression, monetisation, inflation and debt restructuring now seems certain in many countries"
Come on Mr Wolf...this is already happening!
Politicians don't call a default a default - they call it something else. There are four ways governments deal with debt they can't fulfil on the terms they took it.
1. We can't pay - a good old fashioned default
2. We'll pay you less and we'll pay you later - a haircut
3. We'll change the social contract by taxing more and spending less - austerity
4. We'll pay you back in notional terms but with money that buys less - inflation
Fine upstanding Western Governments (or snake oil salesmen) don't like numbers one to three so they go for number four. That is what Ms Yellen is trying to pull off, that is what the West in general is trying to pull off. This isn't new, the US did it twice in the 19th century and again in the seventies to pay for the Vietnam war and the LBJ's great society.
More recently, financial repression has been here for a few years Mr Wolf - the IMF website even has public papers advocating western governments do more of it.
You know this is going on Mr Wolf, you are a clever guy and you have contacts. You know all this, but you don't write about it, which makes you a part of the problem in my opinion. Write about what's going on, not what the politicians want you to protect us from. Personally I want to hear the truth and I don't think I'm alone in that.