Uncle Sam borrows on the public’s behalf

A chart from Floyd Norris of the NYT:

NYTdebt

From his writing:

In the past, when the government became a heavy borrower, there was talk about crowding out private borrowers. But this time, interest rates have remained low and no one seems to be worried about that.

The reason is simple: Rather than crowding out the private sector, Uncle Sam is now standing in for it. Much of the government borrowing went to investments in financial institutions needed to keep them alive. Other hundreds of billions went to a variety of programs aimed at stimulating the private economy, including programs that effectively had the government pick up part of the cost for some home buyers and some auto buyers.

We can expect this to continue for some time as people are not yet done with deleveraging. Neither is Uncle Sam (with borrowing).

Source: NYT

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