Saturday, November 07, 2009

Tailspin II

clipped from
the IMF performed one final exercise. It estimated the spending cuts or tax increases needed over the next decade to return a country's debt-to-GDP ratio to 60 percent by 2030. For the United States, the changes would amount to 8.8 percent of GDP. In today's dollars, that's about $1.2 trillion and roughly a third of the existing federal budget. But again, some other countries would face even larger adjustments: 12.8 percent of GDP for Great Britain, 10.7 percent for Spain, 13.4 percent for Japan, 11.8 percent for Ireland, and 9 percent for Greece. For France and Germany, the required changes would total 6.1 percent and 3.4 percent of GDP, respectively.
the IMF doesn't think that governments can easily inflate away their debt, in part because much of it is short-term and has to be rolled over constantly. The report estimates that increasing inflation to 6 percent annually would on average eliminate less than a quarter of projected increases in debt-to-GDP ratios