This article delves into the intricacies of the US debt ceiling, exploring its implications for investors.
The debt ceiling, essentially a limit on the US government’s borrowing capacity, holds significant importance in the country’s fiscal landscape.
With the debt ceiling currently set at a staggering $31.4 trillion, it becomes crucial to understand its consequences and potential outcomes.
In this article, we will outline nine essential points about the debt ceiling, discuss the actions investors should consider, examine the likelihood of a US default, and conclude with a broader perspective on this complex issue.
1. The debt ceiling is a limit on how much money the US government can borrow to pay its bills
Established in 1917, the debt ceiling is a legislative restriction imposed on the amount of money the US government can borrow. It was designed to prevent overspending, providing a means for Congress to control the government’s debt accumulation.
In spite of this, it is ironic to note that over the course of the last few years, they have significantly overspent in comparison to what they have actually earned.
2. The debt ceiling has been raised 87 times since 1960
Over the years, the debt ceiling has been raised multiple times, reflecting the growing financial demands of the government. The most recent increase occurred in December 2021, setting the debt ceiling at a staggering $31.4 trillion.
3. The current debt ceiling is set at $31.4 trillion
Comparatively, a decade ago, in January 2012, the debt ceiling stood at $16.3 trillion. This exponential increase emphasizes the escalating scale of government borrowing. At present, the US government is authorized to borrow up to $31.4 trillion to fulfill its financial obligations.
4. The US government is currently borrowing about $4 trillion per year
Given the significant borrowing rate of $4 trillion annually, it becomes evident that the debt ceiling will require further adjustment. The ongoing debate and deliberation in Congress highlight the urgency of raising the debt ceiling. Failure to raise it would result in a default on US debt.
5. A default on US debt would likely lead to a recession
A default on US debt would have devastating consequences, potentially triggering a recession. A recession manifests through declining output, employment, and prices, significantly impacting millions of Americans who could lose their jobs, homes, and savings.
6. A default on US debt would likely lead to higher interest rates
If the US were to default, it would face a lowered credit rating, subsequently leading to higher interest rates. Increased interest rates would make borrowing more expensive for businesses, hampering investment and economic growth.
7. A default on US debt would likely lead to a decline in the value of the US dollar
As the world’s reserve currency, the US dollar plays a pivotal role in international trade. A default on US debt would diminish confidence in the currency, making it more expensive for Americans to purchase goods and services from other countries.
If you have been keeping up with recent news, you may have noticed that China has expressed intentions to create its own currency through the BRICS system. They are aiming to encourage the international community to adopt a China-led currency as the global reserve, and we are witnessing the Saudis and the Middle East showing support for this endeavor as well.
8. A default on US debt would likely lead to a loss of confidence in the US government
A default would erode investor and business confidence in the US, resulting in reduced investment and slower economic growth.
9. The US government has never defaulted on its debt
Despite numerous close calls, the US government has never defaulted on its debt. In past instances, last-minute agreements were reached, such as in 2011, when a compromise was made to raise the debt ceiling and avoid default.
What Should Investors Do?
Stay informed – To safeguard against potential losses, it is crucial for investors to stay informed about the debt ceiling situation. Stay updated with news and analysis from financial experts to make informed decisions.
Diversify your portfolio – Maintain a diversified portfolio to mitigate the impact of a debt ceiling crisis. By investing in a variety of assets such as stocks, bonds, and real estate, investors can spread risk and increase resilience.
Rebalance your portfolio regularly – This involves selling some winning assets and purchasing underperforming ones, aligning your investments with your risk tolerance and long-term goals.
Do not panic – Market volatility is inherent, and there will be ups and downs. Avoid panic selling during market downturns, as this may lock in losses. Focus on the long-term and maintain a calm approach.
Will the US Actually Default on Its Debt?
The national debt of the United States is not influenced by political factors; rather, it is tied to the monetary system we operate in. Our current system relies on debt, and discussions about raising the debt ceiling are merely political spectacles. It is necessary to increase the debt ceiling and continue printing money to prevent a collapse. Consequently, they will likely raise the debt ceiling and reintroduce Quantitative Easing measures.
Drawing a parallel between the US debt ceiling and our personal finances is an important reminder of responsible financial management. In our personal lives, we should only spend within our means, ensuring that our expenses are less than our income. This prudent approach allows us to build savings, avoid excessive debt, and maintain financial stability.
However, the current state of the US government’s finances paints a different picture. Overspending and accumulating substantial debt have become the norm. The debt ceiling predicament serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of such financial practices on a larger scale.
As individuals, we should take this opportunity to reaffirm the importance of sound financial habits in our own lives. While we cannot control the actions of the government, we can control our personal financial choices and ensure a more secure and prosperous future for ourselves and our families. Let the US debt ceiling serve as a cautionary tale, urging us to embrace responsible financial management and learn from the mistakes made at a higher level.
Rickie Sanchez is an article writer specializing in cryptocurrency news. Since late 2017, he has been actively investing in cryptocurrencies. He is enthusiastic about everything that has to do with crypto and he hopes that the readers of his articles in the years to come will gain a massive understanding of blockchain technology.