Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Debt Chandrasekhar Limit Repost Due to Inclement Weather

Heavy wet snow and tons of ice from the most recent storm. I arrived home late due to traffic and I have to go out and try and clear some of the ice before a big freeze. Did I ever mention how much I love the winter?

Article from October 17, 2008
I was putting together some thoughts today about all the stimulus talk and even more calls for crazy government spending. I arrived at the conclusion that a post from October 17th captured my thinking exactly. Old link here. I am reprinting the entire post section because I think it says everything I want to put into words.

Does the United States Have a Debt Chandrasekhar Limit?
The entire financial mess that has engulfed the world is really quite easy to fix. I have seen many economists, bloggers, and others make the same argument over the past week that seems to be universal in its appeal. From Paul Krugman, to Nouriel Roubini and even the clearest heads at Minyanville all seem to have arrived at the same solution. Here it is in one sentence:

Have the US Treasury spend whatever it has to to fix the entire world.

Now some have various wrinkles to this plan, but they all boil down to the same thing. There is a growing consensus as bailout after bailout falls flat and a TARP Plan cannot even begin to cover the problem that wild spending is both desirable and harmless. Krugman himself penned an article today for the Times that says "Do not worry about budget deficits!" Give that man another Nobel Prize! Brilliant!

Now as I am one of the sorry uneducated masses, my question for Roubini, Krugman, et al is simple:
Does the United States Have a Debt Chandrasekhar Limit?

The Chandrasekhar Limit is defined as:
"For main-sequence stars with a mass below approximately 8 solar masses, the mass of this core will remain below the Chandrasekhar limit, and they will eventually lose mass (as planetary nebulae) until only the core, which becomes a white dwarf, remains. Stars with higher mass will develop a degenerate core whose mass will grow until it exceeds the limit. At this point the star will explode in a core-collapse supernova, leaving behind either a neutron star or a black hole.".

What I am asking is whether there is a limit on the amount of debt the US can generate before a total implosion occurs (the end result of a supernova). Is there a limit? It seems Iceland could not print or generate enough debt to save itself. Zimbabwe has the market cornered in the 10 Billion dollar note market as they print away. How come the US can make all the money they want?

I realize I am being a bit sarcastic here, but the question is a serious one. At present the US has around 3 Trillion dollars committed to this "rescue" effort. Is 6 trillion too much? 9 Trillion? 30 Trillion? At what point will the system break down and go supernova? Like the FED thinks they know what interest rates have to be in exact percentage points, do economists know how far we can push the debt envelope? I invite any and all to leave their answer in the comments section, or to vote in the new poll question along these lines.

If the US can just make all the money they need, why not make every US citizen a Billionaire? How about making the illegal immigrants millionaires? Why not? It is semantics to say the US can take on another 3-6 Trillion in deficit that will never be paid back but not 30 Trillion as that would be too much. It is not an intellectually honest argument. We will wait for an answer. It may be a while.

Have a good night.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

top [url=]uk casinos[/url] hinder the latest [url=]online casinos[/url] manumitted no store reward at the best [url=]unshackle casino games