Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Debt and Partisan Economics Revisited

My last post, Partisan Economics, generated a lot of discussion and debate, although much of it was a back and forth between me and a textbook Keynsian.   

Before continuing, I want to address a point that Barry Ritholtz mentioned to me, stating that there are indeed a lot of deficit partisans out there who are acting with extreme hypocrisy.  This is indubitably true - and they should be held accountable as hypocrites.  However, this doesn't mean that their newfound deficit concerns are unfounded, which is what I was trying to show in my post.

I already linked to Krugman and Reich on the subject, and Dean Baker weighed in yesterday as well.   On the other side, the Pragmatic Capitalist wrote a piece similar in tone to mine, and made some important clarifications about Keynsian Economics:

"The truth is – Keynesianism works – in the right environment.  It works well when debt is fairly low and organic economic growth is relatively strong, but exponential debt growth becomes an increasing concern every time you print your way out of an economic downturn.  The larger the downturn, the larger the response.  So on and so forth.  If you happen to enter a period of severe irrationality and spending the problems multiply.  If the recovery period is not used to pay down debts the problems become exponentially worse.  The tipping point comes when the debt burden hinders future economic growth and destroys your ability to spend your way out of any future recessions.  It effectively turns into one great pyramid scheme if it you let it get out of hand."

 and then:

"In sum, the idea that you can turn on the debt spigot every time your economy gets into trouble is deeply flawed.  The major flaw in the Keynesian approach is that it ignores  exponential growth in debts.  As a government continually spends and prints to get themselves out of one recession the debt they incur slowly hinders their ability to overcome any impending economic woes.   Should they continue to attempt to print and spend their way out of each subsequent recession it becomes a negative feedback loop.  The debt hinders future economic growth, the potential for subsequent downturns actually increases and the ability to handle those downturns is severely reduced.  If fiscal imprudence continues in times of recovery you end up right where we are today."

Dean Baker's piece was the most surprising to me.  It echoes Krugman's points, and generated some very intelligent replies in his comments section rebutting his claims.  One commenter rebuts Baker point by point, accurately, in my opinion:  it's a must read here.  Here's just a little taste, the first paragraph of eight:

"{Baker wrote:}“The country faces a serious crisis in the form of a manufactured crisis over the budget deficit”. {commenter responds:}The world is in the grips of the first truly global DEBT crisis of unprecedented proportions. Period. Public sector debt, corporate debt, personal debt: not even in the great wars of centuries past have we seen such extreme debt levels, when expressed as a percentage of GDP. It is one thing to say, “The ratio of (public) debt to GDP was over 110 percent after WWII”, suggesting that, therefore today’s numbers needn’t concern us. It is quite another to observe that, in fact, “total credit market debt as a % of GDP” at its WWII peak was less than 170%, whereas today it is more than double, at about 350%. In other words, WWII was financed with “public sector” debt; when the war ended, so did the expenditures, and the US enjoyed a financially solvent private sector with a suddenly expanded, hard working labour force with which to pay off the debt. Now we have comparable levels of public sector debt AND unprecedented levels of private sector debt; and anyone who ignores that inconvenient fact is a fool."

Clusterstock republished a segment of Baker's piece, and commenter Mike C clarified another nice, simple point:

Baker wrote: "The problem is that, as a society, we are not spending enough to keep the economy running at capacity." 

Commenter Mike C responds:

"The problem is, for too many years we've had a seriously inflated idea of what our 'capacity' really is. Our economy running at 'capacity' is something more akin to 1985 levels than 2005 levels. The rest of that was a flood of easy credit and overleveraging...not actual capacity."

Finally, Ron Paul weighs in.  Do with that one what you will...



James said...

Nearly a year after the crisis apparently hit bottom I still cannot figure out why anyone would own any equities when there is a very real case to be made that there is no equity left in the US at all.

Walker Z said...


One of the Ron Paul commenters provided a link to Chuck Norris's exclusive 2/8/10 World Net Daily column on the deficit. No, not kidding.

wcw said...

To answer your questions from the other thread: no, I am not an anything-ian. Belief systems are designed to replace thinking with faith, so I avoid them. And I have no opinion of your poker thinking; it's not my game. But it is zero sum, and approaching these issues as zero sum is the category error here, so I excepted your zero-sum writing.

You might also be very careful using or quoting words like 'never'.

Anonymous said...

(I submitted this to the previous post before I realized you had started a new thread on this topic)

I agree that the Ponzi finance bubble must be deflated , but it takes time if you don't want a real depression.

The last chart is the important one : total credit mkt debt /GDP. I'd like to see a more granular look over the past 2 years as to how that figure has changed. We want to work down from the peak over time. As long as private sector deleveraging exceeds gov't releveraging , we're headed in the right direction : downward on the total debt/gdp curve.

Japan was headed down on the curve as well , until the GFC.

As a group , the advanced economies need to pursue the same strategy : delever to bring total credit mkt debt/gdp down steadily , but not abruptly. Gov't debt/gdp will have to rise for most of those countries , but if it's more than offset by declining private debt/ gdp , the result will be the least-worse outcome , out of many -- all bad -- possible oucomes. Turn off the gov't spigots too soon and a bigger crash will follow , inevitably.

The sudden focus on gov't debt/gdp misses the bigger picture.

Kid Dynamite said...

@wcw - you're right - "never" is a dangerous word... i just did a search and couldn't find where i used it though... ???

Kid Dynamite said...

@wcw - ps: we've NEVER been in a debt situation like we are today - as a nation - with consumer, corporate, and government debt levels as high as they are (as a % of GDP, too, of course)

you left a comment about 1946 in the other thread - i think the Baker commenter that i quoted here addressed that issue.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the comparison to 1946.

1) GIs returning to the US had largely saved much of their pay. There was a huge amount of capital in private hands in the late 1940s. They didn't need lots of debt to do what they wanted. Exactly the opposite of today.

2) Population boomed in the late 1940s. Consumption forces like no other. Exactly the opposite of today.

3) In the late 1940s, if you wanted to manufacture something, you went to the US. Not exactly the opposite of today, but the US is no longer a large manufacturer -- those jobs are gone.


Daniel said...

Sidebar: proof that vampires exist: John Thain in at Cit. Will he only be working at night?

Игры рынка said...

"The truth is – Keynesianism works" ...
... in a gold standard. Gold standard was dead 40 years ago. Today's money is fiat and have intrinsic worth of ZERO. People do not accumulate gold indirectly via money and therefore today's debt levels are meaningless and "burdens" disguise the issue. There is no burden because burden is worth exactly ZERO.

Next step you need to take is to look at inflation which is the result of demand _constantly_ exceeding supply. And the relevant demand is not monetary demand driven by money supply (or you have to show where this demand is today). The relevant demand is real demand which does not exist today. Result - deflation. Money supply is exogenous from central bank perspective or you have to explain how central bank can _make_ people buy and how current "excessive" reserves have already translated into real demand. You can not explain any of this because it is all wrong

Kid Dynamite said...

market games - thank you for the excellent description of why, despite some people's fears, we do not YET have inflation. yes. i agree.

again, my point is that if and when we run into trouble rolling or paying back our debt, that formula changes in a binary fashion - very quickly.

"Today's money is fiat and have intrinsic worth of ZERO." YES again! it's based on confidence that it will be respected to have some sort of value, which is why it's essential that policy makers do not destroy its value by constantly creating more of it.

i still can't believe you want to argue this - worthless currencies are not a figment of my fear mongering inducing imagination - they happen (most recently: zimbabwe). The fact that people believe the US is invincible and that it could never happen to us is exactly the problem.

note: i realize that US hyperinflation is not imminent (in the next 6 weeks, 6 months, or maybe even 6 years) - you explained the reasons in your comment - but you have to see that this phenomenon can change (And will, eventually, with continued increased money supply and debt issuance)

But What do I Know? said...

I think your post says it best--sometimes Keynesian stimuli work, and sometimes they don't, and the more often they are used, the less they will work.

One could argue that the US has been engaged in a vast Keynesian project over the last 40 years in Health and Medicare, where spending has increased over 10% per year (on average) to $750 billion annually (larger than the defense budget.) * OMB data.

This spending has led to a dramatic climb in jobs in Healthcare--in fact, this area is where the bulk of positions have come in the last ten-fifteen years (BOL stats). The Federal government has been stimulating the economy for a long time already--a couple of highway projects just isn't going to do that much.

Anonymous said...

Japan - rapidly aging population, virtually no immigration.

Japan's economy is of not much use as a comparable for us. I don't understand why people persist.

Unless we want to end immigration. Then Japan is a fairly successful model for how to manage an economy with a rapidly aging population and virtually no immigration.

rjs said...

Bloomberg's Reilly thinks it would be a good wake up call if we lost our AAA rating...

Transor Z said...

There's a reason why we use the phrase "full faith and credit" to talk about sovereign backing of fiat currencies.Mugabe's portrait... Ben Franklin' portrait. Doing the hand scales thing.

Kid Dynamite said...

i do think it would be worthwhile for readers to check the link that MarketGames included at the end of the other thread:

it's an overly simplified and highly qualified example of the kind of economy he is talking about. HOWEVER, i think it's essential to realize that it bears somewhere between little and no relevance when considering the US's role in the global economy, and is a key example of where economists err - in trying to extrapolate highly qualified, theoretical examples to complex real world situations

Reality Check said...

If you really want to get away from "partisan economics", do yourself a favor and stop referring to anyone with whom you happen to disagree as a "Keynesian." You cannot prove yourself right or others wrong just by saying "Keynes" like a magical voodoo spell.

Your use of "Keynes" as an epithet is particularly absurd because Keynes was more successful equity trader than you are and a better economist than anyone who is likely to comment on your blog. However, he is no longer available to run your book or give us economic advice. We're going to have to work this one out on our own.

Anonymous said...

It is no wonder that this fed has endorsed keynesian clownism whole heartedly 100% in the last 40+ years. What amazes this poster is that they have both political isles squarely in bed with their fiscal insanity.

Even a child would know nothin' plus nothin' is nothin'. As the fed since its inception has looted the people by firstly, trashing the value of the buck. For instance 4 cents in 1913 had the same purchasing power as a dollar does today, when comparing apples to apples; And by conjuring printing schemes to further benefit those closest to the printing presses with bountiful rewards as witnessed by the banking bonuses when the need suits.

Yes, the policies of 'loot and leave' will forever stick in my head as this lunacy continues seemingly unabated. As a fact some even endorse this and more as a way out of todays mess, when in fact its similair to giving a heroin addict more heroin to fix his problem, or a drunk another drink to accomplish the same. You cannot make this stuff up.

Someday its my hope that the adults will once again rule the monetary system like they once did a long time ago in the US, but in the short term it is my belief one would be a damned fool to not protect oneself in hard gold assets.

getyourselfconnected said...

Emotions running high on this post and the last post. KD you must be hitting a nerve!

Inherent in the US credit worthy-ness assumption is that if pressed the US could raise taxes X amount and/or seize private property to close a funding gap. Those thinking that way must be from other countries (hello China and the Eurozone) beacuse I can about guarantee soem serious problems should they go that route.

Anonymous said...


You and the other fellows in the Right Brigade keep pounding away on eqivocating personal debt with sovereign debt. They are not the same thing and repeating that they are doesn't change the facts.

You then quote historical references that are so breathlessly idyllic and revisionist there is zero merit in using it as a logical justification. Zero.

Baker is 100% correct, this is a manufactured crisis such that it has the real chance to create and sustain the Hoover-Obama label.

Finally, this notion of economic capacity is mixed up with your debt hyperbole.

My macro-world view puts economic capacity somewhere near full employment. I'd be interested to hear what you envision as reaching full 'economic capacity.' I think everyone agrees the current economic conditions isn't it.

Kid Dynamite said...

anon @ 4:23 - so, to summarize your comment: the worth of my analogies is completely zero, and the validity of Dean Baker's claim is 100% true. unfortunately, the amount you have convinced me is also 0%, since you have provided nothing in support of your position. meanwhile, I have offered detailed explanations (via others) as to why Post WWII debt levels are irrelevant, and why Japan's situation is irrelevant.

Now, you accuse me of being on the "Right Brigade." Hah - dude - i live in NH and don't give two shits about politics, except for the ways in which political means are used to destroy my economic future - which was the entire point of this post and the last - PARTISAN economics.

if you want to convince me that i'm wrong, start here: 1) when US debt matures, we (the US gov't that is) have to either a) print money to pay back the debt obligations (and that printing need not be physical - it can be digital) or b) sell more debt to pay back the obligations. correct? or incorrect?

2) at some point, it's entirely possible (and i don't mean epsilon risk here, i mean REALLY possible) that purchasers of government debt will decide that they no longer want US Debt, or dollars, and instead prefer sand, guns, canned food, gold, Chinese debt, Japanese origami cranes or orange juice. possible? or impossible?

3) if the event in #2 above happens, the inevitable result will be the loss of the purchasing power of the US dollar or inflation. true? or false?

i can actually imagine a hypothetical world (which would be a communist state, interestingly enough, as the main contra-view in these comments has come from a Cyrillic commenter) where no one would care if the government debased the currency because the government would be providing all goods and services for the people. there's one huge problem, although this economic world may exist in a textbook or laboratory: THAT IS NOT HOW THE USA's CAPITALIST ECONOMY WORKS.

here's a fact: I have savings. pretend it's in cash. If the government creates new money to pay off debts which it cannot pay off any other way (as in point #1 above - when the ponzi scheme of rolling debt ends), it devalues my savings. It redistributes savings by devaluing them. It makes all the dollars i've worked to earn thus far worth LESS... HOPEFULLY, not worthless, although if you argue that is an impossible scenario, i'll say that you haven't been paying attention to world economies for the last 80 years.

the difference between sovereign debt and personal debt is that sovereign nations can create more money to extinguish debt. right? or wrong? is it your assertion that the rest of the world sucks so much that the USD will always, beyond a shadow of a doubt, be the reserve currency of the world - no matter how plentiful dollars become? you'll have to explain the logic behind that one to me. i'm listening.

Shishir said...

Thanks for sharing the very interesting comments Kid. I tend to agree with the notion effective fiscal policy depends a lot on the context in which it's being implemented.

In a debt-ridden society, a lot of side effects come into play when usual fiscal and monetary policy is put into high gear. And evenetually, we reach a point when the unintended consequences of those policies end up being worse than the problems those policies were trying to solve.

I had done some analysis on sovereign debt, though in a different context. Would be interesting to hear your thoughts on it Kid:

Reality Check said...

"KD you must be hitting a nerve!"

You have jumped to a wrong conclusion. You don't have to love taxes and deficits to be annoyed at the hypocrisy of partisan name-calling in a post ostensibly about non-partisan economics, you just have to love intellectual honesty.

Saying that someone is wrong because they are "Keynesian" is no different than saying they are wrong because they are "Austrian". Its a lazy crutch used to avoid marshaling facts and arguments.

getyourselfconnected said...

Nerve, sore spot whatever.

Kid Dynamite said...

reality check - i was going to respond to you the first time, but i decided to ignore you: because i never used the word Keynesian as you suggested. I quoted Pragmatic Capitalist twice, once explaining how Keynes's logic works, and once how it doesn't.

I also used the word once in the opening line of this post, describing a core difference between the views of a commenter and myself, which resulted in the bulk of the comments. If i wanted to write off or ignore the comments of MarketGames (the Cyrillic commenter to whom i was referring), i wouldn't have mentioned them in the opening line of my post.

there is certainly no partisan name calling in this post or the prior one, although I do appreciate how you've pulled a classic Krugman trick, and labeled those who disagree with you or show how your views are wrong as "partisan" in an attempt to discredit them.

as usual, i continue to wait for you or anyone else to take a specific part of this post or the prior one and explain in detail why it's incorrect (in other words - "private debt is different from public debt" isn't good enough).

Anonymous said...

1. When US debt matures, the answer is none of the above. Pay off the old security with a new one.

When a sovereign 'borrows', it borrows from the printing press they own. It doesn't become progressively more expensive or otherwise burden the Nation's populace. Just turn on the printing press.

2. The purchaser of the sovereign debt assumes all of the risk. (ex, China) If they throw a tantrum and declare all debts payable now, what are they going to do with all of those worthless USD's?

They've just severed ties with a viable trading partner (less work for the masses) The worst part of all is they have just turned their trading partner into their strongest competitor by flushing the value of the dollar down the drain. You thought the Chinese workers were mad when the Gov't stopped trading with the U.S. Wait until the ripple effects of this one hits!

What can the sovereign debt holder do with the debt? Buy American things like real estate, maybe a Pro sports team, maybe seaport operations. Those enterprises employ Americans!

ALL of the power lies with the sovereign who issued the debt.

3. Three doesn't happen.

Anonymous said...

My explanation relies upon some key assumptions about the American Economy.

1. It has the ability to make things. Generally speaking, I'd say Americans would start making thing again pretty quickly.

2. It has the infrastructure to support economic activity. Which is sort of true. I think people realize the importance of logistical/energy efficiency now more than in years past.

3. The society is not particularly corrupt. Which is still true to some degree. Ex. you don't need to bribe the electricity supplier to drop a 220v into your facility, or bribe the gov't inspector to keep your plant open. This is quite common in the rest of the world.

Kid Dynamite said...

ok, now we're getting somewhere. i'm assuming that anon @ 6:03 and 6:10pm are the same person.

now, here's my most important question from the 6:03 comment: you said "3) doesn't happen" WHY NOT?!?!? as we turn on the printing press to pay back china - why doesn't the dollar get devalued? why doesn't the dollar lose purchasing power (i don't mean right now in the next few months of our deflationary cycle - i mean eventually)

the question of who has the upper hand in the China-US situation right now is extremely interesting and important, and i definitely don't think it's cut and dry that the issuer of the debt has all the power. China has more money than they know what to do with. They have problem where they are in (into USD instruments) up to their elbows and can't simply walk away - obviously.

please note that your logic is that china HAS to roll their holdings of US debt because if they don't they end up with worthless USD... think about that!!! (i don't disagree - that's the conundrum - but it's clear to me that it's not a sustainable situation when your primary investor is an investor out of fear of greater loss). There's a saying: if you owe the bank $1000, you have a problem. If you owe the bank $10mm, the bank has a problem. Well, China is the bank, and they have a problem because we owe them too much money. that much is understood and agreed upon - but i am not betting our future that it's a stable situation! it can't be!

what's more interesting is the equilibrium that you mention in your two comments: 1 (from the second comment)) the US does make stuff, but others (china) make it more efficiently, so they sell more, BUT 2) (from the first comment) if the USD collapsed, it would aid our trade imbalance and allow us to produce goods to sell to other countries.

HOWEVER - lets get back to your original claim that 3) the loss of purchasing power or inflation does not happen... it seems you're acknowledging that it does happen if China walks away - but you're saying that they will NOT walk away.

Kid Dynamite said...

ps, Anon - your answer to my question 1 - which you claimed was "none of the above" is not none of the above at all - it's the b) i proposed: sell more debt to pay back the obligations... aka, roll the debt. aka, as you said "pay off the old security with a new one."

surely you must admit that there can and will come a day when no one wants to buy the new security right? when that happens the outcome must be answer a) turn on the printing press... how then do we not get to 3) devaluation of the dollar?

getyourselfconnected said...

A lost parameter in all of this is the assumption that China would not hurt their own economy or risk public unrest by dumping US notes. If that is the case they would be the first communist country with their people's best interests in mind and not the "country's" best strategic interests in mind and yes the two are different.

Anonymous said...


Regarding question three, the dollar doesn't devalue because no one wants that to happen. The Chinese (in my example) don't want the U.S. as a competitor. So anyone trading with the U.S. has to, more or less, pay careful attention to the well being of their trading partner.

It's not 'sell more debt.' It's rolling over. This is a critical distinction and where many people make the mistake of conflating a sovereign debt rollover with some kind of personal debt. Rolling over the debt has no cost because we run the press that makes the notes. Those notes can only be spent in the U.S.

The power balance issue is not that interesting, really. The owner of the press has all the power for reasons already expressed. China has a bunch of Greenbacks. The only thing they can do with them is spend them in the U.S. Going waaay back to when Japan was holder of **enormous** foreign reserves. Look how that's worked out for them. Again, don't be tempted to associate holding sovereign debt like wealth. It's not.

Also you introduce 'inflation' and 'loss of purchasing power.' They are two entirely different concepts that don't apply to the scope of this discussion. That's not an easy-out, but it gets *very* wonky fast with lots of differing opinions. A 10,000 ft. overview of sovereign currency is hard to find nits to pick.

Now, when you read stories about Greece and other EU members, don't jump in with an opinion because their debt/economic/political situation is not a simple two-sovereigns model.

Kid Dynamite said...

anon - i understand that rolling debt does not increase the debt. i don't want to get into semantics: perhaps i should have said "sell NEW debt" instead of sell "more" debt. my point is simply that the old debt cannot be paid off - it must be rolled (and that is the definition of a ponzi scheme)

in any case, it seems your argument is based entirely on the view that China has no choice in the matter but to continue on their current path (funding us).

if that's you're view, then we've reached the logical conclusion to our discussion - i agree that it's in everyone's best interest currently if China does exactly that, yet I'm also COMPLETELY convinced that it's not sustainable. Might it last another 5 years? 15 years? maybe - yes. will it collapse in my lifetime? I'm certain of it.

I cannot prove this, and you cannot prove the opposite. My point is that "no one wants the dollar to collapse" is not proof that it won't.

Kid Dynamite said...

further, anon, while I still have your ear, I ask you for another clarification: you wrote "This is a critical distinction and where many people make the mistake of conflating a sovereign debt rollover with some kind of personal debt. Rolling over the debt has no cost because we run the press that makes the notes."

I, as a US homeowner, may have a mortgage. In order to pay off that mortgage, perhaps instead of using money that I actually earned, I decide to refinance my mortgage because someone is willing to say that my house is worth more and lend to me against that value. So, i pay off my old bank, take out a bigger mortgage at my new bank, and treat myself to a new car with the extra cash. I manage to repeat this process again, and then again, until finally the value of my house stops increasing: now i have no money to payback the mortgage, and i can't find a sucker - i mean "bank"- to continue my ponzi scheme. I default and get foreclosed on.

How is this different from the Sovereign US? Note that we're spending more and more (As a nation), so the cost of rolling our {increasing} debt can/DOES increase (actually, sometimes it decreases too, of course, depending on the global risk situation). Obviously, IF we run out of suckers, we have a printing press - yes, i understand that - and running the printing press debases the currency. Also, i know that you've stated your opinion (which i disagree with ) that we cannot run out of "Suckers" because China is stuck on us with no exit strategy.

Transor Z said...

I'm curious to know how some of the commenters see the "bond vigilante" phenomenon in an environment of the growing national debt/increasing rollover amounts KD references.

Anyone care to comment?

Anonymous said...


You are making the critical error of conflating your home->bank with sovereign debt->Debt holder. This is a common error and this is what politicians vested in opposing Obama Administration policies are exploiting when they drum up the debt bogey man.

Within a sovereignty, you trade the title to your (finite) real estate for Dollars. (they are finite too) At the sovereign debt level, the treasury issues debt instruments at no cost and (not really) infinite supply. Again, the Sovereign debt can only be used in-country.

A sovereign holding U.S. debt will not ever willingly destroy the value of the debt. Any country holding sovereign debt is keenly interested in the welfare of their trading partner. All boats rise (and fall) with the tide.

China can wail and moan about selling arms to Taiwan, the Dalai Lama, whatever. But its in their best interest to sustain the value of sovereign debt. In order to keep its citizens busy working, China (my example nation) HAS to sustain the value of the US sovereign debt.

You then shift the conversation to fiscal debt. You are conflating sovereign debt and fiscal debt. Don't do that. If you want to talk about fiscal debt, fine. Don't bring sovereign debt (trading partners) into the discussion.

Fiscal debts is a very hotly contested economics topic. It frequently gets hijacked by politicians to serve their ends and like you did, wrongly conflated with sovereign debt.

There are lots of opinions, mine is *now* is the time to double/triple the deficit to create economic activity. There were other times in recent history when the deficit hawks were curiously silent. (GWB's era) That should be a strong indicator there is a great deal of vested interest in keeping the political order as-is.

Keeping the political order as-is likely means the Average Joe will probably get screwed. (again) Hence, my reference to how unclear thinking about deficits will lead to history referring to this time as the Hoover Obama Administration.

After the economy has fuller employment would be the time to return to a more balanced fiscal budget. This is unlikely as most voters will not stomach the sacrifice.

I hope that makes some sense.

Anonymous said...

Anom 12:00

I hope you didn't go to school to learn what you just said, because if you did; and nothing personal here, but if you went to school to get taught what you just wrote then I would reference you a full blown charlatan in economics that wasted a pile of doe. As well a certified quack in economics.
Again, nothing personal. I would also reference Dr. Krugman the same; Quack Krugman, the truest of charlatans!

'First, lets slowly debase the currency. Then lets debase the currency even faster. Oh, the glory of it all'.... If you are one step away from the printer;)