Everyone at the Treasury is Getting a Brazilian

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An article was posted on Forbes.com today entitled “Bad Sign: Investors Comparing U.S. Treasury To Brazil” by Howard Gleckman that compares the United States to Brazil in order to make a point about the American debt limit debate and the perspective of the United States as an investment from the perspective of a global market. Gleckman’s main point was that the dollar is the reserve currency of the global economy because everyone assumes the country pays its bills, unlike Brazil, which Gleckman says, “has either defaulted or restructured its sovereign debt nine times—most recently in 1986-87.”

What’s interesting to think about with this article is the unnamed investor’s opinion that Gleckman mentions, who thinks it would be “no big deal” if the UI.S. government defaulted on paying its bills for a short time. To me, that seems cavalier, and I suppose I side with Gleckman in that some power of the U.S. economy comes from the fact that it’s reputable, but I would like to discuss the idea with people who might think the default wouldn’t be a big deal and be able to explain why.

Another thing that was interesting about the article was the focus on the stock market and the discussion of debt limit has mainly been a national issue, and no one seems to be discussing the impact of the government shutdown and default debate from the perspective of foreign investors. I understand some of the issues facing the U.S., but what do people think are some of the risks that foreign investors are facing with default or shutdown, and do you think there is any compelling economic argument for politicians who, like Gleckman’s investor friend, thinks it’s no big deal?

Work Cited

Gleckman, H. (2013 October 8). Bad sign: Investors comparing U.S. treasury to brazil. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/beltway/2013/10/08/bad-sign-investors-comparing-u-s-treasury-to-brazil/.