Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sovereign Debt

Fred thought it would be a good idea to post about sovereign debt. That term is thrown all around the news this day, but an awful lot of folks don't really know what that means exactly. So, I'll give you a definition:

Sovereign Debt: A debt instrument ( such as a bond, bill, note or CD) that is guaranteed by a government.

Right now from the wide perspective, there is an awful lot of sovereign debt all across the world. The real trouble seems to be that those guarantees don't seem to mean a whole lot. Lots of promises and pinky swears that don't look like they'll be fulfilled.

The reason this really bothers me a whole lot is because it's one of those "You shalt nots..." that made the top ten list. Namely- stealing. When you tell someone you want something they have, and are willing to pay for it, and then you don't; you have stolen from that person or nation. It doesn't matter if you didn't realize what you were doing at the time, or that some stroke of bad luck befell you, or that the person you borrowed from was a sucker- it is still wrong to take something for nothing. Doing it in a huge way actually makes it worse. Our whole nation seems to be doing this on a pretty large scale, from households, to small businesses, to large corporations. I just don't think those are good values to pass along to an entire generation. I also think this will come back and bite us. Not exactly sure how that will work itself out, but it is likely to do so eventually.

I don't know if it will be the euro first, or Greece solely, but teetering on the brink can only happen for so long no matter who you are. And I think a whole lot of us might be on the hook, for the actions of a small group of us. I guess we'll see.

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