quarta-feira, dezembro 17, 2008

A inspiração de Madoff?

Peter Schiff faz hoje no site da Euro Pacific Capital uma comparação entre a fraude Madoff e a forma como o governo dos Estados Unidos (na realidade, qualquer governo) gere a Segurança Social e a dívida pública. E adverte que os resultados poderão ser parecidos. Um excerto:

«The Social Security Administration runs its “trust funds” with precisely the same methods used by Madoff and Ponzi [um burlão do princípio do século XX]. As money is collected by from current workers, the funds are then dispersed to those already receiving benefits. None of the funds collected are actually invested, so no investment returns are ever generated. Those currently paying into the system are expected to receive their returns based on the “contribution” made by future workers. This is the classic definition of a Ponzi scheme. The only difference is that Ponzi didn’t own a printing press.

The United States Government runs its own balance sheet based on the Ponzi principal as well. Our national debt always grows and never shrinks. As existing debt matures, proceeds are repaid by issuing new debt. Interest payments on existing debt are also made by selling new debt to investors. The whole scheme depends on an ever growing supply of new lenders, or the willingness of existing lenders, to continue to roll over maturing notes. Of course, as was the case with Madoff, if enough of our creditors want their money back, the music stops playing.

In Madoff’s case, the rug pulling was provided by the huge financial losses suffered by some of his clients in other non-Madoff investments. When enough of these clients looked to sell some of their apparently well-performing Madoff assets to help offset such losses, the scam collapsed. The same thing could befall the United States Government. Now that China and our other creditors are looking to spend some of their U.S. Treasury holdings to stimulate their own economies, look for a similar outcome with even more dire implications.»