"Debt is money we owe to ourselves."
NY TimesDebt Is Money We Owe To OurselvesBy Paul KrugmanFebruary 6, 2015Antonio Fatas, commenting on recent work on deleveraging or the lack thereof, emphasizes one of my favorite points: no, debt does not mean that we’re stealing from future generations. Globally, and for the most part even within countries, a rise in debt isn’t an indication that we’re living beyond our means, because as Fatas puts it, one person’s debt is another person’s asset; or as I equivalently put it, debt is money we owe to ourselves — an obviously true statement that, I have discovered, has the power to induce blinding rage in many people...More than that, as Fatas points out, rising debt could be a good sign. Think of my little two-classes model of debt, where some people are less patient than others — perhaps (to step outside the model a bit) because they have better investment opportunities. Moving from a very limited financial system that doesn’t allow much debt to a somewhat more open-minded system should, in that case, be good for growth and welfare...And the problems with public debt are also mainly about possible instability rather than “borrowing from our children”. The rhetoric of fiscal debates has been, for the most part, nonsense.Read the entire piece here.