US nonfinancial debt (second quarter 2008) is $32.4 trillion dollars. This pie chart gives a breakdown of the debt by type. US GDP in 2006 (est.) was $13.13 trillion - let's guess it's $14 trillion now. Thus debt as a proportion of GDP is about 230%.
This graph shows that the 50-year mean ratio of such debt to GDP is 120.1%. So to get back to a long-term average, DEBT MUST HALVE. As I said in a reply to a comment today, it's like a game of musical chairs, but taking away half the chairs in one go.
In fact, an almost perfect fit would be to cancel all the mortgage debt in the USA - just to get back to the level of debt averaged over the last 50 years.
And Marc Faber is saying the bailout will need 5 trillion, not $700 billion.
Why don't we get really bold: $32.4 tn debt x 46% in the form of mortgages = $14.9 trillion. Give everybody their houses free of debt, make future loans on domestic property illegal. Yes, there'll be inflation, but the liberated houseowners will be able to afford it.
Will the banks be ruined? They're ruined now. Will the government have to nationalise them? They're doing it now.
These are revolutionary times. We may not be able to scourge the moneylenders from the temple, but at least we can chase them out of our houses.
Yes, the result's a house price crash, if you can't pump up the price with phoney-baloney money. But no debt, so so what?
The banker has inflated everything so you have to borrow to have anything. He's made himself indispensable, like a pusher of addictive drugs standing outside the school gates, giving away samples to get you hooked. He's your "friend", your "main man", who'll make you "well".
Bankers and their pet traders have become insanely rich by making you poor. Your assets are big on the outside and hollowed-out by debt on the inside; it's why they call it a bubble.
Do you know your enemy?