Stanley Druckenmiller, a high-risk hedge fund investor, pointed out that the current impasse over US debt is overshadowed by the risks of runaway future government spending.
“The fiscal recklessness of the last decade has been like watching a horror movie unfold,” Druckenmiller said in a speech at the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business.
After that statement, Druckenmiller came back via email, in which he expressed the view that the U.S. government should not focus on the debt ceiling, but on the future fiscal issue.
In fact, he characterized the administration’s logic as like sitting on the beach in Santa Monica and worrying about whether a 30-foot wave will damage the pier when you know there is a 200-foot tsunami just 10 miles away.
Comparison from a decade ago
Druckenmiller’s current comments are similar to those he made a decade ago, during a tour of 14 campuses, when he encouraged students to pay attention to growing federal deficits that he believed could bankrupt future generations. “The situation today looks much worse than I imagined 10 years ago,” he said.
“The big issue is rights like Social Security and Medicare, for which if no cuts occur today, they will have to be cut even more in the future,” Druckenmiller said.
In his speech, he also expressed concerns about the Biden administration’s plans for how it intends to address potential budget shortfalls, as well as the Republican Party’s inability to rein in fiscal spending.
More than 200 trillion
“Spending on seniors will reach 100 percent of federal tax revenues by 2040, based on Congressional Budget Office estimates,” the investor said, including interest spending.
“Moreover, the current U.S. debt load of $31 trillion does not take into account future royalty payments. Calculating the present value of this burden, the debt load is more than $200 trillion,” he said.
The policies of “easy money”
Druckenmiller also questioned the actions of the Federal Reserve, saying that the agency’s “easy money” policies over the past few decades have created problems for financial markets, the government and banks.
“Unfortunately, by still holding a large amount of government debt, the Fed continues to create the illusion that it can help our fiscal problems,” he added.
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