The United States’ national debt is nearly $23 trillion, which is larger than the entire U.S. economy, but Fisher Investments founder Ken Fisher spoke to FOX Business’ David Asman about his op-ed about the national debt.
Fisher says the net interest expense the government has to pay to service its debt is half what it was in the 1980s and 1990s because interest rates have come down faster than the debt has increased.
“It would take either a huge increase in debt from here or a huge sustained increase in short- and long-term interest rates or both to get us to a level that could possibly be problematic because we lived through the debt levels of the 1980s very comfortably, and we’re at half those levels today,” Fisher said on “Bulls & Bears.”
Fisher maintains the country has survived recessions in worse condition, so he’s not concerned with America’s current rising debt.
“There’s pockets of problems of debt all around the world, and there always have been, and I believe there always will be, but pockets of debt are not relative to the overall level on a global basis,” Fisher said. “The world’s actually in fine shape.
” People think debt’s bad. More debt’s worse. Too much debt? You go to hell.”
Fisher said people tend to only look at the negative side of debt instead of viewing it the way a corporation would.
Instead, Fisher has another suggestion: get rid of bonds.
“The function of the government buying long bonds, which they never should have been doing in the first place, takes the yield curve and flattens it, relative to what it would be otherwise,” Fisher said. “That flatter yield curve disincentivizes banks from lending since the core business of banking is using short-term deposits as the basis for making long-term loans.”
Fisher believes if we want banks to loan to marginal corporate borrowers, the solution is to steepen the yield curve, and the best way to do that, he said, is to “dump all the stupid bonds they never should’ve bought in the first place.”