Japan Economists Call For 'Obama Bonds'
By Kosuke Takahashi
November 19, 2008 "Asia Times" -- -TOKYO - Japanese economists, increasingly concerned that the United States might seek to pay its enormous and growing debt obligations in a weakened US dollar, are looking to the possibility of US Treasuries being issued in yen.
The US government needs to borrow at least US$1 trillion in the coming year, excluding the US Treasury's $700 billion plan to bail out the financial and other industries, said Kazuo Mizuno, chief economist in Tokyo at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Co, a unit of Japan's largest publicly traded lender by assets. That amount is likely to grow as the US government continues to rescue failed parts of the economy and has to raise more debt - that is, issue government bonds, or Treasuries - to fund such rescues.
Since 2004, when the amount of the government bond issuance reached an annual average of $400 billion, 94% of new buyers of US government bonds have been foreigners, Mizuno told Asia Times Online.
One measure of the increased concern at the ability of the United States to finance its enormous deficits in the future is the rising cost of credit default swaps bought as protection of Treasury debt. These traded near a record high on Tuesday, with benchmark 10-year contracts on Treasuries incre... >>>
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