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The liars tell them. Ken Fisher, who makes a healthy living off of usury, defends usury.

America’s massive debt will doom us. That’s common wisdom, but wrong.

In Manhattan, a giant clock displays not only the total – almost $23 trillion for now – but your share, ticking up every second. Pundits say it’s trouble. But U.S. debt fears have lurked forever, and those troubles are no closer now than decades ago. In some ways, they’re further off.

Here’s how to see that, using tools that show when debt truly becomes problematic.

The $23 trillion total seems jaw-dropping but says little about what really matters: How readily Uncle Sam can pay the piper.

Pundits cite our debt-to-GDP ratio as evidence of a debt addiction. With $21 trillion of GDP, that ratio is 103% — lower than Italy’s and Japan’s, but higher than Germany’s and Britain’s. Debt topping GDP sounds dire. But that’s misleading. The federal government itself owns more than a quarter of U.S. debt, money the government essentially owes itself. It’s an accounting entry. As an asset and a liability, it effectively cancels out. Otherwise, net outstanding public debt is $16.7 trillion— 76% of GDP. That’s still unimportant.

All deceit. Notice the de-link from “we owe it to ourselves” (a lie) to “government owes itself” (also a lie)? So, so clever. If it canceld out, it would have been canceled out. We’ve covered that before. Fisher – you may have seen one of his clever commercials on CNBC – is like a puff of smoke next to the Wizard’s grand, booming presentation (of lies).

Believe a con artist salesman who makes a living selling lies (and usury), or believe the worst of our enemies, who sometimes manage to tell a little self-interested truth. Says the BIS:

“The room for monetary policy maneuver has narrowed further. Should a downturn materialize, monetary policy will need a helping hand, not least from a wise use of fiscal policy in those countries where there is still room for maneuver.

Against this backdrop, sovereign bond yields naturally declined further, at times driven by the prospect of slower economic activity and heightened risks, at others by central banks’ reassuring easing measures. At one point, before the recent uptick in yields, the amount of sovereign and even corporate bonds trading at negative rates hit a new record, over USD 17 trillion according to certain estimates, equivalent to roughly 20% of world GDP. Indeed, some households, too, could borrow at negative rates. A growing number of investors are paying for the privilege of parting with their money. Even at the height of the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2007-09, this would have been unthinkable. There is something vaguely troubling when the unthinkable becomes routine,” Borio warned.

“Vaguely troubling,” this worst downturn in recorded history. Any “countries where there is still room for maneuver” best wise up. That ain’t us, so no need to worry about it. We owe it themselves.