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March 05, 2012

Fixes for US financial problems - a little austerity and a lot of oil

Yesterday, Nextbigfuture reviewed a couple of the predictions of $5000 gold prices and a prediction that the US financial situation is not sustainable.

The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) assumes that the yield on the 10-year Treasury will rise from an estimated 2.3% this year to 5% by the end of the decade; and the yield on the 3-month T-bill will increase from 0.1% to 3.8% during the same time.

How the CBO forecasts 10 year interest rates (34 pages)

So yes debt levels are high and 10-year treasury interest rates will go up.

Unlike Greece, the United States has a sufficiently powerful wealth creation engine to support the nation that is currently being restrained. Like the Soviet Union the United States is spending a lot more defense than is needed. The United States has a lot of resources that are not being developed for political reasons. If the economic situation gets dire enough there will be a political shift to cutting the vast amount of financial waste and to making the necessary choices that can easily fix the economic problems.

The US has plenty of room for some austerity measures to set things right. Social security, medicare reform and tightening of the US defense budget to only be just twice as large as China's.

Plus the US can pull restraints off of oil and gas drilling and other mining to increase national income and wealth.

California could add oil production that is more than what Texas is currently producing

The Monterey field is also estimated to have 500 billion barrels of oil in place The Bakken oil field oil in place estimates range from 271 billion to 503 billion barrels (average estimate of 413 billion barrels).

Harold Hamm (billionaire owner of Continental oil) estimates the Bakken oil field will produce six times (24 billion barrels) the oil of the EIA estimate. Harold Hamm also believes that the San Joaquin Monterey California fields are the next big horizontal drilling play.

There is new technology for drilling which will further reduce the costs (by two thirds or more) and increase the speed of horizontal oil drilling.

The United States could have 6 to 8 trillion barrels of oil in place and 1.2 trillion to 2.4 trillion barrels could be recoverable.




500,000 bpd was brought online in North Dakota over 4 years, and Texas has also increased production as well by several hundred thousand barrels per day.

The US is increasing its oil production now but this process can be accelerated with pro-production policies in at the federal and state level.

Canada's Example of Austerity

The fixes of austerity to reduce spending would not increase debt. It would reduce deficits.

Canada was able to make adjustments 1993-1996

Here is the achievement of the Canadian government between 1993 and 1996. During those four years, the then Canadian administration of prime minister Jean Chretien managed to turn a deficit of 9.1% or 39bn Canadian dollars ($37bn; £25bn) into a small budget surplus. Overall, Canada trimmed government spending by 20%, with the Canadian budget of one year alone - 1995 - described even by ministers as the "bloodbath budget".

Ron Paul has proposed an austerity budget that would trim about $600 billion in annual spending.


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