Sunday, November 06, 2005

Patriot Bonds?

In an online discussion, someone said to me:

"And having China and Japan owning large amounts of America debt is unsettling," which made me decide that I should get my pet idea officially out so as to take credit for the one bit of perspicacity I might possess while I have the chance. I responded:

Yes, with the vitriolic anti-Americanism in the upper echelons of the PRC's government, especially the military. And the draconian one-child policy (which has recently been relaxed) means China has a glut of young men with no one to marry--the perfect candidates to invade Taiwan, Mongolia, maybe Siberia.

But we can always pull the debt back into US hands with a little yankee ingenuity. I'd create something called "Patriot Bonds" that the US government would sell exclusively to US citizens. With the money raised from this, the treasuries held by Asian banks could be bought back. If these Asian banks tried to buy the Patriot Bonds up from American holders, that's fine too. Just perpetually issue more, enriching US citizens in the process, until the Asian banks grow weary of taking a loss. I'm not sure how that would play out in the financial world, as it's an original idea I haven't heard from anyone else. But conceptually it seems like it would work if things got out of control.

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