According to the National Inflation Association, Harvard economics professor Gregory Mankiw wrote an article that was published in the NY Times yesterday entitled, “It’s 2026, and the Debt Is Due”. In this article, Mankiw gave a hypothetical Presidential address the President of the U.S. might make in the year 2026 after a failed bond auction. Mankiw’s hypothetical Presidential address takes place in a scenario where in the year 2026, the U.S. Treasury “tried to auction its most recent issue of government bonds” but “almost no one was buying.” According to Mankiw’s hypothetical speech, during this 2026 crisis the President will admit, “The private market will lend us no more.”
There’s just one problem: Unfortunately, Professor Mankiw fails to understand that the U.S. has zero chance of surviving until the year 2026. What Mankiw predicts will happen 15 years from now is already happening today right under his nose, but somehow he fails to realize it.
The public today has already stopped buying U.S. treasuries. The Pimco Total Return Fund, which was the largest private holder of U.S. government bonds, has just reduced their holdings down to zero. The private sector was buying 30% of U.S. treasuries, but today is no longer buying at all. The Federal Reserve is currently buying 70% of U.S. treasuries. If it wasn’t for the Federal Reserve buying U.S. treasuries, we would already be experiencing failed bond auctions today.