Parliamentary Library Blog

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  • Bumping its head on the ceiling - the US Treasury and extraordinary measures

    Posted 6/02/2014 by Tarek Dale
    The US Government debt ceiling is currently suspended, but will be re-instated on 8 February 2014 (Saturday). When the debt ceiling is reached, the US Treasury will once again face a situation where it has two conflicting objectives – to honour the US Government’s financial commitments, and to not issue new debt. A small number of ‘extraordinary measures’ can be used in the short term, but they aren’t sustainable solutions. The temporary ‘headroom’ they provide below the debt ceiling will likely only last until June at the latest, and possibly much less. Even the potential for default has an impact on borrowing costs, and the US Treasury said ‘A default would be unprecedented and has the potential to be catastrophic’. Read more...

    TAGS: debt, US economy

    Comments (0)
  • Australia's current debt position - December 2013 update

    Posted 20/12/2013 by Alan Payne
    Here we present a snapshot of Australia’s current debt position and how it has changed since the previously published articles on Australia’s debt position. This update provides the latest available data on Australia’s level of debt for both the public and private sectors in gross and net terms, and compares it with previously published data. For definitions of gross and net debt the reader is referred to the Library’s earlier Flagpost titled Australia’s current debt position from April 2011.Cha... Read more...

    TAGS: debt, foreign debt, gross debt, net debt

    Comments (6)
  • Has the United Kingdom sold their student debt?

    Posted 30/10/2013 by Coral Dow
    Image source: Wikimedia commons
    On a recent Q&A program Education Minister Christopher Pyne, in response to a question about selling HECS debt, stated: ‘Britain have sold their HECS debt as an asset and we should investigate whether that is a sensible move for us to do so.’ This Flag Post looks at the UK experience of selling some of their student loan; of a 2007 proposal to sell more that did not proceed and of recent proposals to again sell part of their student debt asset.Pre 1998 debtThe UK Labour Government introduced... Read more...

    TAGS: debt, higher education

    Comments (2)
  • Australia's current debt position - update June 2013

    Posted 25/06/2013 by Alan Payne
    This Flagpost article aims to present Australia’s current debt position and how it has changed since prior Flagposts on Australia’s debt position. This Flagpost updates the latest available data on Australia’s level of debt for both the public and private sectors in gross and net terms, and compares it with previously published data. For definitions of gross and net debt the reader is referred to the Library’s earlier Flagpost titled Australia’s current debt position.Chart 1 below presents Austr... Read more...

    TAGS: debt, foreign debt, gross debt, net debt

    Comments (0)
  • Australia’s current debt position – update July 2012

    Posted 1/08/2012 by Alan Payne
    In recent times a lot has been spoken about Australia’s debt level. This was no more evident than in the lead up to the last Federal election where it seemed to dominate debate. This article updates the data published in an earlier FlagPost titled Australia’s current debt position. I therefore intend in this article to report the latest available data on Australia’s level of debt for both the public and private sectors in gross and net terms. For more information on gross and net debt the reader... Read more...

    TAGS: debt, foreign debt, gross debt, net debt

    Comments (2)
  • Australia's current debt position

    Posted 13/04/2011 by Alan Payne
    The Parliamentary Library has published an update on Australia’s debt levels—please see Australia’s current debt position – update July 2012.In recent times a lot has been spoken about Australia’s level of debt. This was no more evident than in the lead up to the last Federal election where it seemed to dominate debate. Terms like net and gross debt were thrown around with no real understanding of what these terms actually mean. Therefore, in this article I aim to not only report on Australia’s ... Read more...

    TAGS: debt, foreign debt, gross debt, net debt

    Comments (0)
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