Bernanke Warns Long-Term Deficits Threaten Financial Stability
By Craig Torres and Brian Faler
June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said large U.S. budget deficits threaten financial stability and the government can’t continue indefinitely to borrow at the current rate to finance the shortfall.
“Unless we demonstrate a strong commitment to fiscal sustainability in the longer term, we will have neither financial stability nor healthy economic growth,” Bernanke said in testimony to lawmakers today. “Maintaining the confidence of the financial markets requires that we, as a nation, begin planning now for the restoration of fiscal balance.”
Bernanke’s comments signal that the central bank sees risks of a relapse into financial turmoil even as credit markets show signs of stability. He warned the financial industry remains under stress and the credit crunch continues to limit spending.
The Fed chief said that deficit concerns are already influencing the prices of long-term Treasuries. Yields on 10- year notes have climbed since the Fed announced plans in March to buy $300 billion of long-term government bonds.
“In recent weeks, yields on longer-term Treasury securities and fixed-rate mortgages have risen,” Bernanke said. “These increases appear to reflect concerns about large federal deficits but also other causes, including greater optimism about the economic outlook, a reversal of flight-to-quality flows and technical factors related to the hedging of mortgage holdings.”
This is what I (and many others) have been saying for some time; the pace that the US government is borrowing at and spending is disastrous, and could lead to a massive problem in the near future. The fact that Bernanke is saying that this could "threaten financial stability" is incredibly frightening.