Vice President Dick Cheney was quoted in 2002 as saying “deficits don’t matter.” With the staggering accumulated deficits of the past few years, we are about to test Cheney’s theory. The powerful economic environment of the 1980’s and 1990’s allowed for the accumulation of federal, corporate and personal debt. In this millennium, the growth of debt accelerated, but the tailwinds supporting economic growth have weakened substantially.
Just because we were easily able to fund deficits of years past does not mean we should be so naïve as to think it will be easy going forward. As described above, the circumstances we face today are far more challenging than those of past years. The confluence of these events argues that investors should prepare for a new paradigm and not get caught flatfooted trusting in outdated narratives.