Patrick B. McGuigan
Bill Gross, head of the influential investment firm PIMCO (Pacific Investment Management Company), yesterday (Monday, June 13) rattled world financial analysts, as he reached a new level of gloom in his look at total U.S. debt.
He has now projected U.S. taxpayer unfunded liabilities at $100 trillion. Such international estimates are echoed in several quarters, including among Oklahoma analysts who put unfunded state debt at billions more than recent estimates.
Gross gave his $100 trillion estimate in an interview with CNBC, and in an online story by Jeff Cox. While the official U.S. debt is $14.3 trillion, guarantees for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security drive the sum closer to $50 trillion, Cox reported.
But, Gross says, when you blend in all other unfunded debts, including those associated with the financial bailouts of 2008-09, the total is “nearly $100 trillion.”
Gross told CNBC, “"To think that we can reduce that within the space of a year or two is not a realistic assumption. That's much more than Greece, that's much more than almost any other developed country. We've got a problem and we have to get after it quickly."
Last week, USA Today provoked nationwide discussion when reporter Dennis Cauchon placed unfunded national debt at $62 trillion.
Sheila Weinberg of the Institute for Truth in Accounting, put the total debt at $75.4 trillion at about 8 p.m. Central Standard Time on Monday, June 13.
Scattered analysts, such as those at the New America Foundation chide the increasingly gloomy debt projections.