Presidential candidate Donald Trump claimed that the US is incapable of defaulting on its debt because of the Federal Reserve’s ability to “print money.”
The Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee attempted to clarify previous statements that he could persuade America’s creditors to accept less than full payment for the national debt, which was construed by some publications to mean he intended to default. Trump insisted that he meant that the US could simply buy back debt at a discounted rate.
“You know, I’m the king of debt. I understand debt probably better than anybody. I know how to deal with debt very well. I love debt but you know, debt is tricky and it’s dangerous and you have to be careful and you have to know know what you're doing. If there's a chance to buy back debt as a discount, interest rates up and the bonds down and you can buy debt. That’s what I'm talking about.”
Trump added that he did not think that a default would ever even be necessary because of the Federal Reserve’s ability to inflate the currency to pay off debts.
“First of all, you never have to default because you print the money. I hate to tell you. So there’s never a default.”
Inflation risks losing currency’s value
Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe, the second highest in history, caused the currency to lose the vast majority of its value over a very short period of time. The Venezuelan bolivar has already lost 93% of its value over the last two years, while the country’s vice president for the economy has stated that he believes inflation “does not exist.”
The US dollar has lost 90% of its value over the last 100 years due to inflation, and if Donald Trump’s views on inflation carry on into the future, similar hyperinflation to that seen in Zimbabwe and Venezuela is highly possible.
Bitcoin can’t be hyperinflated
There are currently over 15 million Bitcoins in existence, with a limit to the speed at which new ones can be mined and a hard limit of 21 total for the currency’s lifespan. As a result, Bitcoin’s value has continued to rise, doubling its value steadily over the last year. Investing in cryptocurrency would allow a potential hyperinflation in government-controlled currency to be avoided.