For the economy, a new year with old problems

The world's fiscal issues will not simply resolve themselves by virtue of the fact that a new year has begun

Mark Lennihan/AP/File
This 2010 file photo shows the National Debt Clock in New York. A new year doesn't mean that the world's greatest financial problems, including deep government debt, will disappear, Brown argues.

How was your vacation?  Spend some time with the family?  Catch up on that Homeland show everyone's obsessed with like I did?

Good.

But while the calendar has flipped from 2011 to 2012, there are some realities that do not simply resolve themselves or show themselves to the door by virtue of the fact that a new year has begun.  Here's one such unresolved thing (via Bloomberg):

Governments of the world’s leading economies have more than $7.6 trillion of debt maturing this year, with most facing a rise in borrowing costs.

Led by Japan’s $3 trillion and the U.S.’s $2.8 trillion, the amount coming due for the Group of Seven nations and Brazil, Russia, India and China is up from $7.4 trillion at this time last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Ten-year bond yields will be higher by year-end for at least seven of the countries, forecasts show.

But US stock futures are flying this morning, up over 200 Dow points at last glance, on better than expected consumer and manufacturing data out of China.  We've got an ISM number coming this morning as well.

Welcome to 2012.  It's like 2011, only younger.  Buckle up.

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