When you owe money, the bank owns you. When you owe a lot of money, you own the bank. When you owe a lot more than just a lot of money, you own the world.
Just ask Donald Trump. His too big to fail strategy prompted his lenders to amend terms on his debt several times. He's reportedly at it again, trying to take advantage of falling interest rates to lower his debt payments.
My hat's off to the Donald, because he knows the system well. After all, if you're one of his banks, are you going to refuse a bear hug like that? The way you figure, better some money, than no money. Better some interest, than no interest.
Enter a country called Argentina.
It is all but threatening global lenders that it's gonna walk away from his debts if its lenders, including us, don't walk on up to the plate.
Get this: Argentina has $132 billion in debt. 132 billion smackers. That's a lot of smackers. Enough to make you want to smack around your lenders, if you can. And Argentina can and does. And lately, a lot.
It's the interest payments that's killing these guys. They're paying 10 billion a year just to service the debt, let alone pay even a smidgen of it off. That'd be like paying the bare minimum on a credit card with no hope of ever paying off the balance. The difference is, if we skip on that credit card, Visa is at our throats, like me at buffet table. It's an ugly sight.
But what can the rest of the world do?
I'll tell you what: Don't lend that exorbitant kind of dough in the first place. Because in this world, the ones who write the checks, also pay the bills — the others' bills. And they know it.
International lending packages work if the countries do what they're supposed to. But pouring good money after bad only forces them deeper in a hole.
Tough love says, sometimes, tough luck — you're on your own.
People who support these big lending packages say, yes, but look at the good it does.
I'm looking at Argentina, guys. Your point?
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Neil Cavuto serves as senior vice president, anchor and managing editor for both FOX News Channel (FNC) and FOX Business Network (FBN). He is anchor of FNC's Your World with Cavuto - the number one rated cable news program for the 4 p.m. timeslot - as well as the FNC Saturday show Cavuto on Business. He also hosts Cavuto on FBN weeknights at 8 p.m. In addition to anchoring daily programs and breaking news specials on FNC and FBN, Cavuto oversees business news content for both networks and FNC's weekend business shows, including Bulls & Bears, Forbes on Fox, and Cashin' In. Click here for more on Neil Cavuto.