HaHaHa: Mathlexic Biden in China, Geithner Wannabe

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in ,, at 8/19/2011 10:18:00 PM
On 1 June 2009, US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner famously elicited peals of laughter from Peking University students while blabbering about China's US Treasuries being a safe investment. As an aside, PKU students are sharp; after all, we at IDEAS have an LSE-PKU double degree programme with them. But anyway, a trip down memory lane...
"Chinese assets are very safe," Geithner said in response to a question after a speech at Peking University, where he studied Chinese as a student in the 1980s. His answer drew loud laughter from his student audience, reflecting scepticism in China about the wisdom of a developing country accumulating a vast stockpile of foreign reserves instead of spending the money to raise living standards at home.
Ah that Timmy, always such a kidder. But wait, there's another PT Barnum wannabe in US government trying his comic stylings on the Chinese people. I guess it's good that some of the latter are the world's craziest fools, otherwise I don't quite know what sort of reception he would have received plying this nonsense. Today, 19 August 2011, Biden was fortunate not to face, say, smart PKU students and instead the usual inscrutable Chinese officials while doing his best Geithner impersonation:
Vice President Joe Biden told Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao that China has nothing to fear when it comes to its investment in U.S. Treasuries. Biden and Wen both expressed confidence in the U.S. economy, with the Chinese premier saying its stability “is in the interest of the whole world.”

“We appreciate and welcome your concluding that the United States is such a safe haven because we appreciate your investment in U.S. Treasuries,” Biden told Wen yesterday in Beijing, where he was on the second day of a nine-day trip to Asia. “I want to make clear that you have nothing to worry about in terms of their viability.”
And now for the punch line. The above aside, it's too bad Biden got his maths wrong by venturing that 85% of Treasuries are held by Americans when the figure is more like half by my calculations: [($9326.1T - $4499.2T)/9326.1T]=51.76%.
Biden said the U.S. will “take care” of U.S. Treasuries “not merely because China owns 8 percent of them, but because the Americans own 85 percent.”
Say what? After illiterate leadership during the George W. Bush era, we now have mathlexic American leadership care of Biden. If you needed more proof of how mediocre the US education system is, here's a nice example for you--VP Joe. At least America's poor economic performance is a bit easier to explain now. I sure do hope Michele Bachmann is an improvement, but I'm not banking on it.

Since the IPE Zone is a family-oriented blog, let me just say that debt is not the only thing these Yanquis are full of and leave it at that. What a joke.