Professor Gabilondo teaches tax and corporate finance at FIU Law and his scholarship focuses on debt markets. He is a nationally recognized commentator in the Spanish-language media on financial and economic matters and has worked in financial market regulation at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the World Bank.
South Florida Professor Explains $16 Trillion Debt
By Gilma Avalos
$16,000,000,000,000. That is the number that would appear on the United State’s theoretical credit card statement.
Although the analogy is often made, our country’s debt is not similar to our personal debt, according to Jose Gabilondo, an associate professor of law at Florida International University.
“I can’t borrow indefinitely, you can’t, but the government can. In a way, it’s not the number that matters,” said Gabilondo. “What matters is can you make your monthly payment? And are your creditors still lending to you? The answer for our country, is yes.”
Yes, for now. The fear for the country is if investors start doubting we can pay our debt, they can stop lending us money. Interest rates increase.
“I’m not sure we can continue to get away with it,” Gabilondo said.
For the average American, the impacts are also felt when it comes to our quality of life.
“If we had less debt, we could take our net income and do something more productive with it, like build bridges, invest in schools,” Gabilondo adds.