08 November 2012

What is US "Fiscal Cliff" actually?

When everyone thought that US and the world will be better if Obama won his presidential re-election again, world equities markets today declines with US being the most serious market by dropping more than 2%. What's the reason? Answer: Fiscal Cliff ?

Hmmm... Then, what is fiscal cliff actually which many of us on the street do not even heard about this new term before. No worry, Finance Malaysia blog did his homework over here. Share this out if you like.

Understanding Fiscal Cliff...
The US fiscal cliff refers to the effect of a series of enacted legislation which, if unchanged, will result in tax increases, spending cuts, and a corresponding reduction in the budget deficit. With Obama retaining the presidency, it sends the signal that it's US government policies will pretty much stay the same as previous 4 years. Ben Bernanke will stay as Fed chairman, which also meaning that the open-ended liquidity and bond buying programs will continue, fueling risk taking appetite of equity and fixed income markets for the foreseeable future.

Budget deficits, projected through 2022. The "CBO Baseline" shows the effects of the fiscal cliff under current law. The "Alternative Scenario" represents what would happen if Congress extends the Bush tax cuts and repeals the Budget Control Act-mandated spending reductions beyond the end of 2012.
However, Obama has to resume his duties in a very likely divided congress, with Republicans controlling the House and Democrats controlling the Senate. With this political deadlock and the looming "Fiscal Cliff", that's the reason why US market sink this morning.

Good or Bad?
If you understand it, the so called "Fiscal Cliff" is not something bad, in which its purpose is to reduce budget deficit of US. What investors worried was the measures being taken will slow the already slow growth rate of US economy, subsequently the world economies including Asia. But, without the intention of reducing budget deficit of US, would you be more confident? Of course NOT, because US would never able to not walk out from the brushes. Right?

By now, you should be able to understand the term. Meanwhile, some analysts have argued that "fiscal slope" or "fiscal hill" would be more appropriate because while the cumulative economic effect over all would be substantial, it would not be felt immediately but rather gradually as the weeks and months went by. Hahaha...


  1. Good explanation on Fiscal Cliff. Personally I think the best way to fix the economy is to let it flow freely. Unfortunately the people in power are doing exactly the opposite :)

  2. good.. I don't really know about this Fiscall Cliff before.. This give me some picture about it

  3. Thanks, zool. We hope this blog may provide some useful info for readers like you.

  4. Can you comment on how the fiscal cliff will affect the Malaysian economy, and also the value of the US dollar in the forex? I'm a Malaysian freelancer being primarily paid in USD.


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