An IPO For The USA

The governments of the world should issue shares in their GDPs, securities that pay to investors as dividends a specified fraction of GDP, in perpetuity (or until the government buys them back on the open market). Governments need to end their historic reliance on debt financing: governments issuing shares in GDP is analogous to corporations issuing equity.

My Canadian colleague Mark Kamstra and I propose issuing trillionth shares in GDP, and so to call these “Trills.” Last year, a U.S. Trill would have paid $15.09 in dividends, a Canadian Trill C$1.72. The dividends will change every year as GDP is announced, and predicting these changes will certainly interest investors, just as in the stock market. Governments can auction off Trills when current government debt comes due and needs to be refinanced, as part of a debt reduction program.

Substituting Trills for conventional debt helps deleverage the government, something whose importance has become very clear with the debt crisis in Europe. The payments required of the government by the Trills is connected to the country’s ability to pay, measured by their GDP. Investors would likely tolerate very low dividend-price ratios, in expectation of future growth of GDP, and so governments could probably refinance their debt at much better rates today.

Si le Québec devait emprunter cette avenue, on serait chanceux de se retrouver sur le Russell 2000…