(Bloomberg News) Bill Gross, who runs the world's biggest bond mutual fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., said the debt ceiling compromise reached by Congress won't make a "significant dent" in U.S. deficits.
"In addition to an existing nearly $10 trillion of outstanding Treasury debt, the U.S. has a near unfathomable $66 trillion of future liabilities at net present cost," Gross wrote in a monthly investment outlook posted on the Newport Beach, California-based company's website today.
Trillions of dollars in future spending cuts and tax increase are still necessary to stabilize the U.S. debt ratio as a percentage of gross domestic product to maintain a AAA credit rating, Gross wrote. The Senate is scheduled to vote today to ratify a debt-limit compromise that will defer decisions on the nation's finances to a bipartisan panel and may only modestly reduce deficits while slowing economic growth.
Investors should buy assets of countries with "cleaner dirty shirts" and higher real interest rates, including Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Germany, he wrote. The difference between the yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes and the year-over-year consumer price index, known as the real yield, dropped today to negative 93 basis points, the lowest level since October 2008, according to Bloomberg data.
"If the Treasury is borrowing money from you or PIMCO at 0.5 percent for the next six months and CPI inflation is averaging 3 percent, then lenders, savers are being shortchanged beyond even rather egregious historical examples," Gross wrote. Inflation "puts more money in government coffers to pay their bills and less money in your pocket to pay yours," he wrote.
Gross has more than doubled his investments in non-U.S. developed countries to 13 percent in June from 6 percent in April, according to data released last month. His $245 billion Total Return Fund's had 11 percent of its holdings in emerging markets and 8 percent in Treasuries. In July 2010, the fund had 54 percent of its holdings in government-related debt, a category that included Treasuries.
Gross highlighted balancing the budget, inflation, currency depreciation and so-called financial repression of keeping interest rates low as ways that a government can employ to reduce future liabilities. Growth at an annual pace of 2 percent to 3 percent makes it unlikely that the U.S. will be able to grow its way out of its $1.5 trillion deficit, Gross said.
"Sisyphus would be familiar with this seemingly unsolvable dilemma," Gross wrote, referring to the mythological king who was punished by being repeatedly compelled to roll a boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down again.