US Government's 2016 Net Loss "More Than Doubled" To $1 Trillion

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Simon Black via,


Every year around this time the US federal government releases an annual financial report to the public.

It would be hilarious if the numbers weren’t actually true.

Just like Apple or Exxon, the government’s annual report contains several important financial statements and detailed commentary about their finances and operations.

But unlike Apple, Exxon, the government can’t manage to turn a profit. Ever.

According to this year’s report, the government’s net loss “more than doubled, increasing $533.2 billion (103.7%) during [Fiscal Year] 2016 to $1.0 trillion.”

It’s extraordinary that they lost $533 billion in 2015, let alone a full trillion in 2016.

Bear in mind, there was no major wars, recessions, or crises to fight.

What did you really receive in exchange for that trillion-dollar loss?

Brand new highway system? Giant tax rebate?

Nope. None of the above.

The sad reality is that it now costs the government so much to run itself, along with paying massive interest on the debt and supporting all of its entitlement obligations, that they lose $1 trillion even in a “normal” year.

What will happen in a bad year?

Then there’s the issue of the government’s “net worth”.

After adding up all of its assets (like tanks, aircraft carriers, government buildings, etc.) and subtracting liabilities (the national debt), the government’s “net worth” was MINUS $19.3 trillion at the close of the 2016 fiscal year.

That’s worse than 2015’s NEGATIVE $18.2 trillion, which was worse than 2014’s NEGATIVE $17.7 trillion, which was worse than 2013’s NEGATIVE $16.9 trillion.

The US federal government is insolvent, plain and simple.

This isn’t some wild conspiracy theory. It is a statement of fact based on publicly available data published by the US government itself.

It’s concerning that the government of the largest economy in the world is bankrupt.

But it’s even more concerning that more people aren’t concerned.

Naturally most of us have been programmed to believe for decades that the US government is rich and always pays its obligations.

This is a dangerous fantasy.

Yes, the government has been able to continually destroy its finances for years without consequence.

And for that accomplishment they should be awarded some special Nobel Prize in Ponzi Schemes.

But history is packed with examples of once-dominant empires who eventually declined under the weight of their unsustainable finances, from the French monarchy to ancient Rome.

Are we really supposed to believe that this time is any different?

Are we really supposed to believe that the US government can continue to indefinitely lose $1 trillion dollars per year without consequence?

Sure, it’s great to hope for the best. And maybe, just maybe, they manage to fix everything.

But it would be dangerous to bet everything you’ve ever earned or plan to achieve on such an unreasonable expectation.

When nations go broke, there are consequences. Simple.

This isn’t some earth-shattering concept. It’s common sense.

And once again, history is generous with examples, from the nationwide bank account freeze in Cyprus in 2013, to Iceland’s capital controls following the 2008 crisis, to the wage and price controls of Emperor Diocletian in ancient Rome.

In each of those instances there were probably countless people who either chose to be willfully ignorant or simply hoped that their politicians would fix everything.

Rational people don’t choose to be ignorant, especially when the government itself puts this data in black and white.

Nor do rational people bet everything on hope.

They have a Plan B. And later this week we’ll discuss some key elements of yours.

Do you have a Plan B?

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froze25's picture

OK, we're screwed. Buy Silver, Gold and Ammo. A big bottle of booze won't hurt

Automatic Choke's picture

We have Trump now.   Can't he just write a check?

BlueHorseShoeLovesDT's picture

No, but he can invest it in the stawk market, cause it is going to go up up up.

runnymede's picture

Plus we've got algos. They always go up. 

NoDebt's picture

All the Fed did was PAUSE their QE program.  They just needed the fresh debt pile to replenish so they could buy more USTs without evaporating all liquidity in the market (like in Japan).

Just wait until it's $2T a year and we look back on the carefree days of single trillion deficits.

And the Social Security red ink has barely even started yet.  That'll be half a trill a year in 10 years all by itself.  Plus Medicaid that's already under water and sinking like a stone.  We're just getting warmed up on deficit spending.  


"The pain will be exquisite."

- Pinhead from 'Phantasm'



Theta_Burn's picture

Ok..No problem..I go out on the streets, and pull a couple of moves, a trill here, a trill there, an you got it mang..


Tony Montana..

Wulfkind's picture

Pinhead was from Hellraiser. 

NoDebt's picture

You're right.  I biffed the reference.

Sanity Bear's picture

if we lose enough dollars

the dollar will become worthless

then it won't matter how many dollars we lost

burma shave

venturen's picture

can we sell Obama and the liberals into slavery or something?

HRH Feant's picture
HRH Feant (not verified) Automatic Choke Feb 7, 2017 5:22 PM

Yes. Or he could mint a $20 trillion coin. Call it done.

GUS100CORRINA's picture

I like WHISKEY! Maybe I will join you sometime.

On a more serious note, I have just one thought.

American People: DAMN OBAMA ... What the HELL were you doing????

Obama: We were trying to buy the election in 2016 and that is the reason we have this additional debt.

American People:Well it didn't work and you need to pay us back by sacrificing your pension, your house and your secret service protection.

American People: Have a great day!!!

ToSoft4Truth's picture

You point out one of the problems.  Bush "lost" pallets of cash.  All these presidents have done it. 

Takeaction2's picture
Takeaction2 (not verified) froze25 Feb 7, 2017 4:44 PM

I always loved this Graphic...

What does a Trillion dollars look like?  For puts thing in instant perspective..


I am concered, Mr. Black, and you are right that the Corporation of the United States of America is insolvent.


I fully agree!

centerline's picture

As long as the rest of the world is dying for dollars, the answer is not what the author wants to hear.

LawsofPhysics's picture

^^^this!!  this is the only thing that matter when it comes to FIAT currency...

"Full FAITH and credit"

same as it ever was...

ToSoft4Truth's picture

Carrier got a tax break...  it adds up after awhile. 

Texas Chick's picture

Makes you wonder what the REAL numbers are.

Dg4884's picture

Tight ship.  In a related story, I bought more silver today.

unplugged's picture

hey govt, here's a hundred Trill:


just copy & paste into your account

problem solved

BlueHorseShoeLovesDT's picture

Damn where did I put that 1 Trillion dollar bill?

tgatliff's picture

Its pretty tough to make the argument that "governments" can go bankrupt when they also have the ability to print the money.   The FED openly monetized during 2008 to 2015.  The BOJ and the ECB continue to do it today.

In short, "rational people" would never say that a government can go "bankrupt".  Is Venezuela bankrupt?   No.  But they also forced > 90% of their people into poverty by destroying the currency.

BigFatUglyBubble's picture

It's all psychological, and (((they))) control the narrative, but it's not what it seems.  Even the sheeple can feel deep inside something is not right.  This economy has been skillfully balanced like a spinning plate on a stick.  One strong wind and it's over.

runnymede's picture

"...Is Venezuela bankrupt?   No.  But they also forced > 90% of their people into poverty by destroying the currency."

Coming soon to a theater near you



ejmoosa's picture

Of course governments can go bankrupt.  When no one wants the paper and they lose access to other peoples' money, the gig is up.

BlueHorseShoeLovesDT's picture

People just aren't buying wars these days.

Yog Soggoth's picture

Here is something that ZH and Simon missed. Trump just made 543 billion today for the USA. You have to translate this from Arabic and it takes a few seconds depending on ram.  Trump confiscate Iraqi political funds billions      Well, Well, Well, look who's come to dinner, said the spider to the fly. Never a dull moment with this guy.

BlueHorseShoeLovesDT's picture

Shh, dont tell China and Japan. We need somebody beside the Fed to buy our paper.

Hohum's picture

No government deficit, no private surplus.  That is a predicament.

One-Eyed-Thong's picture
One-Eyed-Thong (not verified) Feb 7, 2017 4:47 PM

sounds like the bondholders (jews) are due for a haircut

runnymede's picture

Just like in 2008? I'll believe it when I see it

Accountability con game


Kefeer's picture

We do not live in a world of "common sense"; this can and will go on until there are platforms to change the status-quo or men can chose to do good rather than evil.   That will happen the day that a leopard can change its spots.  When all else fails; cause a global war and that is the very direction we are headed, but we may have some reprisal with Trump.  The globalist tentacles are vast and truth is difficult to discern anymore, which is by design I believe.

BlueHorseShoeLovesDT's picture

Good thing Trump has his own plane, it will come in handy whe AF1 gets reposessed.

BetweenThe Coasts's picture

Notice the piece uses the propaganda tern “entitlements” lumping it in with disappearing money. How about the real disappearing $trillions?

Last summer the Defense Department Inspector General announced $6.5 Trillion[i] of accounting “adjustments”. Such announcements have happened repeatedly such that the fate of up to $15 Trillion is unknown due to the missing, unsupported and improper adjustments to Pentagon accounting since 1998. Another large number is $16.1 Trillion[ii] of “financial assistance” created by the Federal Reserve Bank and given to Too-Big-To-Fail Wall Street banks during the 2007-8 financial crisis. That is $31 Trillion of adjustments and assistance; more than the US Federal Debt or Gross National Product. Few attempts to recover any of the outrageous amounts of money have been made.

[i] Audit Report 

[ii] July 2011 GAO Report to Congressional Addresses FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM, table 8, page 131

Paul Morphy's picture

Do the numbers include the bag money that Barry gave the Iranians as a ransom payment?


runnymede's picture

Highly accredited experts are on it. We'll be fine.

August 15, 1971's a bitch


g'kar's picture

Every dollar is going towards supporting the stock, derivative and bond market ponzi's....That's where the net loss went.

alexcojones's picture

Very very Pretty paper Money-!

Trillion dollar bill?

Probably has the World Trade Towers on the reverse. 

Pumpkin's picture

Government does only one thing very, very well.  And that is fuck shit up.  Why should the budget show anything any different?

wholy1's picture

That's just the amt ON THE BOOKS!

BlueHorseShoeLovesDT's picture

Can't we just sell California?

g'kar's picture

If it weren't for the shipping ports it would be a win.

Monopolist's picture

Sorry but no one buy NPLs these days anymore. 

runnymede's picture

Petrodollar privilege