An Inconvenient Debt: I.O.U.S.A Hits Theaters Today, Buffett Telecast, Companion Book Features Personal Stories and Complete Transcripts of Interviews

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The critically-acclaimed documentary "I.O.U.S.A.," which examines the rapidly growing national debt and its consequences for the United States and its citizens, previews in theaters today, August 21, followed by a one-time only Town Hall forum simulcast live to 400 theaters nationwide and featuring financial luminaries Warren Buffett, Pete Peterson, and David Walker; the film opens in wide release tomorrow, August 22. As a companion to the film, I.O.U.S.A. (By Addison Wiggin & Kate Incontrera, Wiley, September 2008, $19.95 Paper, 978-0-470-22277-5) will be available as a book which goes into greater detail on the startling statistics featured in the film.

One nation. Under stress. In debt. As a nation facing numerous deficits-- budget deficit, personal savings deficit, trade deficit, and most importantly, leadership deficit--the U.S. is in an alarming situation. With seemingly no end to our spending in sight, and a deficit that is growing $1,903 every minute, something has to change. And it has to happen now.

The new documentary "I.O.U.S.A." tackles this important issue and asks our government to stop spending, start saving, and guarantee a future for our grandchildren. This important film previews in theaters today, August 21, followed by a one-time only Town Hall forum simulcast live to 400 theaters nationwide and featuring financial luminaries Warren Buffett, Pete Peterson, and David Walker; the film opens in wide release tomorrow, August 22. This groundbreaking documentary was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and is being compared to Al Gore's breakthrough "An Inconvenient Truth". Justin Chang from Variety has called the film "…an alternately amusing and alarming primer on America's off-the-charts fiscal irresponsibility."

As a companion to the film, I.O.U.S.A. (By Addison Wiggin & Kate Incontrera, Wiley, September 2008, $19.95 Paper, 978-0-470-22277-5) will be available as a book which goes into greater detail on the startling statistics featured in the film. Did you know:

  • In November 2005 the national debt stood at $4.7 trillion. On August 31, 2007, the debt hit $8 trillion. As I.O.U.S.A. debuts in theatres this month, the debt will spiral over $9 trillion.
  • By January of 2009, the U.S. federal debt will be over $10 trillion. The total federal fiscal hole will be around $56 trillion. And with each passing moment, your share, your children and grandchildren's share goes up. Whatever measuring stick you care to use, the long-term finances of the federal government and by extension, the national economy are dismal and getting worse at an alarming rate. To meet its current obligations, the United States government racks up another $1.46 million of debt every day.
  • Every citizen already "owes" over $30,000. By 2010, that figure will be $38,000.
  • In 2005 and 2006, American households spent more money than they took home. That's a negative savings rate. The last time the country had a negative savings rate was back in 1933 and 1934 - admittedly not good years for America or the world.
  • In 2007, the total U.S. trade deficit was $738.6 billion, which is down 9% from 2006. Much of the decline could be attributed to a decline in the value of the U.S. Dollar.
  • In less than ten years, China's ownership of U.S. securities has gone from around $50 billion to more than $500 billion.
  • With our extremely low national savings rate, we have no choice but to turn to foreigners to finance our debt. U.S. debt held by foreigners totaled $2.5 trillion as of March of 2008, and we borrow $711 billion more from the rest of the world then we lend to it.

The book includes stories about the people involved in making decisions about the four major deficits in the country and complete transcripts of interviews conducted with Warren Buffet, Alan Greenspan, Paul Volcker, Robert Rubin, Alice Rivlin, Pete Peterson, David Walker, Paul O'Neill, James Areddy, Arthur Laffer, Steve Forbes, and Bill Bonner.

For more information about the film and book, please visit http://www.agorafinancial.com/iousa.html
To view the trailer, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBo2xQIWHiM

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Stacy Smith

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