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Why America Is Heading Straight Toward The Worst Debt Crisis In History

Why America Is Heading Straight Toward The Worst Debt Crisis In History

Today, America is nearly 70 trillion dollars in debt, and that debt is shooting higher at an exponential rate.  Usually most of the focus in on the national debt, which is now 21 trillion dollars and rising, but when you total all forms of debt in our society together it comes to a grand total just short of 70 trillion dollars.  Many people seem to believe that the debt imbalances that existed prior to the great financial crisis of 2008 have been solved, but that is not the case at all.  We are living in the terminal phase of the greatest debt bubble in history, and with each passing day that mountain of debt just keeps on getting bigger and bigger.  It simply is not mathematically possible for debt to keep on growing at a pace that is many times greater than GDP growth, and at some point this absurd bubble will come to an abrupt end.  So those that are forecasting many years of prosperity to come are simply being delusional.  Our current standard of living is very heavily fueled by debt, and at some point we are going to hit a wall.

Let’s talk about consumer debt first.  Excluding mortgage debt, consumer debt is projected to hit the 4 trillion dollar mark by the end of the year

Americans are in a borrowing mood, and their total tab for consumer debt could reach a record $4 trillion by the end of 2018.

That’s according to LendingTree, a loan comparison website, which analyzed data from the Federal Reserve on nonmortgage debts including credit cards, and auto, personal and student loans.

Americans owe more than 26 percent of their annual income to this debt. That’s up from 22 percent in 2010. It’s also higher than debt levels during the mid-2000s when credit availability soared.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Road to 2025 (Part 3) – USD Dominated Financial System Will Fall Apart

The Road to 2025 (Part 3) – USD Dominated Financial System Will Fall Apart

It’s our currency, but it’s your problem.

– U.S. Treasury Secretary John Connelly to European Finance Ministers, 1971

Today’s post will cover a topic that consumed my thoughts for many years, but one I haven’t discussed much lately. Namely, the terminal nature of a global financial system being propped up artificially by central bank shenanigans.

First, it’s crucial to understand that at the very core of our global economy is a financial system dominated by the U.S. dollar. The USD is a fiat currency directly backed by nothing, the supply of which can be arbitrarily altered and manipulated by a group of unelected bureaucrats in charge of the Federal Reserve. This money system represents the most powerful tool of centralized power on planet earth.

The USD is unique in that it grants the U.S. the “exorbitant privilege” of having a national currency which at the same time serves as the global reserve currency. This was solidified toward the end of World War 2 with the Bretton Woods agreement, and was accepted because the U.S. agreed to offer sovereign nations holding dollars a right to exchange these dollars for gold at a fixed price. This fell apart in 1971, but was shortly replaced with an unofficial “petrodollar” system, which allowed the USD to remain the world reserve currency despite no longer being redeemable in gold.

Before moving on, I want to share a few excerpts from an article I read yesterday titled, The De-Dollarization in China:

Petrodollars emerged when Henry Kissinger dealt with King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, after “Black September” in Jordan.

The agreement was simple. Saudi Arabia had to accept only dollars as payments for the oil it sold, but was forced to invest that huge amount of US currency only in the US financial channels while, in return, the United States placed Saudi Arabia and the other OPEC neighbouring countries under its own military protection.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is Washington Nuts? Increasing Spending AND Cutting Taxes Will EXPLODE The Size Of The National Debt

Is Washington Nuts? Increasing Spending AND Cutting Taxes Will EXPLODE The Size Of The National Debt

Our national debt is rapidly approaching 21 trillion dollars, and yet Congress wants to follow up a large tax cut bill with a massive increase in federal spending.  This is absolute madness, and it is going to make our long-term financial problems as a nation far worse.  After passing the tax bill, the appropriate thing to do would have been to cut federal spending.  Yes, that would have not been a positive thing for the economy in the short-term, but we must start addressing our long-term priorities.  If we do not do something about this exploding national debt, it could potentially destroy our republic all by itself.

Earlier today, I was absolutely horrified when I learned of a budget deal in the Senate that would increase federal spending by about 200 billion dollars in each of the next two years…

The Senate’s Republican and Democratic leaders unveiled a sweeping two-year budget agreement on Wednesday that would increase federal spending by hundreds of billions of dollars on domestic and defense programs alike.

That deal would eliminate strict budget caps, set in 2011 to reduce the federal deficit, and would allow Congress to spend about $200 billion more in the current fiscal year and in fiscal year 2019.

Seriously?

Our federal debt is going to hit 21 trillion dollars some time this year, and they want to throw hundreds of billions of dollars more spending on top of what we are already doing?

This alone is why we need true conservatives all over the nation to run for Congress.  Our endless greed is literally destroying the bright future that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Economic Collapse: Will Cryptocurrency Save the Financial System?

Economic Collapse: Will Cryptocurrency Save the Financial System?

Economic Collapse: Will Cryptocurrency Save the Financial System?

In the second article of my three part series, I addressed how we got to the current state of this financial chaos. In this last article, I explain where we are heading and how cryptocurrency could be the last chance to create a sustainable economic system.

Where to go from here?

If trust and sustainability were the two conditions that allowed for the transition from physical gold to paper currency, it is from this basis that we must start to analyze where we are going and what effects the next economic crisis could have.

In 2008, confidence in central banks saved the global economy. But as Mario Draghi said, the bazooka of quantitative easing was fired and a second hit during a crisis would have proved ineffective. The reason is complex and must be clearly explained. Most people are paid in a currency deposited in the bank, because that is where one keeps one’s currency, able to withdraw it at any time. But in the event of an economic crisis, priority is given to the banks, whatever remaining liquidity being for the customers. The reason why there was no bank run in 2008, which would have led to the collapse of the global banking system, lies in the trust that ordinary people continued to place in the financial system, courtesy of what the corporate-controlled media told them.

The problem concerns the next financial crisis and how the world population will react. The path already seems to be traced, especially in geopolitical terms. Countries like China and Russia have created their own alternative banking and financial system to escape dollar sanctions; but they have also begun to de-dollarize by accumulating gold and using different payment methods to the US currency.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Social Change Will Upend the Status Quo

Social Change Will Upend the Status Quo

The nation is fragmenting because the Status Quo is failing the majority of the citizenry.

The core narrative of the Status Quo is that nothing fundamental needs to be changed: all the problems can be solved with more “free money” (borrowed from the future at low rates of interest) and a few policy tweaks such as Universal Basic Income (UBI) (the topic of my new book Money and Work Unchained).

This core narrative is false: everything needs to change, from the bottom up.And that of course terrifies those gorging at the trough of status quo wealth and power.

The power structure can manipulate financial metrics, but it can’t manipulate rising wealth/power inequality or social discord. Whatever you think of President Trump, his election is a symptom of profound social discord–discord which author Peter Turchin explains is cyclical and cannot be squashed with phony reforms like UBI or police-state repression.

The nation is fragmenting because the Status Quo is failing the majority of the citizenry. The protected few are reaping all the benefits of the Status Quo, at the expense of the unprotected many.

As I have outlined many times, this unsustainable asymmetry is the only possible outcome of our socio-economic system, which is dominated by these forces:

1. Globalization–free flow of capital, labor arbitrage (workers must compete with the lowest-cost labor around the world).

2. Nearly free money from central banks for bankers, financiers and corporations.

3. Pay-to-play “democracy”– wealth casts the only votes that count.

4. State protected cartels that privatize gains and socialize losses.

5. A political system stripped of self-correcting feedback and accountability.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Bitcoin isn’t the bubble — the global financial system is

Bitcoin isn’t the bubble — the global financial system is

Bitcoin isn't the bubble — the global financial system is
© Getty Images

Pretty much every article you read about bitcoin in the mainstream press ends up in the same place. You may not hear it until the seventh or eighth paragraph, but eventually you’ll be told that the whole thing is nothing more than a modern day “tulip bubble.” The more creative types will also throw around the South Sea or Mississippi Bubble. You get the point. The consensus among the very smart experts is unanimous: bitcoin is clearly and indisputably a gigantic bubble that’s set to burst. I’ve been hearing this since the early days of getting involved in the space back in 2012. But I’m not convinced.

For one thing, bubbles don’t do what bitcoin has done since its inception in 2009. During my 10-year tenure on Wall Street, I saw several bubbles grow and then burst, and one thing you learn is that an actual bubble rises like crazy and then totally pops. It doesn’t come right back a couple of years later and soar again to a new price 10 times greater than the previous bubble’s high, which is what bitcoin has done after each one of its three or four previous “bubbles” burst.

That’s not a bubble, but something else entirely.

Let’s take the oil price in the middle of the last decade as an example of a real bubble. The price went on a historic and seemingly unstoppable run all the way to $150 per barrel in 2008. It then proceeded to burst in spectacular fashion just ahead of the financial crisis, plunging all the way back to $30 before rebounding. Ten years later and the price is still nowhere near that prior high, with it currently trading around $60. That’s what happens when a real bonafide bubble bursts. It stays below the prior high for decade at least, sometimes forever. The behavior of bitcoin since the “genesis block” has been completely different.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why the Financial System Will Break: You Can’t “Normalize” Markets that Depend on Extreme Monetary Stimulus

Why the Financial System Will Break: You Can’t “Normalize” Markets that Depend on Extreme Monetary Stimulus

Central banks are now trapped.

In a nutshell, central banks are promising to “normalize” their monetary policy extremes in 2018. Nice, but there’s a problem: you can’t “normalize” markets that are now entirely dependent on extremes of monetary stimulus. Attempts to “normalize” will break the markets and the financial system.

Let’s start with the core dynamic of the global economy and nosebleed-valuation markets: credit.

Modern finance has many complex moving parts, and this complexity masks its inner simplicity.

Let’s break down the core dynamics of the current financial system.

The Core Dynamic of the “Recovery” and Asset Bubbles: Credit

Credit is the foundation of the current financial system, for credit enables consumers to bring consumption forward, that is, buy more stuff today than they could buy with the cash they have on hand, in exchange for promising to pay principal and interest with their future income.

Credit also enables speculators to buy more assets than they otherwise could were they limited to cash on hand.

Buying goods, services and assets with credit appears to be a good thing: consumers get to enjoy more stuff without having to scrimp and save up income, and investors/speculators can reap more income from owning more assets.

But all goods/services and assets are not equal, and all credit is not equal.

There is an opportunity cost to any loan (i.e. credit), as the income that will be devoted to paying principal and interest in the future could have been devoted to some other use or investment.

So borrowing money to purchase a product or an asset now means foregoing some future purchase.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Gold Guys View of Crypto, Bitcoin, and Blockchain

A Gold Guys View of Crypto, Bitcoin, and Blockchain

Bitcoin was on my radar far back as 2011, but for years, I didn’t think much of it.

It was a curiosity. Nothing more.

Sort of like the virtual money you use in World of Warcraft or something. In 2015, looking deeper, I slowly (not the sharpest tool in the shed) arrived at that “aha” inflection point that most advocates of honest money arrive at. I realized that a distributed public ledger has the power to change, well, everything.

Changing All The Things

One aspect of crypto that appealed to me was that this technology had the potential to bring “un-banked” people from around the world into the modern financial system. It potentially granted access to digital transactions without the use of banks for billions of people that were formerly excluded from transacting in the modern economy. People could be rewarded for their labor and have access to opportunities in ways which would not exist otherwise.

In places like Afghanistan, the local people do not go to their neighborhood super-mall to buy laptops and ipads. Much of the developing world has ever growing access to smart phones, with market penetration reaching into the billions. Developing countries are skipping the entire computer-laptop-tablet phase and moving straight into much more affordable smart/feature devices with internet access. In the Middle East and Africa, nearly all internet users are on mobile devices. Combined with crypto, all of these devices making up the internet of things grants access to a new global financial paradigm that is potentially owned by the people themselves.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Expect Desperate and Insane Behavior From Government in 2018 – Part 2 (Bitcoin)

Expect Desperate and Insane Behavior From Government in 2018 – Part 2 (Bitcoin)

The financial crisis of 2008/09 was the most significant event to happen in my lifetime. That episode, coupled with the deeply unethical and corrupt response to it, led to a direct delegitimization of governments and institutions worldwide. It’s precisely this self-inflicted destruction of credibility which opened up the window for the birthing of a new monetary and financial system in the wake of Bitcoin’s emergence in early 2009.

Bitcoin is a system designed to be everything the status quo isn’t. Decentralized, transparent, permissionless, with a well-defined and restricted monetary supply curve. Given the backdrop upon which it emerged, it’s unsurprising that as more time passes, the more popular it becomes.

Humanity is desperate for a major reboot and an entirely different way of doing things. Bitcoin and other crypto assets offer exactly that opportunity in the realm of finance and money, thus capturing the imagination of millions of the most brilliant and passionate people around the world. Since the status quo stubbornly refused to reform and change the system after the financial crisis, humanity had no choice but to take charge and do it independently at the grassroots level.

One thing that’s become increasingly clear to me as I’ve added years and experiences to my life, is that governments, generally speaking, hate freedom. It’s why something as beneficial and benign as cannabis remains illegal throughout the world, and why people like Jeff Sessions still want to criminalize it even in states where the actual people living there voted to make it legal (see Part 1 of this series). While the fairytale we’re conditioned to believe tells us government exists to protect us and create an environment in which humans can thrive, the reality is quite clearly the opposite. The crooked response to the financial crisis demonstrated this in spades to anyone paying even the slightest amount of attention.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Will America’s Prosperity Be Completely Wiped Out By Our Growing Debt?

Will America’s Prosperity Be Completely Wiped Out By Our Growing Debt?

The federal government is now 20.4 trillion dollars in debt, and most Americans don’t seem to care that the economic prosperity that we are enjoying today could be completely destroyed by our exploding national debt.  Over the past decade, the national debt has been growing at a rate of more than 100 million dollars an hour, and this is a debt that all of us owe.  When you break it down, each American citizen’s share of the debt is more than $60,000, and so if you have a family of five your share is more than $300,000.  And when you throw in more than 6 trillion dollars of corporate debt and nearly 13 trillion dollars of consumer debt, it is not inaccurate to say that we are facing a crisis of unprecedented magnitude.

Debt cannot grow much faster than GDP indefinitely.  At some point the bubble bursts, and when it does the pain that the middle class is going to experience is going to be off the charts.  Back in 2015, the middle class in the U.S. became a minority of the population for the first time ever.  Never before in our history has the middle class accounted for less than 50 percent of the population, and all over the country formerly middle class families are under a great deal of stress as they attempt to make ends meet.  The following comes from an absolutely outstanding piece that was just put out by Charles Hugh Smith

If you talk to young people struggling to make ends meet and raise children, or read articles about retirees who can’t afford to retire, you can’t help but detect the fading scent of prosperity.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

China’s rise, America’s fall

China’s rise, America’s fall

Will the rise of China mean the fall of America?  In a word, yes. Although decline might be more accurate.

Why do I think this?  Because China is about to launch the PetroYuan and when it does the demand for dollars and for dollar denominated debt will shrink. When it does, I question whether the world will be so sanguine about the level of debt that America carries. If that happens then the value of the dollar is in question.

At the moment no matter what level of debt America carries, other countries need dollars. Dollars to pay for oil, since oil is traded in dollars.  Dollars for their financial system so their banks can settle contracts for goods and services traded in dollars.

But over the last few years China has been systematically putting in place everything it needs to launch the Yuan as not only a rival to the dollar in trading and settling oil contracts but as a rival to the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.  At the moment the only rival to the dollar is the Euro. I think it fair to say the relationship between the two currencies and their issuing powers, has been… ‘delicate’.  The news that Sadam Hussein was going to start trading his oil in Euros came just a few months before America and its lap dog GB, decided Sadam was a threat to world peace and went to war with him.  Something similar happened to Colonel Qaddafi.

Under Qaddafi Libya’s currency was backed by the country’s large holdings of gold and silver. This had allowed Qaddafi to finance, for example, the entire construction of the Great Man Made River without going to Western banks for a single loan. Libya was debt free and owned its own resources and infrastructure.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Gundlach Warns “The Order of The Financial System Is About To Be Turned Upside Down”

Gundlach Warns “The Order of The Financial System Is About To Be Turned Upside Down”

“I’m not a big fan of bonds right now,” may seem like an odd way for the so-called Bond King to begin, but in an audience at Vanity Fair’s Establishment Summit, DoubleLine’s Jeff Gundlach told Bethany McLean, “I haven’t been really [a fan of bonds] for the past four years, even though I manage them, and institutions have to own them for various reasons.”

Gundlach urged investors to be “light” on bonds.

As Vanity Fair’s William Cohan reports, Gundlach admitted “I’m stuck in it,” of his massive bond portfolio, adding that interest rates have bottomed out and been rising gradually for the past six years.

Gundlach said his job now, on behalf of his clients, “is to get them to the other side of the valley.”

When the bigger, seemingly inevitable hikes in interest rates come, “I’ll feel like I’ve done a service by getting people through,” he said.

“That’s why I’m still at the game. I want to see how the movie ends.”

But it can’t end well. To illustrate his point about the risk in owning bonds these days, Gundlach shared a chart that showed how investors in European “junk” bonds are willing to accept the same no-default return as they are for U.S. Treasury bonds, pointing out that this phenomenon has been caused by “manipulated behavior” by central banks.

European interest rates “should be much higher than they are today,” he said,

“…[and] once Draghi realizes this, the order of the financial system will be turned upside down and it won’t be a good thing.

It will mean the liquidity that has been pumping up the markets will be drying up in 2018…

…Things go down. We’ve been in an artificially inflated market for stocks and bonds largely around the world.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Into the Cold and Dark

It amuses me that the nation is so caught up in the sexual mischief of a single Hollywood producer when the nation as a whole is getting fucked sideways and upside down by its own political caretakers.

Behind all the smoke, mirrors, Trump bluster, Schumer fog, and media mystification about the vaudeville act known as The Budget and The Tax Cut, both political parties are fighting for their lives and the Deep State knows that it is being thrown overboard to drown in red ink. There’s really no way out of the financial conundrum that dogs the republic and something’s got to give.

Many of us have been waiting for these tensions to express themselves by blowing up the artificially levitated stock markets. For about a year, absolutely nothing has thwarted their supernatural ascent, including the threat of World War Three, leading some observers to believe that they have been rigged to perfection. Well, the algo-bots might be pretty fine-tuned, and the central bank inputs of fresh “liquidity” pretty much assured, but for all that, these markets are still human artifacts and Murphy’s Law still lurks out there in the gloaming with its cohorts, the diminishing returns of technology (a.k.a. “Blowback”), and the demon of unintended consequences.

Many, including yours truly, have expected the distortions and perversions on the money side of life to express themselves in money itself: the dollar. So far, it has only wobbled down about ten percent. This is due perhaps to the calibrated disinformation known as “forward guidance” issued by this country’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, which has been threatening — pretty idly so far — to raise interest rates and shrink down its vault of hoarded securities — a lot of it janky paper left over from the misadventures of 2007-2009.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How The Elite Dominate The World – Part 2: 99.9% Of The Global Population Lives In A Country With A Central Bank

How The Elite Dominate The World – Part 2: 99.9% Of The Global Population Lives In A Country With A Central Bank

Even though the nations of the world are very deeply divided on almost everything else, somehow virtually all of them have been convinced that central banking is the way to go.  Today, less than 0.1% of the population of the world lives in a country that does not have a central bank.  Do you think that there is any possible way that this is a coincidence?  And it is also not a coincidence that we are now facing the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world.  In Part I of this series, I discussed the fact that total global debt has reached 217 trillion dollars.  Once you understand that central banks are designed to create endless debt, and once you understand that 99.9% of the global population lives in a country that has a central bank, then it finally makes sense why we have accumulated so much debt.  The elite of the world use debt as a tool of enslavement, and central banking has allowed them to literally enslave the entire planet.

Some of you may not be familiar with how a “central bank” differs from a normal bank.  The following definition of a “central bank” comes from Wikipedia

A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is an institution that manages a state’s currency, money supply, and interest rates. Central banks also usually oversee the commercial banking system of their respective countries. In contrast to a commercial bank, a central bank possesses a monopoly on increasing the monetary base in the state, and usually also prints the national currency,[1] which usually serves as the state’s legal tender.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How The Elite Dominate The World – Part 1: Debt As A Tool Of Enslavement

How The Elite Dominate The World – Part 1: Debt As A Tool Of Enslavement

Throughout human history, those in the ruling class have found various ways to force those under them to work for their economic benefit.  But in our day and age, we are willingly enslaving ourselves.  The borrower is the servant of the lender, and there has never been more debt in our world than there is right now.  According to the Institute of International Finance, global debt has hit the 217 trillion dollar mark, although other estimates would put this number far higher.  Of course everyone knows that our planet is drowning in debt, but most people never stop to consider who owns all of this debt.  This unprecedented debt bubble represents that greatest transfer of wealth in human history, and those that are being enriched are the extremely wealthy elitists at the very, very top of the food chain.

Did you know that 8 men now have as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people living on the planet combined?

Every year, the gap between the planet’s ultra-wealthy and the poor just becomes greater and greater.  This is something that I have written about frequently, and the “financialization” of the global economy is playing a major role in this trend.

The entire global financial system is based on debt, and this debt-based system endlessly funnels the wealth of the world to the very, very top of the pyramid.

It has been said that Albert Einstein once made the following statement

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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