ILE D’YEU, FRANCE – Last week, the plot did not so much thicken as congeal.
There’s no changing it now – the cameras are rolling… the costumes are on… and everyone knows his lines.
President Trump went further in becoming the first president independent of either major political party in American history.
After having sided with the Democrats on the debt ceiling, he went back to the swamp to resolve the “Dreamer” issue – the 800,000 children who arrived in the U.S. as undocumented migrants and were allowed to temporarily stay legally in the country.
Then, over the weekend, it was reported that the administration wanted to get back on the Paris climate change agreement bandwagon.
The White House denies it, but it’s now clear that Mr. Trump aims to be a whole lot less disruptive than he promised to be.
And now, with the floodgates open, the U.S. national debt has surged over $20 trillion.
Of course, we don’t worry about debt anymore. That is sooo 20th century. This is the 21st century. Debt doesn’t matter.
What seems to matter are the more symbolic issues. The Dreamers, for example.
It was okay for the president to betray conservatives on the money issues… but let him agree to offer refuge to hundreds of thousands of migrant children… and “conservatives” are up in arms.
It is further proof – if any were needed – that this comedy is going to turn into a farce… and end as a tragedy.
We’re going broke… and no one cares.
Certainly, here at the Diary… we don’t care. People get what they deserve.
Our job is only to try to understand what it is that they deserve… to anticipate it… and make sure we don’t get it, too!
On Friday, we went to Paris to meet with Jim Rickards.
The ex-general counsel for hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management, CIA advisor, best-selling financial author, and Wall Street veteran told us that we are too naïve.
A major crisis is coming, he says, worse than 2007.
It’s coming on its own accord – a natural and inevitable consequence of the feds’ meddling. According to Jim, the authorities are actually looking forward to it… planning for it… and helping to cause it.
On that last point, we have no doubt.
Their ham-fisted, pigheaded program is bound to lead to a crisis.
Specifically, the problem that caused the crisis of 2007 – too much debt – was not resolved; it was made worse.
The Fed, confronted with a debt crisis of its own making, did the only thing it could do – it lowered interest rates to encourage more borrowing.
Now, there is more debt than ever. And the same people who caused the crisis are still running the banks, the regulatory agencies, the corporations, and all the other institutions that made the crisis possible.
Why were none of the problems corrected? We attribute this to simple self-interest: The insiders live on debt. Of course, they are always going to want more of it.
But this is more than a matter of chance, imbecility, and swinishness.
There’s cupidity, too!
The powers that be are setting us up for another big crisis because they want another big crisis.
“It was no accident that Congress passed that Patriot Act so quickly after 9/11,” Jim told me. “They were waiting for it.”
A crisis is an opportunity. And in the next crisis – which could be days, weeks, or months away – the feds will further tighten the noose around our necks.
“They’ll ban cash,” says Jim.
Jim knows the insiders. He knows what they know. And he knows what they don’t know.
What they don’t know – and don’t want to know – is how to run an economy properly.
But they know they don’t need to know. Because the more they fail and the more crises they cause, the more opportunities they have to grab more power… and more money.
That is what they did in 2008, for example.
Corporate profits – which reflect the real earnings of large American businesses – have risen only 2% a year since then. After inflation, they were more or less flat.
But stocks have risen 10 times as much. The Dow, for example, is up 200% over the same period.
How is that possible?
Well, the Fed pumped $3.6 trillion into the capital markets via its QE (“quantitative easing”) programs.
Not into the consumer market. Not into Main Street. Not into the pockets of ordinary citizens. Instead, the money went to the big banks and other rich people.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, for example, got a bonus last year of $25 million thanks to this hustle. And he calls bitcoin a “fraud”!
As a card-carrying member of the “One Percent,” we’d like to pause briefly and offer a word of thanks to the Fed. Since 2008, the wealth of the richest 1% of Americans has soared.
As measured by the S&P 500, it’s up more than 230%.
Great for us. Thanks.
But it’s all very well for the feds to use crises to take more wealth from the lumpenproletariat… and arm the local police with tanks and assault helicopters to keep them in line…
Still, every elite eventually goes too far… every empire dies… and, in the final act, every jackass gets what he’s got coming.
BY CHRIS LOWE, EDITOR AT LARGE, Bonner & partners
Uncle Sam isn’t the only one making new records when it comes to debt…
Today’s chart looks at the aggregate level of debt owed by U.S. households, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and corporations outside the financial sector… relative to the size of the economy.
This includes mortgage loans and credit card debt.
It also includes bank loans to corporations… and bonds issued by corporations to raise cash.
As you can see, non-financial debt is now 73% of GDP.
That’s higher than it was at the onset of the subprime mortgage bubble and the 2008 financial crisis.
– Chris Lowe
Tech Companies Are Taking Over Corporate America
Technology stocks have had a good year in 2017. And as more investors pile into technology stocks, some believe that tech companies could soon represent one-third of the value of all U.S. stocks.
The End of “Flood, Build, Repeat”
As Bill wrote, the recent flooding in Houston was made all the worse by subsidized government flood insurance for flood-prone areas. Now, some are calling for this program of “flood, build, repeat” to end.
Preparing for America’s Next Civil War
It may not be a return to the pitched battles of the 1860s, but America could be headed for a new type of civil war. Colleague Nick Giambruno shares what’s at the heart of today’s strife and what you can do to protect your family and your finances.
In today’s mailbag, discussion on America’s runaway debt…
I agree, the American Empire is founded on debt. The railroad and oil barons of the 19th and early 20th centuries made their fortunes with borrowed money, and what was good enough for them has become what is good for everyone – or so goes the mantra. The problem is, debts become due, and increasingly they are paid off with more debt. That will go on until lenders decide they need more interest, raise rates, and reduce the amount they are willing to loan.
This will make debtors seek additional loans.
Eventually lenders will be forced to bite the bullet and declare the debtors in default. This goes for national governments as well as for individuals or companies. When it does, it will snowball, and whole economies and governments will collapse. That is the inevitable legacy of our friends, and worst enemies, the politicians who have piled lie upon lie, ad inf. How much longer will we believe and follow them?
– Chuck B.
I think the elimination of the debt ceiling is great! Now that the government can print all the money it needs, then it really has no need for any of mine and we can now eliminate the theft of a significant portion of all we work for in the form of taxes. Am I missing something?
– Scott S.
Donald Trump was recently given a tour of Fort Knox where he was shown enough gold or “fool’s gold” to make him think we are a nation with money backed by gold. Unfortunately lithium ore, which keeps smartphones working, is worth more.
– Cleavis N.
It really is a shame that you are not the President of the United States. If you were, everything would be coming up roses and the people could rejoice in their newfound fortunes.
– Don T.
As the Dow continues to hit record highs, the U.S. dollar is off to its worst start since 1985 – down 9% this year. What does it mean for investors?
Legendary crisis investor Doug Casey has a unique take on the situation. For full details, click here.