23 trillion dollars. It’s hard to wrap your head around a number that big. That works out to $70,000 for every person in the country, or something like $165,000 per taxpayer, depending on how taxpayer is defined. For years, we’ve kicked the can down the road, pretending that we’ll somehow be able to pay off this mountain of debt that’s now larger than the GDP.
This amazing video is a few years old, but it does a great job of visualizing what a then-$20 Trillion Debt looked like:
Over the last few years, the phrases fiscal conservative and fiscal responsibility have all but vanished. They were championed by the Tea Party during its fifteen minutes of fame, but those guys have gotten very quiet. It’s almost as if to them, tax-and-spend Democrats were bad, but tax-and-spend Republicans are okay.
And we’re piling it on, now running trillion dollar annual deficits. Once upon a time, we built up debt during times of war and paid it down during times of peace. Now we only build it up. (Mr. Snarky wonders if that has anything to do with the ascendency of the Military-Industrial Complex.)
We have been just barely getting by but only because interest rates to service our mountain of debt are at historic lows (and Trump wants negative rates, which are nothing short of insane). When, not if, when interest rates return to anything like normal, we are royally screwed. We’re like Wile E. Coyote — we’ve already run beyond the edge of the cliff but haven’t yet realized that a fall is inevitable.
Jim Rickards may be clueless about Bitcoin, but he knows a lot of things about a lot of things. He was up to his eyeballs in the Long-Term Capital Management fiasco (because of LTCM’s massive derivatives exposure, the Fed enabled a bailout by J.P.Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and other bloodsuckers). He mentions that in the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, the Federal Reserve Bank was able to cut interest rates and pump out huge reserves, bailing out the bankers, but postulates that when the current Everything Bubble implodes, the Fed itself may need to be bailed out by the International Monetary Fund:
A consequence of that would be that the U.S. Dollar would no longer be the world’s reserve currency. The death of the Petrodollar. The myth of American exceptionalism laid bare.
We’re heading that way fast. Faster than most people have a clue about. A fourth round of Quantitative Easing is already underway even though Fed Chair Powell insists it’s not QE4. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it just might be a duck.
Disclaimer: This should not be construed as financial advice. I am not a registered financial advisor; I don’t even play one on TV. Do your own due diligence. Batteries not included. Objects may be larger than the appear in mirror. Some assembly required. Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.