Silver as an investment

America The Debt Pig: We Are A ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Society – And ‘Pay Later’ Is Rapidly Approaching

America The Pig - Public DomainIf you really wanted to live like a millionaire, you could start doing it right now.  All you have to do is to apply for as many credit cards as possible and then begin running up credit card balances like there is no tomorrow.  At this point, I know what most of you are probably thinking.  You are probably thinking that such a lifestyle would not last for long and that a day of reckoning would eventually come, and you would be exactly right.  In fact, anyone that has ever had a tremendous amount of credit card debt knows how painful that day of reckoning can be.  To mindlessly run up credit card debt is exceedingly reckless, but unfortunately that is precisely what we have been doing as a nation as a whole.  We are a “buy now, pay later” society, and our national day of reckoning is approaching very, very quickly.

Often we like to focus on our exploding national debt, but household debt is out of control too.  In fact, the total amount of household debt in the United States is now up to a whopping 12.3 trillion dolllars

In the second quarter, total household debt increased by $35 billion to $12.3 trillion, according to the New York Fed’s latest quarterly report on household debt. That increase was driven by two categories: auto loans and credit cards.

We throw around words like “trillion” so often these days that they often start to lose their meaning.  But the truth is that 12.3 trillion dollars is an astounding amount of money.  It breaks down to about $38,557 for every man, woman and child in the entire country.  So if you have a family of four, your share comes to a grand total of $154,231, and that doesn’t even include corporate debt, local government debt, state government debt or the gigantic debt of the federal government.  That number is only for household debt, and there aren’t too many Americans that could cough up their share right at this moment.

Do you remember when I wrote about how credit card companies are specifically targeting less educated and less sophisticated consumers?  Well, that is where much of the credit card debt growth has come lately.  Just check out these numbers

Now, credit cards are returning among individuals with low credit or subprime credit scores below 660. Among people with credit scores between 620 and 660, the share that had a credit card rose to 58.8% in 2015 from a low of 54.3% in 2013. Among those with scores below 620, the number of people with a credit card increased to 50% from a low of 45.6% two years ago. Both figures for 2015 are the highest since 2008.

In America today, we are enjoying a standard of living that we do not deserve.

We consume far more wealth than we produce.  The only way we are able to do that is by going into debt.

Debt takes future consumption and brings it into the present.  In other words, we are damaging the future in order to make the present a little bit better.  On an individual level, we may enjoy the big screen television we buy with a credit card today, but we are taking away our ability to spend money later.  And on a national level, what our unprecedented debt binge is doing to future generations of Americans is beyond criminal.

Earlier this month I explained these things to a live studio audience down at Morningside, and you can view a video of that right here

In this article I haven’t even talked about corporate debt yet.  Instead of learning their lessons from the last financial crisis, big corporations have gone on the biggest debt spree of all time.  If you can believe it, corporate debt has approximately doubled since the last financial crisis.  In other words, since the last recession we have essentially matched the total amount of corporate debt that we accumulated from the beginning of the country up to 2009.

Unfortunately, a lot of that debt is now going bad.

In previous articles I have documented that corporate debt delinquencies are now the highest that they have been since the last financial crisis, and corporate debt defaults are also the highest that they have been since the last financial crisis.

At this point, even the mainstream media is acknowledging that we have a corporate debt “crisis”.  The following comes from an article that was just put out by the Denver Post

The number of companies that have defaulted so far this year has already passed the total for all of last year, which itself had the most since the financial crisis. Even among companies considered high-quality, or investment grade, credit-rating agencies say a record number are so stretched financially that they’re one bad quarter or so from being downgraded to “junk” status.

Companies whose debt is already deemed “junk” are in the worst shape in years. To pay back all they owe, they would have to set aside every dollar of their operating earnings over the next eight and a half years, more than twice as long as it would have taken during the 2008 crisis, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Are you starting to get the picture?

And I haven’t even started talking about our national debt yet.  When Barack Obama entered the White House, we were 10.6 trillion dollars in debt.  Today, we are 19.4 trillion dollars in debt.  That means that we have added 8.8 trillion dollars to the national debt under Obama, which breaks down to an average of 1.1 trillion dollars of additional debt a year.

We have been taking more than 100 million dollars of future consumption and bringing it into the present every single hour of every single day during the Obama administration.  That is why I am constantly referring to our “debt-fueled standard of living”.  We do not deserve to live the way that we do, but since we are able to steal from our children and our grandchildren we are able to enjoy a standard of living that most people in the world can only dream about.

Of course we are literally destroying the future of America in the process, but very few people seem to care about that these days.

Without all of this debt, we would be in a very deep economic depression right now.

But even with all of this “stimulus”, we are still mired in the worst economic “recovery” since 1949.  In fact, Barack Obama is actually on track to be the very first president in all of American history to not have one single year when U.S. GDP grew by 3 percent or better, and he has had two terms in which to try to get that accomplished.  The percentage of working age Americans that actually have a job is way down from where it was just prior to the last recession, and in this video I explain why the employment numbers put out by the government are not nearly as good as the administration would have us believe…

If the American people would have been willing to sacrifice and make some very hard choices a long time ago, maybe we could have gotten a handle on all of this debt.

But instead we continue to rack up debt as if there is no tomorrow, and in the process we are literally destroying tomorrow.

Every dollar of debt that we accumulate now makes life worse for our children and our grandchildren.

Unfortunately, we are a bunch of debt pigs, and we just can’t help ourselves.  We have come to believe that it is “normal” to go into so much debt, and as a society we continue to race toward economic oblivion.

Mike Maloney: This Is The Peak

What Life Will Be Like After An Economic Collapse

Submitted by Megan Stewart via SurvivalSullivan.com,

If you have been waiting for a public announcement or news headline to let you know that an economic collapse has begun, you are in for the surprise of your life. If history in other countries and in Detroit, Michigan is any indication, there won’t be an announcement. An economic collapse tends to sneak up on a city, region, or country gradually over time. In some cases, the arrival of an economic collapse is so gradual that most people living in it aren’t even aware of it at first.

Things just get gradually worse, often so gradually that people and families adjust as best they can until one day they actually realize that it’s not just their home or their neighborhood that has been hit so hard financially, it’s everyone. By that time, it’s often too late to take preventative action.

In March of 2011, Detroit’s population was reported as having fallen to 713,777, the lowest it had been in a century and a full 25% drop from 2000. In December 2011, the state announced its intention to formally review Detroit’s finances. In May of 2013, almost two years later, the city is deemed “clearly insolvent” and in July of 2013, the state representative filed a Chapter 9 bankruptcy petition for Motor City. Detroit became one of the biggest cities to file bankruptcy in history.

So we have only to look at what happened in Detroit, Michigan post-bankruptcy, to get an indication of what might soon be widespread across the United States and what is already widespread in countries like Brazil and Venezuela.

Increased and Widespread Hunger

Grocery stores and other businesses will fail one by one or be shut down from the riots and looting. In Detroit, the economic collapse left less than 5 national grocery stores for over 700,000 people. Imagine the lines even if food was still being shipped in on trucks. (more…)

Minimum Wage Claims Its Latest Victims – Ashley Furniture Slashes 840 Jobs In California

A few weeks back we pointed out a couple of the reasons that businesses are fleeing California by the 1,000's ("3 Simple Charts That Help Explain Why 9,000 Businesses Have Left California In Just 7 Years").  Clearly the implementation of a State-wide $15 minimum wage hasn't helped "lure" business owners.

On Friday, Ashley Furniture's 840 employees working in the company's production and warehouse facility in Colton, California became the latest victims of California's minimum wage hike.  Ashley announced they would be leaving open their retail store in Colton, but would be relocating the production facility that accounts for most of the location's jobs.  Per the San Bernadino Sun, Ashley Furniture released the following statements about the closure:

We thank our employees for all their hard work, but closing these plants on Oct. 25 and rebalancing our manufacturing mix strengthens production capability and cost structure and will help ensure Ashley’s continued ability to compete effectively long-term in the global marketplace from a U.S. base.

 

The majority of production in Colton will move to U.S. plants in Wisconsin, Mississippi and North Carolina.

By shifting the majority of Colton production to other U.S. facilities we will create more efficiency and better use of existing capacity in our manufacturing network.

(more…)

What If Only Taxpayers Voted?

If “pay-to-play” is good enough for Hillary’s State Department, then why not the nation?

 

 

Source: The Burning Platform

“If This Does Not Disqualify Hillary For The Presidency, It’s Hard To Know What Will”

Even the traditionally 'establishment' Wall Street Journal is waking up to the utter incredulity of an American media (and citizenry) which appears capable of cognitive dissonance on an epic scale when it comes to Hillary Clinton. As Kimberly Strassel explains the latest emails show that State and the foundation were one seamless entity.

This is the week that the steady drip, drip, drip of details about Hillary Clinton’s server turned into a waterfall. This is the week that we finally learned why Mrs. Clinton used a private communications setup, and what it hid. This is the week, in short, that we found out that the infamous server was designed to hide that Mrs. Clinton for three years served as the U.S. Secretary of the Clinton Foundation.

In March this column argued that while Mrs. Clinton’s mishandling of classified information was important, it missed the bigger point. The Democratic nominee obviously didn’t set up her server with the express purpose of exposing national secrets—that was incidental. She set up the server to keep secret the details of the Clintons’ private life—a life built around an elaborate and sweeping money-raising and self-promoting entity known as the Clinton Foundation.

Had Secretary Clinton kept the foundation at arm’s length while in office—as obvious ethical standards would have dictated—there would never have been any need for a private server, or even private email. The vast majority of her electronic communications would have related to her job at the State Department, with maybe that occasional yoga schedule. And those Freedom of Information Act officers would have had little difficulty—when later going through a state. (more…)

Shoulda Called Huma…

Presented with no comment…

 

 

Source: Townhall.com

What Preppers haven’t Prepped for – the big gaping hole

Reading stories about Preppers is often more inspiring than reading about startups.  Preppers dedicate their entire life to their new way of life, as it were.  Take for example this recent article in the Washington Post about the American Redoubt:

Those migrating to the Redoubt are some of the most motivated members of what is known as the prepper movement, which advocates readiness and self-reliance in man-made or natural disasters that could create instability for years. It’s scenario-planning that is gaining adherents and becoming mainstream in what Redoubt preppers described as an era of fear and uncertainty.  They are anxious about recent terrorist attacks from Paris to San Bernardino, Calif., to Orlando; pandemics such as Ebola in West Africa; potential nuclear attacks from increasingly provocative countries such as North Korea or Iran; and the growing political, economic and racial polarization in the United States that has deepened during the 2016 presidential election.

Although the reasons for prepping are extremely varied, most dedicated preppers share several axioms of their prepping philosophy, such as:

  • Being ‘off the grid’ or self-reliant, for food, power, medical needs, and any needs or wants
  • Living in a secure, remote area
  • DIY mentality (Do It Yourself)
  • 6 month – 2 year supply of food and other supplies
  • Gold & Silver for if/when the financial system collapses

Before exposing the big gaping hole in the prepper’s main doctrine, let’s give uber-credit to this ‘movement’ if you want to call it that.  Although many preppers are fueled by irrational fears, and some based on a low probability, high impact event statistic (for example, a meteor several miles wide can strike the Earth, causing widespread volcanoes, earthquakes, and other end of days scenarios, but the chance of this happening in next 100 years is very low, probably 1 in 100 million); their approach towards life is very American, in fact it was this type of survivalist gusto that made America what it was originally.  The land was untamed, there were ‘terrorists’ (called in those days, American Indians) and Americans had to be self-reliant because well, there was no DHS to call.  If your village was attacked by Indians or the British you had to defend yourself.  There was also the chance of a lifetime – live in the West in the most beautiful property in the world basically for free – but you must do all yourself.  Pioneers, Homesteaders, Tradesmen, Industrialists, all thrived and made America what it was. (more…)

The Deep State (And The Rise Of The Unspeakable)

Via Jesse's Cafe Americain,

"The state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight.

 

The pressure to conform to an authority figure or peer group can cause people to behave in shocking ways.

 

It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice – certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee.

 

The corridor between Manhattan and Washington is a well-trodden highway for the personalities we have all gotten to know in the period since the massive deregulation of Wall Street."

 

-Mike Lofgren

As we noted previously, the deep state seems to have grown, strengthened and tightened its grip.  Can a lack of real money restrain or starve it?  I once thought so, and maybe I still do.  But it doesn’t use real money, but rather debt and creative financing to get that next new car, er, war and intervention and domestic spending program.  Ultimately it’s not sustainable, and just as unaffordable cars are junked, stripped, repossessed, and crunched up, so will go the way of the physical assets of the warfare–welfare state. (more…)

One Striking Chart Shows Why, According to MS, The Next Global Recession Begins In China

Much has been said about China in the past year. Now, courtesy of Morgan Stanley’s Chetan Ahya, here is one additional data point revealing why China will be ground zero for the next global economic slowdown.

As Ahya notes in his Sunday Start note, “several large economies in the world including but not limited to the US, euro area, China, Japan and UK are facing the 3D challenge of demographics, debt and disinflation. Among these economies, we believe that China, which currently accounts for 18% of global GDP and 27% of global manufacturing and contributes 45% to global growth, will be the biggest drag towards lower nominal GDP growth and consequently lower expected returns.

Surprisingly, unlike many other Chinese doomsayers, Morgan Stanley does not think the catalyst of China’s upcoming “hard landing” will be financial, or debt-related:

The key concern that investors have on China is that its debt build-up could result in a potential financial shock, which would be akin to the experience of the US in 2008 and emerging markets in the 1990s. However, we think that the macro set-up and policy preferences will mean that the risk of a financial shock in China is low. There are three key characteristics of China’s current macro set-up: i) Debt is being largely funded domestically, i.e., China is misallocating its own excess saving; ii) It remains a net creditor to the world (with a net international investment position of 14.7% of GDP) and it runs a current account surplus; and iii) It is facing significant disinflationary pressures, which will allow the central bank to inject liquidity to manage any potential risk-aversion in the domestic financial system. While there are non-performing loans in the banking system, policy-makers will likely have significant control of liquidity conditions to prevent a financial shock, in our view.

 

Ideally, a quick adjustment approach following our five-step process of accepting lower potential growth, cutting excess capacity/recognising non-performing loans, recapitalising banks, cutting real interest rates and stimulating consumption with fiscal transfers to households for education and healthcare is needed to transition to a new productive growth cycle.

That however, is unlikely for a country in which social tensions and rising unemployment are already the thing that keeps Beijing up at night: “However, considering the risks to social stability, a quick adjustment appears unlikely to us. Given its macro set-up and policy preference, we have long argued that the developments in China are more comparable to that of Japan in the 1990s. (more…)