The Birth Pains of the Debt Crisis

If I had to guess, I’d say my readers are quite a bit above average in critical thinking. After all, to even consider the validity of gold as an investment, or to question government policies and propaganda, you have to think critically. So to be honest, I am not that concerned about my readers making it out of this crisis in decent shape. That being said, we must all face the facts. And some of the facts that are developing are really hard to accept, depending on your current situation.

We All Have Blind Spots

I’ve always said that war and economic crises go hand in hand, and I think it’s becoming clearer this risk is increasing. Well, I happen to be in the age group that can potentially be drafted, so this is an uncomfortable historic fact I must accept. I don’t pick and choose history in a way that is convenient for me. I don’t know if I ever said this, but at one point I actually wanted to go to law school (I know, so unlike me). But after researching as many variables as possible, including broader economic trends, I realized law school probably wasn’t the smartest decision for me. A dispassionate analysis of the facts changed my opinion, and therefore my behavior. It’s a simple concept, but so underutilized because we can’t handle our prevailing worldview being challenged.

I have blind spots I must constantly be vigilant of. And I guarantee every single one of you has blind spots. It could be the fact that your industry is on the decline, so when I say this crisis is in large part a function of a shift in the economy – which demands increasingly complex skills- your reflexive reaction may be denial, or worse, anger. Or say  you have a ton of student loan debt and a liberal arts degree that is not in demand. The fact that a college degree is not enough for “safety and security” anymore is not going to sound like music to your ears. But it’s always better to face to truth and pivot than to live in denial and suffer later.

Feeling the Birth Pains

Right now, we are setting a firm foundation for the global crisis that is to come. You must have an open mind about this, because for the most part it will be a type of crisis none of us has lived through, so our perception is distorted. Europe is an absolute mess, and is poised for huge ruptures socially because unemployment is concentrated in the youth. The Ukrainian situation, especially with sanctions against Russia, is going to add tremendous instability and volatility to the system. It may be the catalyst for a broader war. At the very least, we should see the dollar move as capital in Europe becomes panicked as this conflict really picks up steam.

In the short run, all this conflict is good for the U.S., at least on the surface; in the long run, the entire world, including the U.S., is in for some pain. The dollar still needs to rally sharply before we see instability in the U.S. economy, but this is coming sooner rather than later. It will probably be spun by the media as something positive, but I can assure you the timing is not right for a dollar rally because the last thing we need right now is deflation. This entire crisis is setting up to be 2008-2009 on steroids. This is a different type of crisis though, so keep that in mind. This is a true global debt crisis, so it will be broader and more severe in scope.

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  • Darrell

    Argentina may be the start of the rolling stone; I think that most investors and most policy wonks know the global currency system is dysfunctional and is long overdue for a change.

    it is the currency system: where national currencies are used as global legal tender, thus allowing for the accumulation of debts that far exceeds one’s ability to pay back, allowing nations to spend borrowed money on activities that benefit no one, and please add to the list.

    We see French politicians who state the obvious: we are broke!!, get elected to office because they state the obvious. So we feel needed changes are coming, it is the form that we are not sure about. And it is the form that is making one anxious about the future.

    I think bankruptcy is the most logical solutions to our fiscal problems: it is debt that created our problems, and it is the renouncing of debt that gives one the ability to start fresh.