We must be in one of the greatest economic recoveries in modern history.
The stock market indexes are at record highs.
Unemployment is hovering around full employment levels.
Consumer spending is up, wages are up.
Car sales continue to rise.
So how is it that one out of every three Americans has at least one account in debt collection?
This facade of recovery and renewed vigor is very thin. And right underneath the surface is a record government debt, and worse, record consumer debt. Yes, that’s right consumer debt is at record highs right now.
And while everyone is always talking about the danger of government debt, the real concern for the U.S. economy is consumer debt.
The most recent unemployment figures show the rate going down, but what you don’t hear is that the most recent numbers have declined not out of growing employment, but because people are giving up and leaving the traditional workforce. That’s not bullish, it’s troubling.
According to Marketplace.org, Americans are holding $11 trillion in debt and roughly $830 billion of that is in collections.
As Bob Livingston has been saying for years, the banksters have turned money into debt and we no long live in capitalist economy but a debt-driven cycle that only benefits the bankster.
There are over 350,000 people that work in the debt collection industry. And that includes whole industries that have been built around slicing and dicing loan defaults and selling them off to collection agencies for pennies on the dollar. There are even companies that specialize in ‘deceased’ debt. That means people who have died that still owe money on a loan or credit card.
The depth and breadth of this ecosystem is staggering. And it continues to grow because the U.S. is no longer about building a strong and growing middle class but about yoking workers into increasing amounts of debt to try to attain their ideal of a decent middle class life.
It’s this illusion that is making the bankers ever more powerful and individuals less powerful. Since wages have been stagnant for decades, but the pressure to keep up with the Joneses has become even more intense, people are going deeper into debt to keep their middle class dream alive.
But that means the banks own a greater share of your stuff than you do. In some cases, you don’t own your stuff at all. Have an expensive smart phone? Do you lease it, pay the monthly fees and upgrade when a new one comes along?
These are considered product sales, by the way… 40 gazillion phones “sold” … but who’s buying? No one. It’s simply untethered debt.
Consumer debt has been this high twice in the past century. Just before the Great Depression and just before the Great Recession, which we are still in. Yet the market keeps going higher, built on artificial stimulation.
The end is nigh and it’s going to be ugly. My guess is the second or third quarter of 2017. The rate rise will start showing up in the economy as a net negative. Economic numbers will start to tumble as will earnings. And then hold on to your hats.
I have been talking about the value of holding hard assets this whole year and this is why. Silver and gold are crucial to anyone interested in weathering the coming storm. It would be a mistake to follow the crowd that has been trained to “invest” and therefore dismisses hard assets like silver, platinum and gold because they may not appreciate as investments.
If you’re prepping for a scenario where things can get messy in a hurry and without more warning than I and others on www.personalliberty.com are giving you, then I would suggest also getting into bitcoin. The dealers are more above board now and the blockchain is going to change financial transactions across the markets.
Yes, in 2014, the IRS declared bitcoins as property, not currency, and that all virtual currencies are subject to taxes on profits from sales.
Add to that the news of the IRS’s recent fishing expedition to try and uncover the identities of bitcoin users. A federal judge issued a summons seeking customer identity and 2014 to 2015 transaction records from Coinbase, the largest U.S. bitcoin exchange, just in case any users have tried to avoid paying taxes on profits resulting from bitcoin sales.
The company plans to fight the order in court, and in any case, the government might not be able to parse any information it gets access to quickly, if at all. Plus, sending or receiving bitcoin doesn’t mean anyone owes taxes.
Coinbase is not the best service to choose primarily because it is more a payment processor than a bitcoin exchange, which means that it acts more like a bank than traditional bitcoin service provider. The U.S. government is so keen to use its power to try and identify Coinbase’s bitcoin clients because it has already cooperated with the FBI on nabbing the Kickass Torrent site owner in a copyright case. The government is like a vampire; once you invite it in, it won’t leave.
What’s important here is that even if you have seen these developments in the news, the reason to own bitcoin is not to avoid taxes but to own an asset that I believe can help shield your assets from a financial reckoning in the U.S.
For your New Year’s resolution you should cut up your credit cards, pay off any variable rate loans and buy assets that will maintain their value even when the stock market drops 20 percent.
— GS Early