By Stefan Gleason
It’s campaign season, and that means non-stop media coverage of candidate polls, quips, gaffes, tweets, emails, controversies, lies, and scandals. It all makes for a good soap opera. Unfortunately, it’s almost all irrelevant in the big picture.
The media prefer to focus on the sideshow rather than the 800-pound gorilla in the room: the looming debt crisis. Nothing that comes out of a pundit’s mouth or a Hillary Clinton email will close the $210 trillion long-term fiscal gap the U.S. now faces.
More immediately, Congress faces a likely debt ceiling debacle in the next few weeks.
First up, Members of Congress are considering full funding for Obama’s budget, and the fiscal year begins October 1st. Not surprisingly, the Obama administration’s new budget calls for spending much more than the federal government will take in. So Congress will need to raise the statutory debt limit within a few weeks in order to make that spending possible.
3 bold statements just in the headline, but even CNBC granted that Schiff deserved to take what it called a “victory lap.”
Schiff argues that the Fed does not plan to raise rates at all because it can’t raise rates. 7 years ago with the start of ZIRP and QE Schiff says the Federal Reserve entered a “monetary roach motel.” That the Fed is now stuck. Which is of some concern to say the least.
It should be noted also that there seems to be a lot of talk about less than 0% interest rates as of late (LZIRP). So what does that tell you?
Another good one from David Stockman – and now he has a beard! What’s up with all the Wall Street guys wearing beards these days?
If one wants to fix the college cost problem one would do more good by eliminating federal aid than by expanding it. Easy credit to students is inflating tuition costs and thereby forcing (well not forcing) students to take on ever more debt. But the administrators and tenured professors sure like it.
Look at it this way. If you are part of the vast, generally assetless or nearly assetless middle class you won’t have to watch the value of what you have decline. I guess that’s a good thing, sort of.
The world is slowing. China is in serious trouble and the ripples emanating from Beijing are becoming waves. The Keynesian experiment post-Crash is failing. (As the Austrian economists said it would.)
World markets are built right now on cotton candy and the rainbow dreams of central bankers. There isn’t a lot of support below world asset prices as John Ficenec at The Telegraph explains.
If one is going to go to college the best way to do it is with someone else’s money. If that can’t be done at least spend your money, and it will be a pile of money, on a degree which will serve you well. There isn’t a huge demand for sociologists. Art history, as much as I love it, is not a strong major either.
See, now that we know what the problems are, getting the whole Greek economic crisis thing under control should be pretty easy.
Mohamed El-Erian says the Greek “no” vote is like this scene from the classic movie Network.
The periphery of Europe has been eroding for a long time but things are speeding up. Think of Greece as a headland crumbling into an unrelenting and angry financial sea.
But it’s a recovery…
Wait till the downturn. Things are a little too real in this country already.
Debt can be a very valuable tool when used wisely and with caution. One has to remember however what can happen if one over leverages oneself. You and I are not Goldman Sachs. We can’t ask the government for a bailout.
What’s the old adage? Never engage in a land war in Asia? Well we tossed that one out a while ago and now it looks like we might be heading for one on the high seas. No kidding. China is building island bases in the South China Sea, right over massive deposits of oil and smack dab in the middle of Asian trade routes, and we are not happy about it. In fact we’ve ordered China to essentially stop immediately. They are not complying, and are using diplomatic talk of the kind which isn’t very diplomatic.
We have gotten to the point where sober minded people (well probably most of the time) with serious skin in the game are getting concerned.
Interesting because a whole lot of people disagree with the very very statist and crony Lula da Silva. In fact hundreds of thousands turned out in the street to protest this ongoing system (and the current president) just a few of weeks ago.
Menos Marx. Mais Mises.
At this point if you still have a pile of euros in a Greek bank you almost deserve to be taxed in such a terrible way. Of course most of the accounts in play here aren’t stuffed to the gills with money but are everyday accounts used for paying rent and buying groceries.
But not to worry, rich folks may soon see capital controls on transfers of over a million euros. And if you have a million euros in a Greek bank at this point, after all that has happened, I don’t have all that much sympathy.
Both the withdrawal tax and the capital controls still have to be approved by authorities. One can only assume that queues are wrapping around the Athens Wells Fargo as I write this.
I read something somewhere which went something like this;
“Those who don’t understand interest pay it. Those who do earn it.”
This is an oversimplification but the spirit is right on the money (so to speak.) Vast swathes of the suburbs are awash in debt. It contributes greatly to the quiet (so quiet that for many it is unspoken) desperation of the American middle class. It’s pretty sad actually. Particularly when the banks lending via credit cards are getting their money at near 0% interest from the Fed.