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The economy will never collapse.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am a banker. That’s right, that evil, fat cat, wall street banker that became such a popular moniker during our last administration and I’m also a prepper. Rather than debate the topic of bugging in/out of an incredibly densely populated area which I contend with all the time, I wanted to write about a topic that I see a lot of op-eds about and that is the impending doom of economic collapse and it being the pretense for TEOTWAWKI.
As anyone who is skilled in their field of practice is, I have the ability (mostly because I’m intricately connected to it every day) to decipher the ongoing fear that we as a nation are teetering on the brink of economic collapse and that you must immediately liquidate all holdings and bank accounts and mattress those funds. I will try to impress upon you below how unlikely and improbable this really is.
As a student of Finance you’re taught words like inflation, bubbles and leverage. You pause and look at “The Market” throughout the day and wonder why Apple is up or why oil is down but you really don’t understand how tightly things are tied together and quite frankly how much reliance on everything a simple stock or sector has on everything else in the global economy. Now don’t get me wrong, any company can have a bad day, or week or year. I’s talked about all the time. But the system crashing down as a result of just the system and not some other calamity like plague or an EMP for that matter is just not going to happen.
Checks and Balances
For an economy like the U.S. to go belly up, that would essentially mean that every other country in the world just doesn’t care about receiving payments on their debt. When I spoke above about things being so tied together, did you know that practically every country in the world owns the United States? That’s right, the Chinese own the statue of liberty, the French own the grand canyon and our friends in the Congo own Mt Rushmore. It’s true, well maybe not exactly but that deficit everyone hears about is nothing more than conceptual money that we owe ourselves not to mention every other country out there. No one is coming to collect.
Do you think there’s a vault out there with trillions of dollars in it? I promise you there’s not. Corporations, foreign governments and independent debt owners care about one thing and one thing only, the interest payment. The interest on the debt they have in the investment they make. That monthly stipend of interest is what’s real and more importantly how people balance the check book. No one ever assumes they’ll get their money back, in fact if they did, we’d be in a far better position. All we’d have to do is print the money but guess what, it wouldn’t be worth very much if there was an excess of it would it? Nobody wants to be paid back these ridiculous sums of money for one simple reason, their value will go down. 1 trillion dollars in owed money is worth 100 times what 1 trillion dollars in cash is. Checks and Balances is just that, what makes the world go round is certainty that you can collect on your debt, not by collecting on what’s owed. The country’s of the world can’t function with trillions of dollars sitting in a vault, they’d essentially be broke.
Value is just perception
If you have a house, and you want to sell it, what’s it worth? Whatever you think your house is worth based on improvements you might have made or what your county is assessing a tax figure on and holding you accountable to pay is really not the answer. Your home and anything for that matter is worth what we call fair market value. Fair market value is the price that some else (the market) is willing to pay (fair value). I bring this up because such is the case with everything when it comes to what things are worth. Now a house is much different from an investment vehicle like a bond for example. You live in your house, it provides you safety, security, memories all of which are equitable things. You might even be willing to put a price tag on that in your mind. A bond or a stock or balance sheet doesn’t really stack up to that house of yours does it? Yet this is what the world economy is made up of, fictional pieces of perceived value. They don’t even print shares of stock or bond anymore so you couldn’t burn it to keep you warm at night. That’s not me being a cynic it’s just the truth. Everything we have with regard to wealth is just in the perception of faith and tied to nothing really tangible. Take a minute to think about that.
Every once in a while, corrections are needed.
But banker you ask, what about the next recession, my portfolio might evaporate if it’s not allocated appropriately. Well folks, I’m here to tell you, you losing money is all part of the master plan. Making money is too however. There’s an old adage, maybe you’ve heard it. “Markets can digest good news and bad news but they hate uncertainty”. Isn’t that true of mostly everything come to think of it? Fact is our entire system was built on bull runs (times in which there’s a surge in value) and bear runs (times in which there’s a decline in value). If no one ever lost money the system wouldn’t work. Value wouldn’t change because risk would be taken out of the equation. Everyone would be richer but no one would be richer. What makes the world economy function is that there’s no guarantee that stipend I mentioned that all governments are tied to will be insured and reliable. This is where jockeying comes in and the gambling mentality takes over. Since the dawn of modern finance prospectors and prognosticators have set the benchmark to try to out-earn (even by just the tiniest of margins) their competitors. People wager on perceived value and that’s the x-factor (greed that is) that sets the bulls or bears running and ushers in peaks and valleys. Corrections are there by design and you’ll have to stomach it unless you plan to completely go off grid. That’s not really prepping though, that’s fully prepared. For the rest of us that aspire to “get there”, you have to be prepared to get bounced around with the financial tide.
OK oh ye faithful that have stuck around and for those of you that did, thank you, here’s the synopsis. Unless greed is wiped from the earth OR unless the debt holders want to stop making money, the system will not collapse. Even in the greatest of calamity’s like The Great Depression and or The Great Recession people made money. They just chose the right time to bet against common thought. Point is the system always recovers. We as preppers, for lack of a better way to say it are prepared. We’re prepared beyond what’s in our refrigerator or a minor terrorist crisis in our general vicinity or at least we’re trying to get there. Know this, peaks and valleys within our financial system will always continue but with 100% certainty, the system is rigged.
If things ever got bad enough for the U.S. to the point of bread lines and soup kitchens, we’d just print the money we needed as a government to make our debt payment. If another country couldn’t make their payment, we’d just chisel away at their principal and then auction it off again to the highest bidder for, that’s right you guessed it, another payment plan. Take solace in the fact that there are 100 others ways all of them far more likely to disrupt the balance and cause us to make tough decisions for our family’s. For the ones convinced that the economic system will fail them, you might be caught short-handed in your preps. Invest instead in gas masks or wind turbines or lamp oil, hey, you might just make someone rich.