Category Archives: Economy

Required Pension Contributions of California Cities Will Double in Five Years says Policy Institute: Quadruple is More Likely

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The California Policy Center estimates Required Pension Contributions Will Nearly Double in 5 Years. I claim it will be much worse.

In the fiscal year beginning in July, local payments to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System will total $5.3 billion and rise to $9.8 billion in fiscal 2023, according to the right-leaning group that examines public pensions.

The increase reflects Calpers’ decision in December to roll back the expected rate of return on its investments. That means the system’s 3,000 cities, counties, school districts and other public agencies will have to put more taxpayer money into the fund because they can’t count as heavily on anticipated investment income to cover future benefit checks.

Including the costs paid by cities and counties that run their own systems, the fiscal 2018 tab will be at least $13 billion to meet retirement obligations for public workers, according to the analysis, which is based on actuarial reports and audited financial statements.

Barring any changes to pensions, “several California cities and counties will find themselves forced to slash other spending,” the group wrote in its report. “The less fortunate will simply be unable to pay the bills they receive from Calpers or their local retirement system.”

Quadruple is More Likely

https://mishgea.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/city-of-berkely-projections.png?w=625

The California Policy Center Report details 20 cities and counties reporting pension contribution-to-revenue ratios exceeding 10%. San Rafael, San Jose, and Santa Barbara County head the list at 18.29%, 13.49%, and 13.06% respectively.

The report “reflects the impact of CalPERS’ recent decision to change the rate at which it discounts future liabilities from 7.5% to 7%.

Lovely.

A plan assumption of 7.0% is not going to happen. Returns are more likely to be negative than to hit 7% a year for the next five years.

As in 2000 and again in 2007, investors believe the stock market is flashing an all clear signal. It isn’t.

GMO 7-Year Expected Returns

https://mishgea.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/gmo-7-year-2017-02a.png?w=625

Source: GMO

*The chart represents local, real return forecasts for several asset classes and not for any GMO fund or strategy. These forecasts are forward‐looking statements based upon the reasonable beliefs of GMO and are not a guarantee of future performance. Forward‐looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and GMO assumes no duty to and does not undertake to update forward looking statements. Forward‐looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks, and uncertainties, which change over time. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in forward‐looking statements. U.S. inflation is assumed to mean revert to long‐term inflation of 2.2% over 15 years.

Forecast Analysis

GMO forecasts seven years of negative real returns. Allowing for 2.2% inflation, nominal returns are expected to be negative for seven full years.

Even +3.0% returns would wreck pension plans, most of which assume six to seven percent returns.

If we see the kinds of returns I expect, even quadruple contributions will not come close to matching the actuarial needs.

by Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Bank Of America: “Previously This Has Only Happened In 2000 And 2008”

Although it will not come as a surprise to regular readers that, for various reasons, loan growth in the US has not only ground to a halt but, for the all important Commercial and Industrial Segment, has dropped at the fastest rate since the financial crisis, some (until recently) economic optimists, such as Bank of America’s Ethan Harris, are only now start to realize that the post-election “recovery” was a mirage.

A quick recap of where loan creation stood in the last week: according to the Fed’s H.8 statement, things continued to deteriorate, and C&I loans rose just 2.8% Y/Y, the worst reading since the start of the decade and on pace to print a negative number – traditionally associated with recessions – within the next four weeks, while total loans and leases rose by just 3.8% in the last week of March, less than half the stable 8% growth rate observed for much of 2014 and 2015.

https://i0.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/03/27/loan%20growth%20april%209.jpg

Yet while ZeroHedge readers have been familiar with this chart for months, it appears to have been a surprise to BofA’s chief economist. However, in a report titled “Is soft the new hard data?”, Ethan Harris confirms that he has finally observed the sharp swoon lower and is not at all happy by it.

As he writes in his Friday weekly recap note, “this week saw some softness in hard data as auto sales and jobs growth declined sharply. While two observations do not make a trend, this occurrence nevertheless is noteworthy as on the one hand very positive sentiment indicators suggest activity should pick up… 

https://i2.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/03/27/bofa%20data%201.jpg

… while on the other hand loan data suggests everybody is in wait-and-see mode pending details of fiscal stimulus (=tax reform) – which highlights the risk of softer hard economic data.”

A frustrated Harris then admits that such a sharp and protracted decline in loan creation has only happened twice before: the 2000 and 2008 recessions.

https://i1.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/03/27/bofa%20CI%20fig%202.jpg

… the first period of no growth for at least six months since the 2008-2011 aftermath of the financial crisis, and prior to that after the early 2000s recession (Figure 3).

https://i1.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/03/27/bofa%20CI%20fig%202.jpg

At the same time, consumer loan growth has slowed substantially – just up 1.4% since last November US elections compared with 3.1% the same period the prior year (figure 4).

https://i1.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/03/27/bofa%20CI%20fig%204.jpg

Then again, with tax reform seemingly dead, not even a formerly uber bullish Harris find much room for optimism…

As tax reform by House Speaker Ryan’s own account is not going to happen anytime soon, and likely will be watered down as the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) is replaced by a Value Added Tax (VAT) and the elimination of net interest deductibility for corporations, the biggest near term risk to our bullish outlook for credit spreads we maintain is a correction in equities – most likely prompted by weak hard data.

… and concludes by echoing Hans Lorenzen’s recent warning, that “the biggest near term risk to our bullish outlook for credit spreads we maintain is a correction in equities – most likely prompted by weak hard data.”

Morgan Stanley: Used Car Prices Might Crash 50%

https://s15-us2.ixquick.com/cgi-bin/serveimage?url=http%3A%2F%2Fi.ebayimg.com%2F00%2Fs%2FNDgwWDYwNA%3D%3D%2F%24%28KGrHqR%2C%21pIFHHmT%21rgjBR3Nj%21NVPw%7E%7E60_1.JPG%3Fset_id%3D2&sp=4aa19b8f56365e5e0abf849c77a95eae(informative economic commentary video at the end)  For months we’ve been talking about the massive lending bubble propping up the U.S. auto market.  Now, noting many of the same concerns that we’ve highlighted repeatedly, Morgan Stanley’s auto team, led by Adam Jonas, has just issued a report detailing why they think used car prices could crash by up to 50% over the next 4-5 years. 

Here’s the summary (flood of supply, poor lending standards and desperate OEMs who need to keep new car sales elevated at all costs):


  • Off-lease supply: This has already more than doubled since 2012 and is set to rise another 25% over the next 2 years.
  • Extended credit terms: Auto loans are at record lengths and lease assumptions (residuals, money factor) are at record levels of accommodation.
  • Rising rates: Starting from record low levels in auto loans.
  • Overdependency on auto ABS: The outstanding balance of auto securitizations has surpassed last cycle’s peak.
  • Record high deep subprime participation: 32% of subprime auto ABS deals were deep subprime (weighted average FICO < 550) in 2016 vs. 5% in 2010.
  • Record high units of new car inventory: 2016YE unit inventory levels were near 10% higher than 2015YE, and are continuing to trend higher in 2017.
  • OEM price competition: Car manufacturers have capacitized to a 19mm or 20mm SAAR. At this point in the cycle we start seeing more money ‘on the hood’ to move the metal. As new car prices fall, used prices look relatively more expensive, which necessitates a decline in used prices to equilibrate the supply/demand imbalance.
  • Increased ADAS penetration: We expect auto firms to achieve nearly 100% active safety penetration by 2020, creating an unprecedented safety gap between new and used vehicles, accelerating obsolescence of the used stock. Rising insurance premiums on older cars could accelerate this shift.
  • Trouble in the car rental market: Due to a number of secular shifts, including how consumers access transportation options (e.g. ride sharing), car rental firms are facing stagnant growth, weak pricing and over-fleeted conditions. As these cars hit the auction, the impact on prices could be significant.

All of which Morgan Stanley thinks could spark a 50% decline in used car prices over the next couple of years.  So, for all of you pension funds out there scooping up all of the AAA-rated slugs of the latest auto ABS deals for the ‘juicy yield’, now might be a good time to review what happened to the investment grade tranches of MBS structures back in 2009 when home prices crashed by similar amounts.

https://i2.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/31/2017.03.31%20-%20Used%20Car%201.JPG

And here are the stats…

Off-lease volumes have already doubled since 2012 and are only expected to get

worse…meanwhile, lending standards have gradually gotten worse and worse…

https://i0.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/31/2017.03.31%20-%20Used%20Car%202.JPG

…as further revealed by the growing share of ‘deep subprime’ loans in auto ABS deals.

https://i0.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/03/31/2017.03.31%20-%20Used%20Car%203.JPG

Of course, so far negative equity hasn’t been a problem for car buyers because lenders have been all too willing to roll those debt balances into new loans.  And, courtesy of low rates and stretched out terms, consumers haven’t really cared that their debt balances are ballooning so long as their monthly payments remain low.

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Meanwhile, none of the warnings about a flood of used car volumes about to hit the market has impacted new car volumes being pushed on to dealer lots.

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All of which results in this fairly brutal outlook for used car prices:

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Dear OEMs, the first step is admitting you have a problem.


Musktopia Here We Come!

It ought to be sign of just how delusional the nation is these days that Elon Musk of Tesla and Space X is taken seriously. Musk continues to dangle his fantasy of travel to Mars before a country that can barely get its shit together on Planet Earth, and the Tesla car represents one of the main reasons for it — namely, that we’ll do anything to preserve, maintain, and defend our addiction to incessant and pointless motoring (and nothing to devise a saner living arrangement).

Even people with Ivy League educations believe that the electric car is a “solution” to our basic economic quandary, which is to keep all the accessories and furnishings of suburbia running at all costs in the face of problems with fossil fuels, especially climate change. First, understand how the Tesla car and electric motoring are bound up in our culture of virtue signaling, the main motivational feature of political correctness. Virtue signaling is a status acquisition racket. In this case, you get social brownie points for indicating that you’re on-board with “clean energy,” you’re “green,” “an environmentalist,” “Earth –friendly.” Ordinary schmoes can drive a Prius for their brownie points. But the Tesla driver gets all that and much more: the envy of the Prius drivers!

This is all horse shit, of course, because there’s nothing green or Earth-friendly about Tesla cars, or electric cars in general. Evidently, many Americans think these cars run on batteries. No they don’t. Not really. The battery is just a storage unit for electricity that comes from power plants that burn something, or from hydroelectric installations like Hoover Dam, with its problems of declining reservoir levels and aging re-bar concrete construction. A lot of what gets burned for electric power is coal. Connect the dots. Also consider the embedded energy that it takes to just manufacture the cars. That had to come from somewhere, too.

The Silicon Valley executive who drives a Tesla gets to feel good about him/her/zheself without doing anything to change him/her/zhe’s way of life. All it requires is the $101,500 entry price for the cheapest model. For many Silicon Valley execs, this might be walking-around money. For the masses of Flyover Deplorables that’s just another impossible dream in a growing list of dissolving comforts and conveniences.

In fact, the mass motoring paradigm in the USA is already failing not on the basis of what kind of fuel the car runs on but on the financing end. Americans are used to buying cars on installment loans and, as the middle class implosion continues, there are fewer and fewer Americans who qualify to borrow. The regular car industry (gasoline branch) has been trying to work around this reality for years by enabling sketchier loans for ever-sketchier customers — like, seven years for a used car. The borrower in such a deal is sure to be “underwater” with collateral (the car) that is close to worthless well before the loan can be extinguished. We’re beginning to see the fruits of this racket just now, as these longer-termed loans start to age out. On top of that, a lot of these janky loans were bundled into tradable securities just like the janky mortgage loans that set off the banking fiasco of 2008. Wait for that to blow.

What much of America refuses to consider in the face of all this is that there’s another way to inhabit the landscape: walkable neighborhoods, towns, and cities with some kind of public transit. Some Millennials gravitate to places designed along these lines because they grew up in the ‘burbs and they know full well the social nullity induced there. But the rest of America is still committed to the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world: suburban living. And tragically, of course, we’re kind of stuck with all that “infrastructure” for daily life. It’s already built out! Part of Donald Trump’s appeal was his promise to keep its furnishings in working order.

All of this remains to be sorted out. The political disorder currently roiling America is there because the contradictions in our national life have become so starkly obvious, and the first thing to crack is the political consensus that allows business-as-usual to keep chugging along. The political turmoil will only accelerate the accompanying economic turmoil that drives it in a self-reinforcing feedback loop. That dynamic has a long way to go before any of these issues resolved satisfactorily.

Source: ZeroHedge

Retail Store Traffic & Used Vehicle Prices Are Declining

Retail:

According to Wells Fargo’s Ike Boruchow, it’s “increasingly clear that retail is under significant pressure” adding that store traffic remains weak (likely to get softer this week due to Easter shift), while markdown rates are not only elevated on an annual basis, but also getting sequentially worse. He concludes that “retailers are running out of time” to reach elevated Q1 numbers as consumption is failing to rebound.

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S&P Retail Stocks

Whether due to displacement (from online vendors), due to concerns about border tax, or simply because the US consumer’s plight – despite the recent surge in Trump induced animal spirits – has not changed one bit, the pain for US retailers continues, and as a result, the outlook for malls and other retail-associated secondary industries will remain bleak for the foreseeable future.

Used Vehicles:

Desutche Bank is gravely concerned: We’ve grown increasingly concerned about U.S. Used Vehicle Pricing down 7.7% yoy during February, per NADA. A decline in used prices has been widely anticipated given a significant increase in used vehicle supply (off-lease vehicles). But the magnitude of the recent drop was nonetheless surprising (February’s drop was largest recorded for any month since Nov. 2008). Used prices have a significant impact on New Vehicle demand/pricing through their effect on affordability (most new car purchases involve a trade-in).

https://mishgea.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/nada-used-car-2017-03a.png?w=625

https://mishgea.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/nada-used-car-2017-03b.png?w=625

Let us hope this is all because consumers are focused on buying houses instead.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-20/retailers-are-running-out-time-channel-checks-show-13-collapse-traffic

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-20/used-car-prices-crash-most-2008

 

Janet Yellen Explains Why She Hiked In A 0.9% GDP Quarter

It appears, the worse the economy was doing, the higher the odds of a rate hike.

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Putting the Federal Reserve’s third rate hike in 11 years into context, if the Atlanta Fed’s forecast is accurate, 0.9% GDP would mark the weakest quarter since 1980 in which rates were raised (according to Bloomberg data).

https://i0.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/15/20170315_prefed10.jpg

We look forward to Ms. Yellen explaining her reasoning – Inflation no longer “transitory”? Asset prices in a bubble? Because we want to crush Trump’s economic policies? Because the banks told us to?

For now it appears what matters to The Fed is not ‘hard’ real economic data but ‘soft’ survey and confidence data…

https://i0.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/15/20170315_prefed7.jpg

Source: ZeroHedge

Foreign Governments Dump US Treasuries as Never Before, But Who the Heck is Buying Them?

It started with a whimper a couple of years ago and has turned into a roar: foreign governments are dumping US Treasuries. The signs are coming from all sides. The data from the US Treasury Department points at it. The People’s Bank of China points at it in its data releases on its foreign exchange reserves. Japan too has started selling Treasuries, as have other governments and central banks.

Some, like China and Saudi Arabia, are unloading their foreign exchange reserves to counteract capital flight, prop up their own currencies, or defend a currency peg.

Others might sell US Treasuries because QE is over and yields are rising as the Fed has embarked on ending its eight years of zero-interest-rate policy with what looks like years of wild flip-flopping, while some of the Fed heads are talking out loud about unwinding QE and shedding some of the Treasuries on its balance sheet.

Inflation has picked up too, and Treasury yields have begun to rise, and when yields rise, bond prices fall, and so unloading US Treasuries at what might be seen as the peak may just be an investment decision by some official institutions.

The chart below from Goldman Sachs, via Christine Hughes at Otterwood Capital, shows the net transactions of US Treasury bonds and notes in billions of dollars by foreign official institutions (central banks, government funds, and the like) on a 12-month moving average. Note how it started with a whimper, bounced back a little, before turning into wholesale dumping, hitting record after record (red marks added):

https://i0.wp.com/wolfstreet.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/US-Treasuries-net-foreign-transactions.png

The People’s Bank of China reported two days ago that foreign exchange reserves fell by another $12.3 billion in January, to $2.998 trillion, the seventh month in a row of declines, and the lowest in six years. They’re down 25%, or almost exactly $1 trillion, from their peak in June 2014 of nearly $4 trillion (via Trading Economics, red line added):

https://i1.wp.com/wolfstreet.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/China-Foreign-exchange-reserves-2017-01.png

China’s foreign exchange reserves are composed of assets that are denominated in different currencies, but China does not provide details. So of the $1 trillion in reserves that it shed since 2014, not all were denominated in dollars.

The US Treasury Department provides another partial view, based on data collected primarily from US-based custodians and broker-dealers that are holding these securities for China and other countries. But the US Treasury cannot determine which country owns the Treasuries held in custodial accounts overseas. Based on this limited data, China’s holdings of US Treasuries have plunged by $215.2 billion, or 17%, over the most recent 12 reporting months through November, to just above $1 trillion.

So who is buying all these Treasuries when the formerly largest buyers – the Fed, China, and Japan – have stepped away, and when in fact China, Japan, and other countries have become net sellers, and when the Fed is thinking out loud about shedding some of the Treasuries on its balance sheet, just as nearly $900 billion in net new supply (to fund the US government) flooded the market over the past 12 months?

Turns out, there are plenty of buyers among US investors who may be worried about what might happen to some of the other hyper-inflated asset classes.

And for long suffering NIRP refugees in Europe, there’s a special math behind buying Treasuries. They’re yielding substantially more than, for example, French government bonds, with the US Treasury 10-year yield at 2.4%, and the French 10-year yield at 1.0%, as the ECB under its QE program is currently the relentless bid, buying no matter what, especially if no one else wants this paper. So on the face of it, buying US Treasuries would be a no-brainer.

But the math got a lot more one-sided in recent days as French government bonds now face a new risk, even if faint, of being re-denominated from euros into new French francs, against the will of bondholders, an act of brazen default, and these francs would subsequently get watered down, as per the euro-exit election platform of Marine Le Pen. However distant that possibility, the mere prospect of it, or the prospect of what might happen in Italy, is sending plenty of investors to feed on the richer yields sprouting in less chaos, for the moment at least, across the Atlantic.

By Wolf Richter | Wolf Street

For Those of You Waiting on Financial Collapse…

The economy will never collapse.

https://whiskeytangotexas.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/mj.gif?w=625

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.

https://i1.wp.com/www.theprepperjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Stock-Market-Crash-2017.jpg?resize=768%2C374

Every once in a while, corrections are needed.

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.

Conclusion

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.

Source: The Prepper Journal