Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Scary" is right.

So.  A couple of experts are predicting a correction in the market of up to 60%.  As in: the market will fall by up to 60%. 

Let's look at that claim a little more closely.  The reasons being cited, in specific, are the Fed's holding interest rates down to near (or below) zero, and all of the printing money quantitative easing that has gone on. 

Given that, and given the fact that our economy is not improving, and the fact that we are seeing real inflation in the things we use most (food, fuel, dry goods whose costs are driven up by shipping costs which are driven up by fuel costs), and 60% starts to seem like it's a little on the low side. 

An example: in 2000, I could buy a 1lb bag of lentils (my favorite legume) for $0.58.  In 2010, that cost had risen to $0.98/lb.  This year, it looks like I'm paying $1.18/lb. 

And this is the inflation on a food which isn't popular.  Meat has gone up more than that, as has milk, cheese, sugar, and frozen packaged dinners. 

Gas has sharply increased in price in the last fifteen years.  And I am not counting the year or so during which OPEC was fighting amongst themselves, and flooded the market with oil, bringing gas prices to below a dollar a gallon.  No, I'm only counting since 2000, when we've had gas at $2/gallon.  Yesterday, in SW MO, gas was selling at $3.27/gallon for 89 octane. 

I will admit, part of the sharp rise in real inflation--the kind felt by your middle and lower classes--has been caused by sharp rises in minimum wage (which drives up prices that stores must charge to be able to afford their workers), but that isn't all of it, nor even the worst of it. 

No, the worst part of the whole situation is that the number of dollars out there in circulation have risen sharply, which contributes more to the sharp rise in prices (which points to the dollar's decreased purchasing power) than the sharp rise of minimum wage. 

This all adds up to a crash that will make 1929 look tame, because the dollar is not linked to anything but political promises.  And we all know how reliable those are. 

Yes, ladies and gents: we're fucked.  Those who are retired are fucked harder than those of us who are fairly young.  Those of us who are carrying debt are fucked harder yet, because the Federal Reserve will have to raise interest rates...which means debts will suddenly become far, far more expensive.  Worst yet are people who are retired, in poor health, and relying on the government for income and health care.  And those who are living in high poverty/high welfare rate areas, but aren't on welfare themselves.

Because if the rest of us lose out, where will the dollars government spends on that bunch come from?  When our incomes decrease and/or dry up because of an abrupt economic contraction, so does the government's tax income, because no government is capable of producing their own income.  They take ours.

And how do you think that the welfare leaches will react when the spigot runs dry? 

10 comments:

  1. The culling phase wouldn't last long and the one's who survived the initial inner city madness will start to spread out in robber gangs to pillage anything like mad vikings. It goes on and on and on... We work like slaves to keep up and pay for houses we'll never own and vehicles that'll shit the bed on us right before we get them paid off. But hey, at least once it's finally on and poppin', I'll get a chance to get my loot on for some of the shit I'll never be able to afford as a working man. Best wishes y'all.

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    1. If I end up looting, I'm looting bookstores. ;)

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  2. Sigh. Well aren't you a ray of sunshine today.
    Was just talking about this. I make more than twice (just my salary) then my household did in 1999. We have substantially less debt and also less disposable income now than what we had back then. Something's got to give.

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    1. I know what you're saying. I know *exactly* what you're saying.

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  3. Frankly, news like this makes me want to say "Screw eating healthy and exercising; I'm gonna sleep in and enjoy all the red velvet cupcakes I can eat because the end is comin' soon."

    I honestly don't want to live in some burned out shell of a zombie-apocalypse America, where I wind up having to depend on some misfit band to help protect me because no lone person will be safe from the modern Visigoths.

    Also, this suggests I should have just spent that money I was putting away for retirement. I guess "the people who act responsibly get screwed" is how things work.

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    1. Just to your south a ways is His Wiser Angel from The Lonely Libertarian blog, and to your north is Odysseus, and me, and TinCan Assassin for at least the time being. There are a couple of others in between, too. If the fit hits the shan, you won't be on your own, and it won't be hard to find your tribe (bloggers who think as you do). We're kinda spread out all over the place.

      Besides that...when the market bottoms out is the best time to buy, because I cannot imagine things staying in the shitter and the government we have actually surviving the outrage of one or two hundred million retirement plans going tits-up. Have a good solid reserve of real, honest-to-God silver or gold.

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    2. If it is any consolation these two "annalists" are professional short-sellers, they make money when the market goes down.

      Yes world financial markets are in a bad way, but frightfully we're still a better bet than most of the rest of the world.

      I'm of the opinion that people need to be prepared for the world to not end as well.

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  4. Honestly, I'm more worried about ISIS and what they are going to do. And the fact that we seem to be alternately twiddling our thumbs and sticking our fingers in our ears and going LA LA LA about the threat they pose.

    Because if SHTF, I could probably grow and hunt enough food, but I can't do that in a burqa.

    I once said the one time I'd condone suicide would be in a clear case of serious, terminal illness, where the person's condition was clearly getting worse and they would lose the ability to do for themselves. I now include "In a situation where the choice is dying at your own hand is preferable to a slow beheading by some extremist's knife."

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