I wrote this post today in response to an article that said interest rates can't get any lower...(FR)
The 10-year treasury still has a long way down to go. Hell, we're still at 2.55% or thereabouts, while the Bund is hovering around 1.7%, and the Jap 10-year is fagedaboutit! like 0.6%. So, the US gov and the Fed and Wall St. still have more time to shake, rattle and roll that paper. QE has been winding down and the stock market keeps going up, so, the Fed must be happy with that, and, remember, now they can always unwrap a new round of QE, since the last few have worked out so well.
Just in case nobody's noticing, there are still a lot of (take your pick) well-off middle class retirees, pretty well-off working class stiffs (albeit fewer than before, and most of them are in the Public sector), welfare queens, idiots spending $XXXX to send their spoiled kids to school, mammoth tax receipts (wanna get sick, try a school district budget of $67 million to educate 3600 kids from K-12), car loans and leases, people buying houses at ridiculously-inflated prices.
OK, you get my drift. There's still lots of money floating around and the bankers, .gov and the Fed still have more to skim. Why would they willingly end this massive ponzi upon which they sit at the top? This is going to go on and on and on. It's been six years since the crash of '08, and nobody expected us to be where we are now, back then, so, I think nobody expects this to go on much longer, but normalcy bias and cognitive dissonance will outlast rational economic policies (already have).
Consider: Five years ago today, my father died. Left me his house and other assets. I stopped paying the mortgage immediately. Bank started foreclosure in March 2010, since then, crickets. I am still here. Bank knows the house is worth maybe 2/3rds or less of what they appraised it for in 2007. If they prevail in foreclosure, they lose. If they make a deal with me, they lose. If they keep the non-performing loan on their books at par: WIN, WIN, WIN, because they never have to realize the loss.
Some people ask me if it is stressful to live in a house I do not own (depends on how you look at it). I've rationalized that the bank (BofA) does not have any good solution. I also don't want to move, or pay, so, essentially, we're (the bank and me) both faking it, which makes certain sense, since the money is fake, the mortgage was based on fraud and all wealth is just more massive fakery.
Who's rich? I know a guy with $5-7 million in the bank and he doesn't know what the hell to do with it. He's still working at age 65, drives a Prius for god's sake. I have almost nothing, and love my life, my little garden, fish ponds, a life of leisure and literature, could care less about money because it's all fake, and I've always been able to make as much as I need since I was 16 (now 60).
So, who's rich? The "wealthy" boob without a clue, or me, as I sit by the fish pond, reading Thoreau or Dante or Milton, in the sunshine as my garden grows by nature. The garden will sustain me. All the money in the world cannot buy that kind of security nor peace of mind.
You judge for yourself. Sure, I'd take that guy's $6 million, buy a big-assed piece of land and you'd never see me again. But this fool can't figure that far. I stopped working full time in 1999, because I always felt the rat race was just that: working just to pay bills. A fool's game. So, I don't have much in terms of money, but I have lots of physical assets which are either useful or valuable, tangible and intangible, no stress and much happiness.
Everybody talks about retirement, but what is the point? I know some idiots who retired and then got a job. WTF? My idea of retirement is what I do now. Work a little (I average about two hours a day), chill, drink, laugh. It's pretty easy.
OK, I'm rambling, but I keep thinking about that cryptic message by the IMF chief, Christine LaGarde, about the number seven and 7/20/2014. Having studied numerology (did you know it was invented by Pythagoras? Yep, that guy!) I see it this way: If she was sending a message, well, too many people caught on, and, yeah, something may have been planned for that date, but plans change, and, things seem to be going pretty good for the status quo right now, so why mess with it? Something may happen this Sunday, but it probably won't be as dramatic as anyone expects. I'm thinking it's all hot air. Personally, I'm going to a party. Here's the video clip in question:
<iframe width="440" height="248" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/oscOf3dHVWE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
I believe the author of this youtube clip is overstating the case, taking too much for granted to make his point. There's no G7 or G20 meeting scheduled for that weekend, except for G20 meeting of trade ministers in Sydney, Australia on the 19th. So, if anything earth-shaking is to occur, it would likely come out of that meeting, so it's worth keeping an eye on. Just in case, I'll be pulling some cash out of my bank on Friday, especially if there are other clues, though, so far, none.
Try to change your lifestyle. Be more self-reliant. Try not driving for a day, a few days. Don't watch TV. Cook for yourself. It's refreshing.