Stocks sold off slightly on Thursday, but, over the past few days and weeks, the real money has been moving in bonds, which - in the case of the US and Germany, at least - are sporting yields at or near multi-year highs.
The cause is mostly FUD, the arcane acronym invented on the internet standing for Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. When bond traders get riffed, the world should take note, but, since we are preconditioned to focus our collective attention on stocks, most people don't realize where money is moving and why until it's too late. Interest rates rise, money tightens and flows into bonds because they are considered more stable and safer than stocks. Businesses and consumers face higher lending costs, the economy stalls, stocks decline. The process takes many months, often years, before the eventual recession occurs. Fortunes are made and lost, mostly made by savvy bond specialists and lost by individuals and stock investors.
It's a royal screw job on the middle and upper-middle class (or what's left of it) by monetary authorities and governments that have been skimming off the top through inflation, deflation, fractional reserve banking, taxes, fees, and penalties. If you feel like you've been screwed by either banks or the government (village, city, county, state, or federal), it's because you have been... often overtly, but more often, quietly, covertly, under the cover of "we're doing what's best for you," or increased spending, deficit spending, capital "improvements" or budget windfalls to schools, tunnels, roads, bridges, fire departments, special tax districts, et cetera ad nauseum.
It's why people are voting for Trump. No kidding. American voting-age citizens fall today grossly into two broad categories: 1) Working people or retired on fixed income, getting nowhere fast, watching their incomes stagnate since 1999, paying more for everything from health care to property taxes to cell phone or internet service to utilities; 2) Welfare, SSI disability or other entitlement recipients, government employees who care not a whit that everything is going to hell in a handbasket because they either a) get a rent subsidy, food stamps, and other goodies no matter what, for doing nothing, or, b) are a government employee getting an automatic annual raise regardless of their job performance or the economic condition of the country.
In between or outside these two mega-groups are the upper-upper crust of one-percenters who make their money off interest on investments and the swath of social security and pension retirees who have maxed out on the system. That large last group vectors in and out of the working class spectrum to a large degree and some are being largely disenfranchised in the same ways that the middle class has been, especially since 2001, when interest rates began tanking and savings no longer provided a great enough return to outpace inflation.
Older folks will remember better days, when banks paid 5% interest on savings. Forget that. It's gone. Just like the social security fund, which faces default and bankruptcy within 15 years, our best days are behind us. Baby boomers will be the last generation to get ahold of the golden ring of social security. Generations X and Y will get less and millennials will likely get little to nothing. The system broke in the 80s, under Ronald Reagan (sorry, conservatives, but that's the truth), and it's just gotten worse as banking regulations were eased (Clinton and congress conspired to eviscerate Glass-Steagall leading to the global collapse) and every president since Carter has stolen from the social security fund to pay general obligations.
What's multiple times worse is that not only has the federal government stolen from the future, but they've managed to run up enormous deficits nearly every year and add to the debt at an exponential rate.
Here at Money Daily we don't expect everyone to understand economics, but we do strive to encourage people to exercise a little common sense and have basic math skills. Since what the government does with money (spend more than they take in), it doesn't take a Ph.D. in anything to discern that if you did the same, your financial condition would deteriorate, slowly at first, then all at once, sending you and yours to the poor house.
So, the government does better? How do they perform this magic? Lies and deception, mostly, through the issuance of bonds, sold to the Fed, parceled out to primary dealers and sold again to investors of all stripes. The Fed then prints more money, which is spent throughout the economy. Banks used to multiply the money supply via fractional reserve lending but they don't do much of that anymore. They use accounting tricks, balance sheets nobody can comprehend and investments form the ordinary to the arcane (CDOs, for instance) rather than functioning under some form of fiscal discipline. It's all too easy for the government and the banking system to defraud everyone. They've been doing it for centuries. It gets reset from time to time, but the same powers that were become the powers that be. It's history, if you know where to find it.
So, to the point: Just moments ago, the Deptartment of Commerce reported its first estimate of third quarter GDP, coming in at a robust 2.9%, more than double the second quarter's stumbling 1.4%, all smoke and mirrors designed to elect Hillary Clinton as president, keep the status quo firmly entrenched, and continue your existence as a docile, dumb serf. When the numbers are revised in a month, and again another month later, and again in two years, the number will be much lower, but, by that time the elections will be long over, the winners will be still partying, and you will be getting screwed, again, and again, and again.
Just wait until October's job numbers come out next Friday, the final, big lie prior to the elections. It should be awesome, but it will still be a lie.
If you aren't gardening, putting up solar panels, repairing an old car rather than buying a new one, scrimping and saving, buying gold and silver now, worry not, you soon will be.
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