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Category Archives: What Can’t be Paid

What Can’t Be Paid, Won’t Be Paid


National Debt Creditors About to Lose their Assets [courtesy Google Image]

National Debt Creditors About to Lose their Assets
[courtesy Google Image]

I’ve argued for five years that the U.S. National Debt is too great to ever be repaid in full, or even by half.  My personal guesstimate is that at least 80%–and probably 90%–of the National Debt will inevitably be repudiated.  That repudiation will take the form of hyperinflation, express repudiation (“Sorry, boys–but we’re too broke to pay that debt.”), or perhaps even WWIII (a good war could wipe out virtually all memory and enforce-ability of the National Debt.).

Here’s a graphic that illustrates my argument.  If you take a few minutes to view the graphic, you’ll see the size of the U.S. National Debt is:

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1. Larger than the 500 largest public companies in America;

2. Larger than all assets managed by the world’s top seven money managers;

3.  25X larger than all global oil exports in 2015;

4. 155x larger than all gold mined globally in a year; and, my personal favorite:

5. Larger than all of the world’s physical currency, gold, silver, and bitcoin combined.
In other words, there’s not enough actual money and currency in the world to repay the U.S. National Debt.
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The Only Question


$20 TRILLION National Debt! [courtesy Google Images]

$20 TRILLION National Debt!
[courtesy Google Images]

On September 30th, A.D. 2016, the U.S. government closed out the 2016 fiscal year with an “official” National Debt of $19,573,444,713,936.79.

Makes me laugh.

Government can calculate the U.S. National Debt to the penny. How responsible!

And yet, government has no idea what happened to $6.5 trillion that was given to the Pentagon and subsequently disappeared.

In any case, the National Debt grew by $1,422,827,047,452.46 ($1.4 trillion) in fiscal 2016. That averaged out to over $100 billion in deficit spending per month.

That annual deficit spending increase has been a de facto $12,000 subsidy for every American household.

The fiscal 2016 deficit spending (debt) amounts to roughly 7.5% of the entire US economy. Without that 7.5% in debt-based “stimulation,” where do you suppose the economy would be right now?

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Promises, Promises


[courtesy Google Images]

[courtesy Google Images]

The Chicago Tribune recently published “A federal solution to Chicago’s public pension mess”. According to that article, Chicago’s pension debts promised to retired government employees, can’t be paid based on current funding. Therefore, the city’s government will raise taxes, cut benefits and force Chicagoans into an era of “austerity” similar to that which has been inflicted on the people of bankrupt Greece.

But even after an era of austerity, the pension debt still can’t and won’t be paid in full.

Chicago is a microcosm of the US and world economies. Pension plans throughout the U.S. and global economies are going to fail. Many retirees are heading for poverty.

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I’m not against unions, but I have no sympathy for the Chicago teachers and police officers’ unions. It may seem sad that they’re about retire without fat pensions, but they’re not innocent victims. They bribed crooked politicians to rob future generations (children, grandchildren, even the unborn) to provide pensions to government employees that were not only “overly-generous” but unearned.
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Monetary Madness Part II—Perpetual Bonds


The Cure of Economic Calamity: Looney Tune Economics [courtesy Google Images]

The Cure for Economic Calamity:
Looney Tune Economics
[courtesy Google Images]

As seen in the previous article, the total value of negative-interest rate bonds has jumped from nothing to $13 trillion in just two years.

Although governments issuing negative interest rates bonds don’t have to pay interest on those bonds, they still have to repay most of the principal.

What a bummer. Wouldn’t it be great if someone invented a government bond that not only didn’t have to pay interest (as with negative interest rate bonds) but also didn’t even have to repay the principal?

Well, folks, they appear to have done just that. They’re called “perpetual bonds”. They’re hot off the press, and the concept seems straight out of Looney Tunes.

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Last month, Gold-Eagle.com published an article entitled “Gold and the Perpetual Bonds Era”. The subject was “perpetual bonds”–a concept I’d heard of for the first time only about a week earlier.

Judging from what I’d already heard and the Gold-Eagle article, it’s apparent that “perpetual bonds” are—like “consumerism,” debt-based currency, sub-prime loans, fractional reserve banking, deficit financing, negative interest rates, market manipulation, and “helicopter money”—just another manifestation of the madness that’s inherent in the concept of fiat, debt-based currency—and of government’s desperation to do something, try anything, that might work to avoid or postpone a coming economic collapse.

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“Helicopter Money”


Helicopter Money [courtesy Google Images]

Helicopter Money
[courtesy Google Images]

Control of the economy is based on two sets of powers:

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1) The Federal Reserve wields the monetary powers which include control over interest rate and over the supply of currency.

2) The U.S. government wields the fiscal powers which include raising or lowering taxes, raising or lowering borrowing, and increasing or decreasing government spending on benefits, subsidies and wars.

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For the past year, we’ve heard the Federal Reserve say repeatedly that:

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1) The Federal Reserve has exhausted its monetary powers and is no longer capable of using previous, “conventional” monetary strategies like QE (Quantitative Easing; printing and injecting more currency into the economy) and ZIRP (near-Zero Interest Rate Policy) to stimulate the economy back to a “recovery”.

I believe the Federal Reserve’s claims that it’s currently helpless to do much more to “stimulate” the economy with monetary policy are true.

If the Fed’s not fibbing, then only the U.S. government remains to engineer an economic “recovery” by means of its fiscal policy. However,

2) The U.S. government is unwilling or unable use its fiscal powers to raise taxes and/or borrow more currency to provide enough additional “stimulation” to cause an economic recovery.

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Tragi-Comic Greece Illuminates “Austerity”


Tragi-Comic Masks--a Greek Invention [courtesy Google Images]

Tragi-Comic Masks–a Greek Invention
[courtesy Google Images]

Reuters wrote in May (“Euro zone: more time needed for Greek reforms”):

Euro zone finance ministers will not meet on Thursday and need more time to discuss Greek reforms that would unlock new loans, signaling significant differences remain between Athens and its lenders on bailout targets.”

Signaling”?!

Signaling significant differences?!“

Bunk.

What they’re signaling in this “never-ending story” is that Greece will never be both willing and able to repay its existing national debts—and neither side wants to admit that truth.

What they’re “signaling” is that the EU creditors refuse to face reality: Greece is bankrupt. Therefore, Greece should be allowed to file for bankruptcy because it can’t possibly repay its existing debt. Greece should be allowed to rebuild its economy without repaying existing EU debt obligations—and also without going deeper into debt.

What they’re “signaling” is the creditors’ refusal to admit that “what can’t be paid, won’t be paid”.

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“Refashioning Private Multi-Employer Pension Plans”


As I’ve said repeatedly for the past five years, “What can’t be paid, won’t be paid.”  The government is broke; many pension funds are broke; more financial entities that have made extensive “promises to pay” will follow soon enough.

Whatchu gonna do?  You can’t squeeze blood out of a stone, or currency out of bankrupt pension plans.  You can yell, scream and howl, but if the currency’s not there, it can’t be paid and won’t be paid.  Many of you who’ve trusted in other people to manage pensions and provide for your retirement are heading for a time of betrayal, stress, rage, regret and sorrow.

video     00:02:44

 

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