E Dangerous Road Ahead! Exercise Care..The Assets You Save Could Be Your Could Be Your Own

The next six months could be the most conflicted period that most of us have ever lived through, so, I'm suggesting that we enter it open-eyed, cautious, and conservative in managing our money and financial affairs.

Uncertainty breeds stress, and there is much uncertainty, which is being exacerbated by those who exploit social and political issues. Those who can profit by destabilizing society are busily doing so. Extremists are antagonizing and dividing as many Americans as they can in as many ways as they can.

Let's peek at some of the issues that should make us exercise great care and wisdom during the next several months.

The top-heavy stock market is always one of the indicators we use to judge the economy. The problem with it--other than its protracted top-heaviness--is that since Congress gave the Fed power to regulate the economy, markets (all of them) have become centrally managed. Markets no longer have price discovery minds of their own. It's exasperating to me when analysts say the market wants to do this or that, because market prices are basically whatever the government wants. Markets are now addicted to low rates and to force-fed highs from injections by the Fed and the Treasury's Equalization Stabilization Fund. Their aim is to stimulate speculation, which I think is to be avoided by us Moms and Pops...especially since the Fed may feel in December that "It's now or never" for another rate increase.

"Trillion" has become an indispensable word in the government's vocabulary, but it's such a huge number that the mind yawns and goes to sleep before it can count that high. The only way I can make sense of if is to address "trillion" by establishing comparisons with familiar references. We know a million is a thousand thousand. A billion is a thousand million. But a trillion is a million millions. In terms of time, a million seconds started ticking twelve days ago. A billion seconds will expire in 31.7 years. Every accomplishment of civilization has happened in the past 3500 years, but it will be 31,710 years before a trillion seconds tick away.

The IMF yesterday announced that global debt is a staggering $152 TRILLION. I'll be honest. I can't imagine ONE trillion, much less 152. Who can? But the world has bought that much stuff on credit. And, we know what happens when folks can't pay for the stuff they buy. Debtors no longer go to prison, but they can still be prisoners of debt.

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Gary Anderson 2 years ago Contributor's comment

It would be great if we could actually measure how much of that debt is being used as an asset, the new gold, as collateral in various markets. I assume the elite would say that the amount being counted as an asset offsets the debt itself. I suppose you could even say that all the debt becomes assets but much of it is not being used as currency.

I suppose the bailouts of banks is sterilized, meaning it is being offset by slow growth, and little bank lending. There is no helicopter money, which would be great to help all citizens and ultimately help the banks and the real economy.