“Politicians have lately been rewriting a rule in place since 3,000 B.C.”
“Politicians playing by their own rules is an old story. But it should count as news that politicians have lately been rewriting a rule in place since 3,000 B.C. This rule of history is that savers deserve to be compensated when they loan money.”—from a Wall Street Journal column by James Freeman.
If there is a more ominous development than upending 5,000 years of basic economics — as in paying borrowers to borrow money — one is hard-pressed to imagine what it is. Yet five of the world’s central banks in Denmark, the EU, Sweden, Switzerland and Japan have negative interest rates, and Federal Reserve head Janet Yellin told Congress in February she “wouldn’t take those off the table.” Those rates are for institutional customers only. Or at least they were. Last month a German cooperative savings bank announced it would be charging negative 0.40% on retail customer deposit accounts — a.k.a. savings accounts — in excess of 100,000 euros beginning in September.
The theory behind this globalist-orchestrated insanity? To force banks to make loans they otherwise wouldn’t make, and to make borrowing so attractive that it jumps-starts an economy. Yet the risks associated with negative interest rates are enormous. Customers forced to pay for the “privilege” of a bank holding their money could withdraw it and stuff it under a mattress, drying up critical sources of revenue, and maybe engendering a bank run in the process. Or, if banks absorb the cost of negative rates themselves, profit margins between their lending and deposit rates will shrink, and might make them less willing to lend than they are right now.
Regardless, the so-called proof is in the pudding: it hasn’t worked. Notwithstanding, elitists have a “solution” for ordinary people who understand that cash paying no interest whatsoever is better than cash for which they’re getting charged.
“At present, if central banks try setting rates too far below zero, people will start bailing out into cash,” explains Harvard economics professor Kenneth Rogoff — one of many economists who have proposed the elimination of cash.
Even worse, these elitists paint its elimination as a good thing. They speak about getting rid of high denomination currency because doing so would decrease crime, money laundering, and tax evasion. Then there is convenience. “Electronic transactions facilitated by credit and debit cards and smartphone payments are frictionless, safer, and cheaper for society, proponents argue,” columnist Alexandra Mondalek writes. Sillier still? Cash is unhygienic, bulky, and a pain to obtain from ATM machines that also charge a fee for doing so.
The tradeoff? “Cash has a lot of virtues,” writes University of Tennessee law professor Glen Harlan Reynolds. “One of them is that it allows people to engage in voluntary transactions without the knowledge or permission of anyone else. Governments call this suspicious, but the rest of us call it something else: Freedom.”
And make no mistake: our freedom is in direct conflict with global elitist ambitions. Ambitions borne of sheer desperation.
It is desperation that begets a plethora of media-enabled lies, the foremost of which is America’s unemployment rate, currently pegged at 4.9%. That is known as the U-3 “official rate” of unemployment, courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Yet the BLS also has a U-6 rate that includes people employed part time “for economic reasons,” and those only “marginally” attached to the labor force. That rate is 9.7%. Both rates omit “long-term discouraged workers” who were defined out of official existence in 1994. Add them to the mix and the unemployment rate hovers between 18% and 23%.
Zero Hedge’s Tyler Durden cuts through the elitist-driven disinformation campaign, noting the disturbing parallels between today’s economy and that of the Great Depression. In the last eight years our national debt, now at a staggering $19.51 trillion, has increased 94%. Eight years of FDR’s equally ineffective New Deal programs increased the national debt by 115%. FDR’s soup lines have been replaced by EBT cards, and 14-15% of Americans now need food stamps to survive.
Despite the media narrative about a workforce participation rate as low as 1978 levels representing thousands of retiring Baby Boomers, Durden reveals the percentage of those over 55 years old working “is at an all-time high, while the percentage of men 25 to 54 (prime working years) working is at an all-time low.”
Durden also eviscerates the elitists’ one remaining “false idol” as in a stock market that has increased 165% from its March 2009 bottom, noting the same stock market “soared by 260% between 1932 and 1937, making the current cyclical bull seem puny in comparison.”
Moreover, it benefitted precisely the same elitist class then as it does now — even as Main Street Americans remain on the outside looking in at our so-called economic recovery.
“However it ends, the deflating of the sovereign debt bubble may have us longing for the carefree days of the 2008 mortgage crisis,” Freeman warns. “Internationally tradable sovereign bonds amount to nearly $60 trillion … about six times the mortgage-debt outstanding for American homeowners. But these sovereign bonds are a mere fraction of the liabilities carried by the world’s governments. If you count political promises to support retirees, patients and others, the obligations are hundreds of trillions of dollars higher.”
Hundreds of trillions of dollars in liabilities run up by globalist elites who have no idea how to unwind them, save for one monumentally disastrous, “kick the can down the road” idea: create exponentially expanding piles of future debt to pay for current debt.
Unfortunately, most Americans have a difficult time understanding such economic concepts and their ultimate consequences. But they do understand this, courtesy of columnist Michael Gray:
“Do you see grocery stores closing? Do you see other retailers, like clothing stores and department stores, going out of business? Are there shuttered storefronts along your Main Street shopping district, where you bought a tool from the hardware store or dropped off your dry cleaning or bought fruits and vegetables? Are you making as much money annually as you did 10 years ago? Do you see homes in neighborhoods becoming run down as the residents either were foreclosed upon, or the owner lost his or her job so he or she can’t afford to cut the grass or paint the house? Did that same house where the Joneses once lived now become a rental property, where new people come to live every few months? Do you know one or two people who are looking for work? Maybe professionals, who you thought were safe in their jobs?”
This scenario is what exactly what Obama’s progressive, globalist economic policies, heartily supported by Hillary Clinton, have wrought. “[Donald Trump] has a great plan to lower taxes and cut red tape, thus creating jobs. But he almost never compares it to Clinton’s Obamanomics redux,” writes Fox News senior correspondent Charles Gasparino.
It’s about time he got started doing precisely that, loud and often. Despite all the distractions out there, James Carville’s assertion is as timely as ever: It’s still the economy, stupid.