The Dow was off 390 points today because of the testimony of Jerome Powell and Steve Mnuchin. What did they say that was so bad? It wasn’t what they said: it was the fact that they fundamentally disagreed about how to fix the damage done to the economy.
Mnuchin says open everything up and the economy will be self-healing. Powell says until physical health is restored (i.e. with a vaccine), economic health will continue to suffer. I think Powell is right. We’ll open everything up and then by the end of the summer and a couple hundred thousand deaths, we’ll have to button it down again. In 2008, Bernanke, Paulsen and Geitner all sang from the same hymnal. The government didn’t do nearly enough, but their leadership helped restore confidence. This government has provided no confidence whatsoever, except to a crazy few. As a result, we’ll be further along on the road to disaster.
How about this for a diagram?
I’d argue we’re at the top of the S curve and on our way down. How long will it be before the economy collapses? According to my projections, we’re probably looking at around another 8 years. Climate change will exacerbate our already difficult time from the Cvirus. Mounting expenses from the impact of those things on insurance costs will likely bankrupt nearly all. Alternatively, the impact will cause premiums to rise to the point where they’ll be all we can afford. People will drop their insurance and suffer the consequences.
What happens to those of us on Social Security? We are left like Russian retirees after Russia defaulted on its debt in the early 90’s. We will go broke and then we’ll go hungry. How to prepare? First of all, don’t pay off your debts because after inflation kicks in, your debts denominated in dollars will be worthless. What is inflation? Even Emily knows: too many dollars chasing too few goods. So own a house, or two houses, even with mortgages. If we all go broke at the same time, who will want to take back your house that nobody else can afford to buy? Grow a garden and have a breeding pair of pigs and some chickens. That way you’ll have eggs and meat. 2028 isn’t that far away. In 2028, I’ll be 78; Erik will be 82. I’m pretty sure we’ll still be around, unless this or another virus gets us. Life is tough, and it’ll get tougher. You need to get tough too.
My temperature is 98.0° F. My blood oxygen is 98% and my heartbeat is 79 bpm. I aint’ dead yet!