I’ve been warning of this for well over two years. My primary warnings were:
- 1) That 2008 was just a warm-up
- 2) That the REAL Crisis had yet to unfold
- 3) That the REAL Crisis would make 2008 look like a picnic
Well, the period I’ve been warning of is now here. What’s happening right now is not just a market crash, bear market, deflation, or any other item related to just one asset class.
Instead, this is a collapse of the entire US monetary and political system and the mentality of spending one’s way to wealth.
For 80+ years, the US has operated under a crony capitalist system in which politicians dole out political and economic favors to the chosen few whose bribes/donations funded their campaigns.
This system was aided and abetted by the US Federal Reserve, which dealt with any and all economic issues by printing more money. Whether it was the Asian Crisis, Long Term Capital Management, or the 2008 Crash, the Fed dealt with the issue by opening the floodgates and flooding the financial system with liquidity.
Aside from making moral hazard (the notion that those large firms who screwed up were never actually allowed to fail) the bedrock of the financial system, the Fed also blew a credit bubble which in turn funded bubbles in virtually every asset class: bonds, stocks, real estate, emerging markets, even some commodities.
Indeed, the vast majority of US economic growth over the last 40 years has been fueled by the Fed’s loose money policies. Bill King, an analyst and investor whom I admire, shared the below chart with me a while back. It charts US GDP growth in nominal terms (the dark blue line), the performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (the black line), and REAL GDP growth or growth that accounts for inflation (the light blue line).