The Nomad Economist
Premiered Feb 13, 2022
It is well known to those who follow what is happening, that the dollar is on the way out of world reserve status. Washington and Wall Street will ride this horse until it drops dead.
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In Fact, a number of financial counselors are predicting the demise of the dollar as the world’s basis for currency exchange. It seems that a number of people are aware that China, Japan, Russia, France are making definite moves in that direction. Brazil and Argentina, as well a Cuba, are all in the same camp. When will Washington and Wall Street wake up?
I believe the U.S. is in the midst of a major currency collapse and a huge change in our normal way of life. Recent data on currency reserve holdings among global central banks suggests this shift may already be underway. As a share of overall central bank reserves, the U.S. Dollar’s role has been declining ever since the Great Recession.
The most recent central bank reserve flow data also suggests that for the first time since the Euro’s introduction in 1999, central banks simultaneously sold dollars and bought euros. Central banks across the globe are also adding to gold reserves at their strongest pace on record. 2018 saw the strongest demand for gold from central banks since 1971, and a rolling four-quarter sum of gold purchases is the strongest on record.
To us, this makes sense: gold is a stable source of value with thousands of years of trust among humans supporting it. Our government has been borrowing so much money, that soon, we will not be able to afford even the interest on the loans. Income tax receipts are roughly $900 billion a year. Corporate taxes are roughly $200 billion annually.
Our current annual deficits are nearly $1.3 trillion, meaning we’re spending $900 billion + $200 billion + $1.3 trillion = $2.4 trillion. Even if you doubled tax revenue, we would still be running a deficit! Even if all U.S. citizens were taxed 100% of their income, it would still not be enough to balance the Federal budget! Tax increases will not even make the smallest dent on the true size of our debt.
There is not a single credible plan, by any political party, to merely end our annual deficits, never mind actually paying back our debts. Here’s the kicker, the costs of maintaining our debts are about to skyrocket. For years, the Federal Reserve has been keeping interest rates very low, to almost zero, and as a result, the interest rate at which the U.S. government borrows money from the Federal Reserve is an incredibly low level. This won’t last forever. How much interest?
Right now, we’re paying about 15% of federal tax receipts (about $200 billion a year). If the government had to spend a ‘real’ market-based rate of interest, say 6%, it would cost $840 billion a year on interest (76% of tax receipts), just for what we owe right now, today. We are trapped. The main-stream-media does not want you to know how precarious our government’s finances really are. Today, the dollar is based not even on hot air and is worth less than the paper it is printed on. The US GDP is US$ 21.1 trillion in 2019 (World Bank estimate), with current debt of 22.0 trillion, or about 105% of GDP. The world GDP is projected for 2019 at US$ 88.1 trillion (World Bank).
According to Forbes, about US$ 210 trillion are “unfunded liabilities” (net present value of future projected but unfunded obligations (75 years), mainly social security, Medicaid and accumulated interest on debt), a figure about 10 times the US GDP, or two and a half times the world’s economic output. This figure keeps growing, as interest on debt is compounded, forming part of what would be called in business terms ‘debt service’ (interest and debt amortization), but is never ‘paid back’.
In addition, there are about one to two quadrillion dollars (nobody knows the exact amount) of so-called derivatives floating around the globe. Aderivative is a financial instrument which creates its value from the speculative difference of underlying assets, most commonly derived from such inter-banking and stock exchange oddities, like ‘futures’, ‘options’, ‘forwards’ and ‘swaps’.
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