faces at McClatchy News.
STOCK MARKET STUBS ITS TOE.
Gold, however, shines brighter than it has is 7 years.
Whom to credit...or blame?
Whenever the DJIA begins trading at a 3 percent
deficit blame must be placed, and the logical scoundrel is the highly
contagious Wuha virus. It is now popping up well outside of China and
is disrupting commercial trade at several levels.
Will the Federal Reserve step up the money
pumps to lift the stock market out its swoon? The Fed doesn't have the
clout it used to. Besides, it is already being accused of injecting
Quantitative Easing into the financial markets - although
mainstream economists are still debating whether or not that's
happening. With domestic price inflation edging contstantly
upward it's safe to guess that a lot of spare cash is coming out
of thin air thanks to Washington's penchant for spending more money
than it takes in from taxes.
So, with Wall Street having a bad day
and gold prices swinging to the upside what do we common folk do?
Nothing. Let's just sit tight and see
what happens over the next few days. The prudent citizen will double
check his/her net worth and pay down credit card and other consumer
debt. Today's market disruption might just inject a new element into
the Democrat S.C. Primary Election debate Tuesday night.(Doubtful. The
main interest is not in monetary morass but on whether or not the
voting majority is ready to take the government framework into all out
We can't escape
the fact that if
money is plentiful enough it is not valuable enough.
If it is valuable enough to do its job
as primary medium of exchange
never plentiful enough.
That's it in a nutshell. If a central bank floods an
economic system with a surplus of purchasing media (currency) the value
of dollars already circulating is forced lower resulting in higher
prices. (Price inflation.) The U.S. central bank is the Federal
Reserve System and its goal is to maintain price inflation at about 2
percent per year. It is mostly forgotten that no period of money
inflating in all of history has not ended. This one must end,
It is also forgotten that the U.S. Constitution
mandates the substance of money. The provision has never been anulled
or amended, yet the instruction from the Founders has been totally
Is it possible to return to the money system
mandated by the Contitution? Certainly. But not until there's a
groundswell demanding monetary reform..............................his
may not happen for another
generation, but one day we-the-people must decide whether the founding
charter is totally trashed or re-adopted as the law of the land.
We have embarked on this new decade in hopes voters
embrace the issue and demand politicians start living up to their
solemn pledge to uphold the tenets of the nation's Founding Document.
They could start by debating the definition of the dollar.
We use it to measure our daily economic transactions but cannot explain its
"All debt must
be paid, either by the borrower or the lender."
This ancient Greek philosophy is now
longer believed. Or understood.
Neither Democrat or Republican parties have
a plan for running balanced budgets. This leaves a serious vacuum
which could be filled by a viable third party structured on a sound
money platform. The voting majority may not be interested in
reform but the day will come when we come to grips with the issue of a
failing fiat currency system.
Senator Sanders' socialist plan has no proven successes in all of
history. President Trump does not display an understanding of the
perils of a money system based on overwhelming debt.
Somewhere there must be a Statesman (or woman) who "gets
it" and knows how to correct the hazards. He or she may not emerge
untill the election contest of 2024.
The venerable news operation filed
bankruptcy last wee..
borrowing rose by $120 billion to
$9.56 trillion. The rate for a 30-year mortgage has fallen by about 100
basis points over the past year, adding to home purchasers’ buying
power. For example, a $500,000, 30-year loan costs about $300 less per
refinances, increased significantly in the final quarter of 2019,”
Wilbert Van Der Klaauw, vice president at the New York Fed, said in a
loans for young adults age 18 to
29 rose to a the highest level since the third quarter of 2007.
Originations for 30-year-olds rose to $210.1 billion last quarter --
the highest level since the end of 2005.
debt for people ages 18 to 29 rose
to a record $1.04 trillion.
debt increased to $1.51 trillion
from $1.46 trillion at the end of 2018. More than $100 billion in
student debt is held by those age 60 and over. Auto loans rose to $1.33
trillion, while credit card debt rose to a record $930 billion.
debt, which has risen for 35
consecutive quarters, increased $16 billion from the previous quarter.
Almost 5% of auto loans are 90 days of more delinquent. This is the
highest percentage since the third quarter of 2011.
card delinquencies rose to 8.36% an
18-month high. See DEBT.
Dull stuff, we admit. Wrapping one's
mind around debt running into billions and trillions of dollars is a
tall order for most folks. It helps to remember one billion
represents 1 million times 1,000.
We're reminded if the advice of an early 20th century South Carolina
banker to a young man seeking a loan. Colonel Wylie Jones said
"It's easy to run into debt, but if you get out you do so at a
walk." (Not the sort of thing modern bankers would tell would-be
makes you think that?"
We overheard an NPR interviewer this week ask a Wall Street Journal
reporter "What makes you think THAT?" We had not been paying
the conversation but sensed it was another in the continuing series of
a liberal interviewer quizzing the occasional conservative NPR guest.
What an interesting question. Why do any of us
think what we do about anything? Why does Bernie Sanders think so
highly of communism and its step-child, socialism? Why do so many
people agree with him? Why does Elizabeth Warren hold big
business in such low regard when it provides such a high number of the
jobs that keep the U.S. economy ticking? A high percentage of
would-be voters appear to think her Robin Hood approach to banking and
other businesses is just the thing.
And why do so many complain that President Trump is
brash and ill-mannered yet are pressing for his re-election to the
presidency in November? The nation seems to be split right down
the middle on every social question and political issue.
The quotation box in the upper left of this page may
hold the answer. Henry Thoreau once observed that most people
busy themselves hacking at the BRANCHES of the tree of evil while only
one is hacking away at the ROOT. Maybe it's time to dig down to
the roots of our misgivings and disagreements and haul them out into
the bright light of reason and truth and settle the quarrels.
Whoops! Missed another Oscar night.
Call us out of step with the times, but we
and the Misses go out of our way to avoid show-biz prize givings.
When we were young, going to movie theaters had a greater
attraction for the middle and lower classes than they do now. The
"Oscar buzz" each year was a big deal. In recent years it has
become an excuse for recipients to preach their personal
political bias to a national audience. The occasional
winner will skip the preaching and merely thank the Academy
and go off stage, but the majority seem to think the awards are
invitations to tell the world of their opinions on political and social
issues. We have the impression the journalist brigade dominates
this activity and entertainers ought to stick to what they do
The 1930 U.S. dollar has purchasing power
today of 7¢.
a cumulative inflation rate of
Our younger sister celebrates her 90th birthday in early May and we've
been researching her birth year, 1930, for data that reveals how
work-a-day life was back then. When she was born the nation was sliding
into the Great Depression and dollars were scarce. A dollar in one's
pocket in 1930 would compare to $15.31 today!
Today the dollar is but a shadow of its 1930 value. And we
should note that 90 years ago the U.S. dollar was officially defined as
1/20th of a troy ounce of gold. It has long since been officially
from gold, but if one wishes to own some one dolllar will buy about
1/1,555th of a troy ounce of the precious metal.
Disconnecting the currency from gold and silver was not
done by the lawful means of amending the U.S. Constitution. The
Constitution was simply ignored and the dollar became a promissory
document - evidence of debt - instead of the bit of metal established
by the Constitution and defined in the Coinage Act of 1792. Today the
money muddle is as confusing as a Democrat presidental caucus in
The chance of this cropping up in the political election
debates this year is practically nil. But we can hope. Doing
business with currency that is supposed to carry value across time, but
doesn't, is a promise of eventual social catastrophe. ~JW