Probably what intrigues me most about modern society is our ability to ignore what is right in front of our faces. But also, how so many people project what they want to be true without bothering to verify any of it, in the hopes that others will buy into the story. But also, in the hopes that you’ll forget what’s staring back at you.
An easy example of this fact is the story around bitcoin. Although this wildly popular crypocurrency is currently riding at a record high in the $50,000 range, there’s not much more to the story than that fact. BUY NOW BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE! But when you probe a little deeper, you find that bitcoin suffers from a range of problems as a currency and as a medium of exchange. But people hope it’s going to keep going up, so it keeps going up.
Of course, that will be the case until it isn’t.
For this reason, I’ve largely stayed away from cryptocurrencies, for better or worse. Of course, while some might say that decision was stupid, they can’t say, given their fortuitous insights, why they aren’t filthy rich from trading it themselves. In either case, I don’t like to play in markets where I feel like I’m being shilled, especially if I don’t have any particular interest in that market. After all, it doesn’t take a brilliant thinker to sniff out an agenda; it only takes a little detective work.
Still, the ongoing story about our economic rebound is a more interesting example of people projecting their hopes onto others. Or in essence, you could say, they’re shilling the shit out of the fact that the economy is roaring back to life. And in recent weeks, I’ve been treated to executives, business owners, and stock traders insisting that the good times are just around the corner again.
There’s simply one problem with this story: it is a gross lie.
How can you tell? While it’s not always the case, that desire to shill, to sell you on the story, should tip you off. For me, it was the same in the Dotcom bubble, before and during the first Global Financial Crisis, and leading into our second Global Financial Crisis. In each of these, I felt that I was being sold one thing even as I was being told not to look under the hood to see if everything was there.
For most men, you should take note when that situation is occurring, in any transaction.
How does our current historic moment stack up? Well, you don’t need to be a student of economic systems or global finance to see it. When you strip away the cutesy stories about the need for lockdowns or the insistence that the government is wildly printing money, you’re left with one trend that won’t go away.
And that’s how the experts keep stumbling us into financial crisis after financial crisis, each which threaten to take down the entire system.
And how they say, over and over again, that they’ll do whatever it takes.
Of course, then they do the exact same things that they did in the previous crisis. By now, if you aren’t wondering about this decades-running trend, you may want to get your head checked. Yet again and again, the general public swallows it, hook, line, and sinker. Or at least, certain cross-sections of the public buy into it, as they too shill the same nonsensical stories they see on the TV or which they like on Facebook.
Basically, you don’t need to be a genius to spot a liar or a conman. And these are liars and conmen.
And once you’re wise to the trick, you’re wise to it. And that’s our first step to financial security. Instead of blindly listening to shills, you want to get savvy to the shenanigans. This alone will allow you to avoid getting suckered into idiotically overpriced real estate deals. Or in a place where you get stuck holding the bag on some meme stock that never had a chance in the first place, not for long anyway.
Next, you start peering under the hood.
That’s our second step to financial security. And although there’s so very much to know and explore in economic history, theory, and practice, most of where you want to start is rather uncomplicated. And since the system is so phenomenally complex anyway, you can rest assured that no one has all the puzzle pieces anyway.
How do you get started?
By asking basic questions about how it all works. For example: does the Federal Reserve, the central banking system in the US, actually print money? They certainly love to say they do, and they most assuredly want you to think they’re printing up a biblical flood of it right now. But then, there’s another question too. If they don’t actually print money (which they don’t), why do they want us to think they do?
Another great question might be: who benefited the most, financially speaking, from the lockdowns?
Or another: why did governments want to close the economy just after a severe crisis started to make itself apparent in the repo market, the deepest financial plumbing for the entire globe?
There’s no end to the questions we can ask here. But what you’ll find is that most people, when they talk about economics or financial matters, have zero idea what they’re talking about, absolutely no clue. Oddly, this also includes their own personal money situations. In reality, they only repeat the advertising they’ve heard from the financial media and the monetary authorities. And that’s certainly not a strategy to getting security for yourself.
What are they trying to get you to ignore right now about our economic situation? I’m glad you asked.
- More than 5% of home owners have stopped paying their mortgages, more than double the worst year of the financial crisis.
- Almost 20 million people, more than 10% of the working age population, are receiving jobless support. And not only is this beyond anything in almost a hundred years, we’ve had an entire year of it.
- 2020’s GDP SHRANK by 4% in the US, a number that should terrify any sane person, when a breakeven year would be considered bad.
- And although I won’t bore you with the details and everyone is talking about interest rates being up, the overnight repo market is showing signs of extreme collateral shortages. Like, these have no historical comparison. And this is the stuff of economic nightmares.
What else do you need to know?
Personally, I won’t wait for the shills to tell me how we’ll dig out of that hole, when we never truly dug out of the 2008 crisis. Our situation isn’t one that should make you feel optimistic; it should spur you to immediately start figuring out where you’re going to be when these realities, the ones staring us in the face, can no longer be ignored. And what you’ll do when they come crashing down.
Now, I’m not going to make myself out to be some billionaire playboy who’s made every right move. But one principle has continued to move me to financial security, a position that is only enjoyed by an ever shrinking number of Americans. And that’s how I only take the opportunities I want to take, when I want to take them. If they make sense to me, then I’m good. If they don’t, I skip it.
And to hell with everyone else’s bullshit stories.