“The American Economy Is Bleeding Out”
Week 9 of the Quarantine
by Bill Bonner
SAN MARTIN, ARGENTINA – “If it bleeds, it leads,” say the old newspaper guys. Horrors and hobgoblins get the mob’s attention. Threats sell papers. And elect politicians. And elevate functionaries – Anthony Fauci, Jay Powell, etc. – to Elvis status. Lurid headlines tell us that a child has been struck down by a rare ailment…Nursing home staff call in sick…China does something…A town goes broke…A teen celebrity tests positive…A retailer closes shop…It is the End Time… the North Pole is melting… a calf is born with two heads…Oh… and the coronavirus itself is mutating into an even deadlier strain!
Racist and Sexist: And wait… the C-virus is racist! And sexist, too! Yes, Dear Reader, you don’t have to be a white man to be racist and sexist. Apparently, a molecule can be both of those things. Here’s a recent headline from news.harvard.edu: “COVID-19 Targets Communities of Color.” And another from Bloomberg this morning: “The Pandemic’s Gender Bias Needs Urgent Fixing.” We thought the author was complaining about the way the virus kills nearly twice as many men as women. That would seem to be deeply unfair.
In an era of disease, this “new cure” could be one of the most powerful medical technologies of our time. But no… forget about the dying part… she’s griping because, as health care workers, “women are putting their lives at risk,” but also earning less money!
The media comes up with a hellish bugaboo. The politicians and experts promise remedies… salvation. And the population bows down… surrendering its last shred of dignity, worshipping before its Trumps and Faucis… praying for redress and, above all, safety.
Long Way to Go: And in all the excitement, who notices the grandest larceny in history? Already, we’re looking at a $4 trillion deficit… for this year. Add another $3 trillion in borrowing – as House Democrats are proposing – to get us through the Christmas season, and we could be looking at $7 trillion in extra money-printing. This year alone.
And then, there’s next year. “While the economic response has been both timely and appropriately large, it may not be the final chapter,” said Jerome Powell yesterday. Nope. Definitely not the final chapter… We’ve barely gotten past the avant-propos. We have a long way to go… as the feds’ spending, borrowing, and printing lollapalooza runs its inevitable course… That is, it runs where all sh*thole finance runs – to inflation… wealth destruction… poverty… and possibly insurrection.
Follow the Money: In the meantime, we’re following the money. Every penny of Federal Reserve “stimulus” has to go somewhere… But where? Here’s Bloomberg again: “Luxury charter airlines and companies that fly tourists on sea planes in Alaska received millions of dollars in federal aid under the $25 billion Treasury Department program to keep aviation workers on the job, along with medical-evacuation providers and other carriers.
Located at Florida’s Palm Beach International Airport and just a few miles from President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club, Jet Access Aviation LLC is slated to receive $2.4 million in payroll assistance. “I’m really, really concerned that we’re not going to be able to start back up and running until after September,” [says the CEO] in a phone interview from the 16th hole at a West Palm Beach golf course. “We just don’t know how long this is going to last.”
Where does the money go? Wherever the elite wants it to go, of course. This is not the kind of market economy where you get by giving. That is, you don’t get wealth by creating wealth. This is a political economy, where you get it by taking it from someone else… by knowing someone… by hiring lawyers and lobbyists… by playing the angles… or giving donations (bribes) to the deciders.
Take Advantage: And remember, cars, houses, restaurants, TVs – none of them suddenly appear just because the Fed has printed up more money. The new money is just a claim on old wealth. The average American has a net worth of about $70,000. Multiply that by 330 million people, and you get $23 trillion for the whole country.
So, when you give $7 trillion in purchasing power to a select few, they now can buy nearly a third of the private wealth of the entire U.S. As prices fall in the deflationary recession, they will have an opportunity to buy farms and businesses… collectible automobiles – almost everything – at bargain prices. The smart ones will take advantage of it. They’ll get as much of the feds’ fake money as possible. And then, they’ll be careful to dump it quickly. Later, after the low prices turn into high prices. And then, the fake cash will lose value quickly.
Bleeding Out: Economist Richard Cantillon (he of the “Cantillon Effect”) noticed how it worked in the 18th century. Author Matt Stoller explains: “An 18th century French banker and philosopher named Richard Cantillon noticed an early version of this phenomenon in a book he wrote called ‘An Essay on Economic Theory.’ His basic theory was that who benefits when the state prints a bunch of money is based on the institutional setup of that state. In the 18th century, this meant that the closer you were to the king and the wealthy, the more you benefitted, and the further away you were, the more you were harmed. Money, in other words, is not neutral.”
The first people to get the money prosper… but only if they get rid of the money soon. Then, as prices rise, the unlucky or slow-witted… or simply naïve and trusting… people take the losses. They sell their farms for $1 million. They put the money in the bank. And then, by the time they realize what is going on… it has lost its value.
But that is all in the future. In the present, people are running scared. As we explained in yesterday’s Diary, the velocity of money, v, and the money multiplier, m, are both falling. Everything is bleeding… Now is the time to be in cash… real cash. Stay tuned…”
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