The Stage Has Been Set For The Next Financial Crisis

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Constantin Gurdgiev via CaymanFinancialReview.com,

Last month, the Japanese government auctioned off some US$4 billion worth of new two-year bonds at a new record low yield of negative 0.149 percent. The country’s five-year debt is currently yielding minus 0.135 percent per annum, and its 10-year bonds are trading at -0.001 percent. Strange as it may sound, the safe haven status of Japanese bonds means that there is an ample demand among private investors, especially foreign buyers, for giving away free money to the Japanese government: the bid-to-cover ratio in the latest auction was at a hefty US$19.9 billion or 4.97 times the targeted volume. The average bid-to-cover ratio in the past 12 auctions was similar at 4.75 times. Japan’s status as the world’s most indebted advanced economy is not a deterrent to the foreign investors, banking primarily on the expectation that continued strengthening of the yen against the U.S. dollar, the U.K. pound sterling and, to a lesser extent, the euro, will stay on track into the foreseeable future. See chart 1

In a way, the bet on Japanese bonds is the bet that the massive tsunami of monetary easing that hit the global economy since 2008 is not going to recede anytime soon, no matter what the central bankers say in their dovishly-hawkish or hawkishly-dovish public statements. And this expectation is not only contributing to the continued inflation of a massive asset bubble, but also widens the financial sustainability gap within the insurance and pensions sectors. The stage has been set, cleaned and lit for the next global financial crisis.

Worldwide, current stock of government debt trading at negative yields is at or above the US$9 trillion mark, with more than two-thirds of this the debt of the highly leveraged advanced economies. Just under 85 percent of all government bonds outstanding and traded worldwide are carrying yields below the global inflation rate. In simple terms, fixed income investments can only stay in the positive real returns territory if speculative bets made by investors on the direction of the global exchange rates play out.

We are in a multidimensional and fully internationalized carry trade game, folks, which means there is a very serious and tangible risk pool sitting just below the surface across world’s largest insurance companies, pensions funds and banks, the so-called “mandated” undertakings. This pool is the deep uncertainty about the quality of their investment allocations. Regulatory requirements mandate that these financial intermediaries hold a large proportion of their investments in “safe” or “high quality” instruments, a class of assets that draws heavily on higher rated sovereign debt, primarily that of the advanced economies.

The first part of the problem is that with negative or ultra-low yields, this debt delivers poor income streams on the current portfolio. Earlier this year, Stanford’s Hoover Institution research showed that “in aggregate, the 564 state and local systems in the United States covered in this study reported $1.191 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities (net pension liabilities) under GASB 67 in FY 2014. This reflects total pension liabilities of $4.798 trillion and total pension assets (or fiduciary net position) of $3.607 trillion.” This accounts for roughly 97 percent of all public pension funds in the U.S. Taking into the account the pension funds’ penchant for manipulating (in their favor) the discount rates, the unfunded public sector pensions liabilities rise to $4.738 trillion. Key culprit: the U.S. pension funds require 7.5-8 percent average annual returns on their assets to break even on their future expected liabilities. In 2013-2016 they achieved an average return of below 3 percent. This year, things are looking even worse. Last year, Milliman research showed that on average, over 2012-2016, U.S. pension funds held 27-30 percent of their assets in cash (3-4 percent) and bonds (23-27 percent), generating total median returns over the same period of around 1.31 percent per annum.

Not surprisingly, over the recent years, traditionally conservative investment portfolios of the insurance companies and pensions funds have shifted dramatically toward higher risk and more exotic (or in simple parlance, more complex) assets. BlackRock Inc recently looked at the portfolio allocations, as disclosed in regulatory filings, of more than 500 insurance companies. The analysts found that their asset books – investments that sustain insurance companies’ solvency – can be expected to suffer an 11 percent drop in values, on average, in the case of another financial crisis. In other words, half of all the large insurance companies trading in the U.S. markets are currently carrying greater risks on their balance sheets than prior to 2007. Milliman 2016 report showed that among pension funds, share of assets allocated to private equity and real estate rose from 19 percent in 2012 to 24 percent in 2016.

The reason for this is that the insurance companies, just as the pension funds, re-insurers and other longer-term “mandated” investment vehicles have spent the last eight years loading up on highly risky assets, such as illiquid private equity, hedge funds and real estate. All in the name of chasing the yield: while mainstream low-risk assets-generated income (as opposed to capital gains) returned around zero percent per annum, higher risk assets were turning up double-digit yields through 2014 and high single digits since then. At the end of 2Q 2017, U.S. insurance companies’ holdings of private equity stood at the highest levels in history, and their exposures to direct real estate assets were almost at the levels comparable to 2007. Ditto for the pension funds. And, appetite for both of these high risk asset classes is still there.

The second reason to worry about the current assets mix in insurance and pension funds portfolios relates to monetary policy cycle timing. The prospect of serious monetary tightening is looming on the horizon in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada and the eurozone; meanwhile, the risk of the slower rate of bonds monetization in Japan is also quite real. This means that the capital values of the low-risk assets are unlikely to post significant capital gains going forward, which spells trouble for capital buffers and trading income for the mandated intermediaries.

Thirdly, the Central Banks continue to hold large volumes of top-rated debt. As of Aug. 1, 2017, the Fed, Bank of Japan and the ECB held combined US$13.8 trillion worth of assets, with both Bank of Japan (US$4.55 trillion) and the ECB (US$5.1 trillion) now exceeding the Fed holdings (US$4.3 trillion) for the third month in a row.

Debt maturity profiles are exacerbating the risks of contagion from the monetary policy tightening to insurance and pension funds balance sheets. In the case of the U.S., based on data from Pimco, the maturity cliff for the Federal Reserve holdings of the Treasury bonds, Agency debt and TIPS, as well as MBS is falling on 1Q 2018 – 3Q 2020. Per Bloomberg data, the maturity cliff for the U.S. insurers and pensions funds debt assets is closer to 2020-2022. If the Fed simply stops replacing maturing debt – the most likely scenario for unwinding its QE legacy – there will be little market support for prices of assets that dominate capital base of large financial institutions. Prices will fall, values of assets will decline, marking these to markets will trigger the need for new capital. The picture is similar in the U.K. and Canada, but the risks are even more pronounced in the euro area, where the QE started later (2Q 2015 as opposed to the U.S. 1Q 2013) and, as of today, involves more significant interventions in the sovereign bonds markets than at the peak of the Fed interventions.

How distorted the EU markets for sovereign debt have become? At the end of August, Cyprus – a country that suffered a structural banking crisis, requiring bail-in of depositors and complete restructuring of the banking sector in March 2013 – has joined the club of euro area sovereigns with negative yields on two-year government debt. All in, 18 EU member states have negative yields on their two-year paper. All, save Greece, have negative real yields.

The problem is monetary in nature. Just as the entire set of quantitative easing (QE) policies aimed to do, the long period of extremely low interest rates and aggressive asset purchasing programs have created an indirect tax on savers, including the net savings institutions, such as pensions funds and insurers. However, contrary to the QE architects’ other objectives, the policies failed to drive up general inflation, pushing costs (and values) of only financial assets and real estate. This delayed and extended the QE beyond anyone’s expectations and drove unprecedented bubbles in financial capital. Even after the immediate crisis rescinded, growth returned, unemployment fell and the household debt dramatically ticked up, the world’s largest Central Banks continue buying some US$200 billion worth of sovereign and corporate debt per month.

Much of this debt buying produced no meaningfully productive investment in infrastructure or public services, having gone primarily to cover systemic inefficiencies already evident in the state programs. The result, in addition to unprecedented bubbles in property and financial markets, is low productivity growth and anemic private investment. (See chart 2.) As recently warned by the Bank for International Settlements, the global debt pile has reached 325 percent of the world’s GDP, just as the labor and total factor productivity growth measures collapsed.

The only two ways in which these financial and monetary excesses can be unwound involves pain.

The first path – currently favored by the status quo policy elites – is through another transfer of funds from the general population to the financial institutions that are holding the assets caught in the QE net. These transfers will likely start with tax increases, but will inevitably morph into another financial crisis and internal devaluation (inflation and currencies devaluations, coupled with a deep recession).

The alternative is also painful, but offers at least a ray of hope in the end: put a stop to debt accumulation through fiscal and tax reforms, reducing both government spending across the board (and, yes, in the U.S. case this involves cutting back on the coercive institutions and military, among other things) and flattening out personal income tax rates (to achieve tax savings in middle and upper-middle class cohorts, and to increase effective tax rates – via closure of loopholes – for highest earners). As a part of spending reforms, public investment and state pensions provisions should be shifted to private sector providers, while existent public sector pension funds should be forced to raise their members contributions to solvency-consistent levels.

Beyond this, we need serious rethink of the monetary policy institutions going forward. Historically, taxpayers and middle class and professionals have paid for both, the bailouts of the insolvent financial institutions and for the creation of conditions that lead to this insolvency. In other words, the real economy has consistently been charged with paying for utopian, unrealistic and state-subsidizing pricing of risks by the Central Banks. In the future, this pattern of the rounds upon rounds of financial repression policies must be broken.

Whether we like it or not, since the beginning of the Clinton economic bubble in the mid-1990s, the West has lived in a series of carry trade games that transferred real economic resources from the economy to the state. Today, we are broke. If we do not change our course, the next financial crisis will take out our insurers and pensions providers, and with them, the last remaining lifeline to future financial security.

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Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Iceberg dead ahead. Abandon ship.

 

Honest question. Why are you still sitting there if you think this will be the mother of all governmental/financial/social 'corrections'?

Pandelis's picture

Honest answer. Because deep down, you somehow believe they will pull another rabbit from under their hat as they have done so many times before.

NotApplicable's picture

It's far too late to avoid disaster, regardless of what changes are made.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Last month I auctioned off $100 in 100 year maturity bonds to myself at a -20% yield. Beat that.

jbvtme's picture

financial crises are the means to confiscate wealth. but everyone is indebted to the government and the banks. so what wealth is there to confiscate?  the only crisis on the horizon is the collapse of the social structure. this must be avoided at all costs by those in control. and the way to maintain this control is to avoid a financial crisis. that is, to keep one from happening. which is why the stock market will continue to appreciate and debt will continue to be reissued.

 

fbazzrea's picture

there is much unencumbered wealth still present across flyover country. thus the bankster cabal continues to mine the heartland for remaining bits and parcels of real assets in hopes of replacing with debt-backed digital wealth much easier to harvest when our new landlords foreclose upon our (their) unpayable debt.

at this point, there is no reason for them to avoid the financial crisis at all costs. bail-ins n' outs are codified. UN peacekeeping forces are available on moment's notice to suppress populist blowback from food shortages and power outages. international law usurping national sovereignty guarantees bankster indemnity. won't be much Americans can do other than suck it up, rebuild and persevere. 

perhaps the lessons relearned by existing generations will be better protected for future generations than the national trust violated, systematically disassembled and perpetuated by the New World robber barons and City of London financiers in the current multi-generational global takedown plot.

imo, looks like the plug has already been pulled on this business cycle. i see a little whirlpool action on the surface, but as everyone knows, the action only gets better as the vortex increases in speed and size. it's been said going broke starts slowly and picks up speed until suddenly all at once the bottom drops. 

smaller sovereign entities will best serve The People. decentralization is a humanely pervading trend which needs implemented across our entire spectrum of existence to return humanity to its Source for happiness and fulfillment. technology need not be the focus of society to enhance our culture. better to be the underlying system which allows humans to be human rather than symbiotic slaves to the mechanizations of globalism.

it would be awesome if we could rebuild from the ground up without the global bankster cabal giving orders. i don't see how they could dare show their faces to the American people after their devastation unleashed is apparent to all. but of course, they've maintained and even expanded control via "progress" for centuries, nay, millenia.

in self-rule, the precarious balance of market forces enabling free-trade commerce must be vigilantly guarded against intrusion and manipulation by those few psychopaths convinced of their superiority and privilege whom will always seek to create rent en masse. fortunately, human frailty will prevail. greed, complacency and fear swirl unendingly inside their minds; selfish and foolish decisions they do ultimately make. humans they are.

hope everyone's getting prepared in their own way for an historically tumultuous time quickly approaching. 

CH1's picture

I simply believe there's nowhere to hide from the next crisis.

How about the new crypto-economy? Pretty obvious, but perhaps this is the wrong crowd.

I'd rather build that just complain.

fbazzrea's picture

hi CH1... don't know whose quote you're referencing, but i am increasingly inclined to agree with you. for the last month or so i've been deeply exploring the crypto-community and am surprisingly encouraged by the experience. i'm actually enjoying active-trading on Bittrex and find it refreshingly honest relative to the manipulated equity markets... and rather anonymously, at that. top it off with nominal trading fees and the existence of an unhindered exit strategy for those with a little creativity wishing to avoid the full weight of the tax collector and it's another beautiful day in paradise. (:

and i'm definitely with you on the "i'd rather build than just complain."  i hope you're not referring to me. a negative Nellie i hope not to be. so it may have been the wrong crowd at ZH but some of us Boomers are starting to get it. we're slow. not stupid. lol

hang in there. lots of good stuff to come. i feel it in my fingers... i feel it in my toes. (;

YUNOSELL's picture

The U.S needs to maintain the petrodollar -- that is their tool for confiscating the wealth of other nations by skimming on every transaction other countries are forced to transact in U.S dollars to currently buy oil. Things in the world will change very dramatically when the U.S no longer holds this monopoly.

zagzigga's picture

It has been a slow motion train wreck for the past 9 years and will continue to be so for the next 9 as well. Why would the TPTB allow another financial crisis when they have the working class by the balls and can financially rape them every month? A collapse now would allow them to raid 401ks and steal homes but would cause unmanageable levels of social unrest and chaos. The current arrangement where a few benefit to the detriment of the many with the MSM pretending that we are living in an era of extra-ordinary growth works just fine. Instead of losing a home into which you put in 100k over 5 years, you will lose 100k in exorbitant rents and Obummer care extortion payments over the same time period or less. A win win situation for all parties involved.

Next to Arch Stanton's picture

I simply believe there's nowhere to hide from the next crisis.  Unless there's a Galt Gulch somewhere that other ZHers know about but aren't telling me.

 

 

Hkan's picture

Find place noone wanna live.

Live from what nature has to offer.

No assets but your labour force and freedom to protect.

Save the last bullit.

Then ur fine....

Crazy Or Not's picture

We (largely) avoided the last crunch relocating a significant part of our business to the ME Gulf States from our then UK base. 
It had been an idle passtime on the commute into City of London to tally count active construction derriks/cranes.
You could see the numbers dip in 2007 - nerves I guess.

Gulches now are spots like this. I shit you not you will need both external (overseas) security and local*.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Turkmenistan

*Local will protect you as long your deal is better than the mafia one to kidnap you. hence externals.

Trader200K's picture

Research 'Strategic Relocation'. Best US in-depth analysis going.

http://joelskousen.com/strategic.html

Cumberland Plateau ... (but only if you have real Galt skills and the ability to handle 16 acres and up plus inclement weather).

Good luck ...
T

ElTerco's picture

Has anyone ever lived on a sail boat long term? I'm curious what it's like. It seems like that's the only sure fire way to avoid SHTF issues.

buttmint's picture

El Terco---

yes, a Russian dude named Dmitriv Orlov was able to short squeeze and clear out of the grasps of by a dying Soviet and crack-up-boom UNSAFE America.

He lives on his sailboat in the Caribbean.

 

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2011/06/sailing-craft-for-post-collapse-wo...

Makes for good reading, whether one is into boats or not. 

GooseShtepping Moron's picture

No, asshole. The honest answer is that there is nothing we can do about it anyway, so it's best just to face the situation stoically and react appropriately when the time comes. You cannot change anything by panicking now, but you can hope to find a plank of wood or something to float on when the ship goes down.

DontWorry's picture

Because no one knows when.  If the mother of all corrections happens after I'm dead, why leave now?

glenlloyd's picture

It's also a pretty big gamble to assume that the correction comes after you're dead. Equally likely that it would happen when you're still around.

Cloud9.5's picture

We are sitting here because we have nowhere else to go.  Those of us in these pension programs are already trapped.  I started paying into social security a half century ago.  It is not like I had any choice.  Those of us who are fortunate enough to own hard assets are also trapped in the system.  What are we supposed to do, cash out?   Even the currency is destined to implode at some point.  I understand buying some gold and silver even in a highly manipulated market.  I understand prepping.  With all of that, we may not be able to beat the game. 

 

Even though we can see the trends we cannot avoid our destinies.  Wilmer McLean fled his farm at Bull Run.  Having had the first battle play out on his farm he understood that the hundred miles between Richmond and Washington D.C. was going to be a perpetual battle field.  He and his family moved to Clover Hill to avoid the war.  The war followed him.  McLean had the dubious honor of having the war begin in his front yard and end in his parlor.

Decay is Constant's picture

"We are sitting here because we have nowhere else to go."

Precisely!

In my sixties and can't take up a new occupation as a farmer.

Wife, kids and families all local.

Solid job that would take me years to rebuild elsewhere to the same degree.

Social security and retirement funds all established for over 45 years.

Were I twenty years younger, perhaps I could make a go of it. Now it's a handful of metal, some extra food, and a couple cartridge boxes.

I may go down with the ship, but I'm not going willfully or alone.

Darth Rayne's picture

Sat enjoying my connection to the universe rather than worrying about what utter nonsense those who are not connected believe.

Sustaining the unsustainable for as long as possible just makes the correction more forceful. Hopefully, our bones will remember the coming tsunami. Or not. Stupid is as stupid does.

Civilisation or society? Society is the default option. A civilisation takes effort but is far more natural and rewarding. Enlightenment comes after awareness which comes after being awake. People are beginning to awaken. Hence the anger. As I said earlier, it is fascinating.

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Increase your awareness of self and others as best you can. If you need to act, act decisively.

Giant Meteor's picture

"We've dressed up in our best, and are prepared to go down like gentlemen."

Not enough life boats ..

nowhereman's picture

Good question.  My guess, based on my experience, is that most of us bought into the scheme before we recognized it for what it was.  In my youth I was taught that the banking system worked on the principle that my savings were used to supply loans to people and businesses that would pay back those loans at an interest rate that afforded the bank to pay me a level of interest that made it worth my while to save.

Most of us realize now, that this just isn't true.  So the people who took this new information, and acted upon it, are now being closely monitored by the government because their independence is perceived as a threat to the "system".

The rest of us are just riding this thing out, hopefully trying to learn the skills required to survive the outcome. 

What else can one do?

EINSILVERGUY's picture

I worked in banking and brokerage for 10 years. I only figured this out after I was out of the industry for 20 years and then read "The Creature from Jekyll Island".  Most people are ignorant. I was more so than most. Better late than never but I would have made a lot of different choices had I understood at 25 what I learned on the way to 55

QQQBall's picture

So you want to run away from global chaos? Like the Chicago couple that saw WWII dead ahead and moved to idyllic Salomon Islands?

 

Thats the rub. You accurately define the problem, but you have to get the response correct. I sold r.e. 2004-2007 and never dreamed the FED would do what they did. I was correct, but am now mocked by buddies who have crushed it levering up. Really crushed it, while cash and cash equiv just get stomped.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

It's not a binary question, though the answers assume it is. It is obvious one cannot completely escape the insanity. But one can reduce their involvement from presently experienced levels.

Each effort to reduce involvement will be unique because each person and situation is unique. But it is not an all or nothing situation. Because one cannot 'get the response correct' since there are simply too many variables, to try to do so is self defeating. There is no 'solution', only measured responses that are designed to be flexible and pliable that can be adapted to an ever changing situation.

But to do nothing, and claim it is the only sane and reasonable response, is insanity.

Mrs. Cog and I also never dreamed the Fed could keep the balls in the air as long as they have. Thankfully we did not put everything on 'red' expecting the balls to all fall down, but rather changed our lifestyle (and continue to do so) to reflect a more sustainable way of living which is less dependent upon those balls remaining aloft.

We do not expect to escape unscathed. The goal is to minimize personal damage and loss.

falak pema's picture

Minimising is the ZH mantra : in the long term we all end up dead!

But optimising... is a choice between options; before we kick the bucket! 

Its a relative world : "That is a genuine dinosaur tooth... you lucky fella!" 

"So did I just break the bank?" 

Haha! "Good catch !" ;... or "so what" ... its awl relative to our choices!

Dinosaur's tooth vs a good omelette in your plate, not the same kick to your gut feeling or to  your family jewels in the bank !

Never met a tooth of this size... never ate an omelette with truffles!

Gatto's picture

"Honest question. Why are you still sitting there if you think this will be the mother of all governmental/financial/social 'corrections'?"

Because I am financially positioned to profit during the coming collapse!   If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

veritas semper vinces's picture

       "Iceberg dead ahead. Abandon ship."

 

We would.But there are not enough rescue boats or experienced captains .All the boats were confiscated by the so called elite.

And the music they paly is so nice!Soothing for the sheeple

Radical Marijuana's picture

Speaking of icebergs, here is a short video,

metaphorical example of economic collapse:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aES6WC0CDnI

Exploding iceberg in Antarctica!

 

I picked the same iceberg image as Zero Hedge associated with their article above to introduce my list of links to Excellent Videos on Money Systems.

The mother of all governmental/financial/social 'corrections' shall be through human ecology. Since money is measurement backed by murder, because the debt controls are backed by the death controls, the runaway debt slavery systems driving the generation of numbers which become debt insanities will provoke death insanities. "The mother of all corrections" shall manifest through fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting systems having enabled the exponential growth of the total human population and economic activities based on strip-mining a fresh planet's natural resources as fast as possible, through the series of industrial revolutions. That kind of overshooting via exponential growth leads to massive die-offs in other species. However, in the particular case of the human species, "the mother of all corrections" will manifest as mass murders. 

Spaceship Earth, or Lifeboat Earth, is not easy to "abandon."

The Stage Has Been Set For The Next Financial Crisis is yet another superficially correct analysis, which grossly understates the seriousness of the situation that "money" made out of nothing as debts has been used to "pay" for strip-mining the planet's resources. It is barely possible to exaggerate the deeper levels of the problems that Globalized Neolithic Civilization has become almost totally based on the powers of public governments being primarily used to enforce frauds by private banks, and the big corporations that grew up around those big banks. The prodgious progress in physical sciences have enabled about exponentially improving technologies to be applied through the established sociopolitical systems, which have thereby become about exponentially more fraudulent.

While physical sciences have significantly advanced, political science has NOT. Rather, what has actually been happening are the excessively successful applications of the methods of organized crime to control Civilization have become runaway criminal insanities which are spinning out of any human controls, in ways which "the mother of all corrections" will eventually become that technological Civilization erupting into runaway death insanities, from which such a technologically based Civilization may never recover.

Political economy operates INSIDE human ecology. However, the history of human ecology became dominated and directed by warfare, which was then the basis for political economy to become built on enforcing frauds, which continues to be able to manifest automatically increasing overall fraudulence. At the present time, and for the foreseeable future of the currently existing Civilization, it will be politically impossible for enough people to sufficiently understand how and why money is necessarily measurement backed by murder. Therefore, the actual connections between human laws and natural laws necessarily being the abilities to back up legalized lies with legalized violence shall surely continue to be deliberately ignored and misunderstood in the most absurdly backward ways possible, due to the long history of the corollaries that controlling Civilization through applications of the methods of organized crime necessarily also means that those who are most doing that are also the most able to be dishonest about doing so.

Whenever it comes to environmental issues, Zero Hedge articles and comments tend to be of lower quality, because of the degree to which relative social successfulness achieved by adapting to operating INSIDE sociopolitical systems which are actually based on enforcing frauds is proportionately achieved by the best available professional liars and immaculate hypocrites. Some of the corollaries to Civilization necessarily operating according to the principles and methods of organized crime are the ways that the biggest and best organized groups doing so have necessarily become the best available professional hypocrites.

Human economic activities tend to be discussed in ways which take for granted the frames of reference of the biggest bullies' bullshit social stories, which became the banksters' bullshit about economics. It is barely possible to exaggerate the degree to which "we" are living inside Wonderland Matrix Bizarro Worlds, where everything "we" are doing is publicly presented in the most absurdly backward ways possible. Every day, the Grand Canyon Chasms between progress in physical science, WITHOUT progress in political science, continues to get wider and WIDER.

Although the laws of nature are never going to stop working, natural selection pressures have driven the development of artificial selection systems to become as deceitful as possible, with the human murder systems having maximized their maliciousness, in order to back up the monetary systems operating as enforced frauds, which achieve symbolic robberies. In that context, the article above grossly understates the seriousness of the possible series of psychotic breakdowns and crazy collapses into chaos:

"Today, we are broke. If we do not change our course, the next financial crisis will take out our insurers and pensions providers, and with them, the last remaining lifeline to future financial security."

"We" appear to be broke because "we" are stuck inside debt slavery systems, that most people do not understand, because they have been conditioned to feel like they do not want to understand. Hence, those systems are much more broken than their accumulating apparent anomalies, as outlined in the article above. "We" are living INSIDE an iceberg of inverted totalitarianism. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverted_totalitarianism )

 

tribune's picture

the bitcoin standard  or the gold standard. with these we will also be able to tackle climate change much faster too

Pandelis's picture

Viva bitcoin - the currency of the people.  the digital tulip.

lester1's picture

How the hell do you cut taxes with $20.5 trillion in debt and social security, medicare, and interest in the debt keeps going up every year?? Won't interest rates have to go up? Then how do you service the debt with less revenue??

 

A debt crisis is coming soon!

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Silly lester1. You use your magic wand....of course.

Poof...all fixed.

Stuck on Zero's picture

There is only one possible way to cut taxes. Period. Cut the size of government. Nothing else works. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar.

dark pools of soros's picture

outsource it to India or just make an app to replace D.C.

 

Lost in translation's picture

India is being insourced to my ville as I type this...

FreeShitter's picture

Just keep buying ROKU lester.

Lost in translation's picture

It would seem so.

But then I believed 2007-08 was “it.”

And yet, here we are. Still.

SMH

SteveBob's picture

Tax rates are not relevant in the big picture.  They keep the Left and Right distracted by arguing over them.  The Fed will print the difference (and debase the currency).  If taxes were completely eliminated, the government would still operate as the Fed would create the money needed (debasing the currency) further supported by UST that will never be repaid just rolled over as is now.  The difference is that the game would be transparent to all of the populase.  So taxes and debate on irrelevant things like the Deficit and even the National Debt will continue so that the focus is kept away from what is really going on.

TheSilentMajority's picture

The intentional and fraudulent underporting of the REAL CPI is the root cause of most of the problems highlighted.

The REAL CPI in the USA(and most other countries around the world) has been running at a rate of between 7%-12% annualized for almost 30 years in a row.

But the fed and politicians want the sheep to believe that inflation is less than 2%.

Its the greatest financial fraud of all time!

Deep Snorkeler's picture

We are free-market losers

in a globalized economy.

Luxury-capitalism for them - reality TV for us.

A nation plagued with cognitive lethargy,

our national intellect eroded to cretin level,

mass consumption of Oxycontin our sport,

distraction, delusion and decline.

seataka's picture

"cognitive lethargy"

^^ worth weeks of pop-up windows and advertising to read

A. Boaty's picture

"...insurance companies, just as the pension funds, re-insurers and other longer-term “mandated” investment vehicles have spent the last eight years loading up on highly risky assets, such as illiquid private equity, hedge funds and real estate. All in the name of chasing the yield..."

Banksters chiseling insurance companies. Don't those guys play golf together? That should make for some awkward moments in the club house.