$27 Trillion National Debt and Counting, How It Gets Paid and Who Pays It

The debt of the US government recently crossed $27 trillion. Additionally, there are talks for another $2 trillion of stimulus (which the stock market is loving by the way). So, if passed, that would put the US national debt at around $29 trillion!

We should note that the US National Debt was about $20 trillion at this time in 2016. So, the debt was doubled to $20 trillion from $10 trillion (2008-2016) during President Obama’s two terms and looks to be on pace to double again over the subsequent two terms based on the increase thus far in President Trump’s first term.

A $29 trillion debt represents almost $90,000 per US citizen. That means a household with four people has about $360,000 as their share of the national debt in addition to their own private debt and their state and local government debt. Consider that total US household debt is about $14 trillion so that’s another $42,000 per citizen, or $170,000 for that same household of four on average.

Let’s consider what this really means. Continue reading “$27 Trillion National Debt and Counting, How It Gets Paid and Who Pays It”

Deflation or Inflation?

A question I’ve received frequently the last couple months from many different people is about the potential for inflation given the unprecedented response to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic. It is an important question because it impacts the best investment approach going forward as well as other personal finance decisions.

I understand the rationale behind the question. After all, trillions of dollars have been pledged between the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury in the last few months in what essentially amounts to a “helicopter drop” of money on the economy. So, it is understandable that people are beginning to have concerns about the potential for inflation.

Ultimately, I believe we will get inflation mainly because the Federal Reserve will stop at almost nothing to make it happen, HOWEVER, we must allow for the possibility of getting deflation first. Continue reading “Deflation or Inflation?”

Fed Enacts Emergency Rate Cut. New Record Lows on Treasuries

This morning at about 9 AM central, in response to the Coronavirus, the Federal Reserve announced an emergency 0.50% rate cut.

The initial response by the market was to send stocks and gold soaring. As the day wore on U.S. stocks crumbled losing about 3.5% at one point and ending the day down 2.8% while gold hung on for a 3%+ gain.

The 10-year Treasury yield continued to slide throughout the day (sending bond prices up) and even got below 1% for the first time ever! Think about that…in the almost-250 years of this great Republic we’ve just set a record low on bond yields. Continue reading “Fed Enacts Emergency Rate Cut. New Record Lows on Treasuries”

The Fed Cuts Rates for a Third Time…And Zombies

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve confirmed the market’s expectations and announced they would be cutting rates for a third time this year. The rate cut is an addition to the recently-announced program of supplying $120 BILLION in liquidity each night AND announcing the resumption of QE whereby they’ll be buying $60 BILLION of short-term Treasurys each month.

In other words, the Fed is pursuing policy that, until the recent Great Financial Crisis, was unprecedented. Why? Why are they pursuing emergency policy actions when the economy is supposedly strong, stock market is near all-time highs, unemployment near all-time lows and inflation supposedly around 2%? Continue reading “The Fed Cuts Rates for a Third Time…And Zombies”