L: Okay, but if they go into debt to buy houses and cars, they’ll create jobs and there will be more appearance of recovery, won’t there?
Doug: That’d just be digging the hole deeper at this point. What needs to be done is to let the market raise interest rates, to encourage savings – the accumulation of the capital needed to start moving forward on a solid basis. Instead of encouraging people to work, spend less than they make, and save the difference, these low interest rates encourage profligacy. They encourage people to liquidate savings and live above their means. As usual, the government isn’t just doing the wrong thing, it’s doing the exact opposite of the right thing.
Doug: Because of the false belief that printing money stimulates the economy. The artificially depressed interest rates of today will result in very high inflation and very high interest rates in the near future. A healthy economy gets naturally low interest rates as a result of a lot of savings, a lot of capital creation. A healthy economy has stable interest rates that relate to the amount of new wealth being created, typically just above the natural rate of inflation that results from real money – gold – being mined out of the ground. Artificially low interest rates stimulate malinvestment.
The Fed is also keeping rates low because of the government’s massive debt problem. The U.S. is already running trillion-dollar deficits – if interest rates go up, say, to 12% like back in the ‘70s, that would add another trillion to the deficit right there. Financing a $16 trillion debt at 12%, rather than 2%, equals another $1.6 trillion of spending – just for interest.
This really means they have no choice. The situation is completely out of control – the U.S. financial house of cards is irredeemable at this point, even with interest rates at close to zero. The whole financial structure is close to collapse, and that’s why I think we’re exiting the eye of the storm.
L: The Titanic has been struck, but Captain Obama just doesn’t yet realize how badly?
Doug: Exactly. And – adding insult to injury – not only are they doing the opposite of the right thing, they are actively punishing people who did the right things, who worked hard and saved. Pensioners living on fixed incomes are being forced to reach for higher and higher yields, which means they are being forced to put their nest eggs into riskier and riskier investments. This guarantees that the pensioners and the savers will be wiped out.
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