23 Mar Get your money for nothin & your job loss for free
“The most valuable asset they have is their job.” -Neel Kashkari, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Then he goes on to say that the odds of people losing their jobs is not remote.
“What the Federal Reserve does is provide the blood supply for the body of our capitalist economy. And what happened in 2008 is all the veins and the capillaries and the arteries collapsed. So every financial function had failed. It had collapsed and we had to restore them.” “It’s almost like alchemy! You can create money out of thin air if you’re at the central bank.” -Richard W. Fisher, former President & CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
“Buddy, it’s not a question of enough. It’s a zero sum game, sport. Somebody wins and somebody loses. Money itself isn’t lost or made, it’s simply transferred from one perception to another. Like magic. That painting cost $60,000 10 years ago. I could sell it today for $600,000. The illusion has become real. And the more real it becomes, the more desperately they want it. Capitalism at its finest.” -Gordon Gekko, Wall Street
- Did the system die in 2008? Have we been limping along with duct tape and baling wire all this time? On borrowed time?
- “Mixed signals about the economy.” As I’ve said before: if you assume someone is lying, the economy is not so difficult to figure out.
- “The Federal Reserve seems to have our economic fate in its hands.”
- Why would a so-labeled capitalist system need a central bank to pump the blood through it? Makes no sense. Unless you assume it’s crony capitalism or socialism in disguise. And pepper in some fascism as well.
- The Scorpion and the Frog. “Are these executives greedy or stupid?”
- “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out!”
- “But in reality: it played out differently.” Rather than hiring and building new facilities, these CEOs enriched themselves and the shareholders. Say it ain’t so!
- “We’re like a giant bloodsucker.”
- Unregulated shadow banking.
- March 2020 and the D word: depression.
- “There’s no barometer of moral hazard.”
- The Fed points fingers at the state; the state points fingers at The Fed; and we are supposed to forget the incestuous relationship between them.
- “I’m a good person. I’ve always paid my bills before.”
- “A once-in-a-lifetime financial transition…”
You can watch the full documentary here:
“Age of Easy Money” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpMLAQbSYAw
Links where I can be found: https://causeyconsultingllc.com/2023/01/30/updates-housekeeping/
Need more? Email me: https://causeyconsultingllc.com/contact-causey/
Transcription by Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos!
Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here’s your host Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. In today’s episode, I want to talk about a fantastic documentary, which is completely free of charge to watch on YouTube. It comes from frontline PBS, and it is titled age of easy money. As of this recording, it has almost 3 million views. As I said, it is excellent. I hope that this broadcast does not run too long. I’m going to try to cover as many high points as I can. But this is a treasure trove, no pun intended of information about the economy and the Fed. In the write up, we find high inflation, fear of recession, disruptions like the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. How did the US economy get here? a two hour documentary special traces the road to this moment and the role of the Federal Reserve, the country’s central bank, frontline investigates the Feds epic economic experiment to revive the US economy with what has been called an easy money policy, and the far reaching and sometimes unintended consequences, all button and say, but I mean, are they unintended? Judge for yourself. If we hadn’t been driving our economy for 14 years with easy money and then try to really quickly undo that now, we wouldn’t be having these problems former top banking regulators Sheila Bair said in the documentary, from the 2008 recession to the COVID pandemic, to the rise in inflation, to the current economic uncertainty, Age of easy money charts, the American economy’s tumultuous course, the fragility of the financial system and the widening gap between Wall Street and Main Street. The documentary examines what led to the Feds recent decisions to hike interest rates at a historic pace, and probes the ongoing effects offering a comprehensive and timely examination of the role of the institution at the heart of America’s economy in quote, naturally, I will drop a link to the episode I hope that you go and watch or to the documentary, I mean, I hope that you go and watch it. The documentary opens up with all of the media and talking heads, eagerly awaiting what Jerome Powell would say, at last year’s Federal Reserve, Jackson Hole economic symposium. And I think someone in the documentary refers to it as being like the Oscars of the finance world. And we go back to the video of Jerome Powell saying, households are going to feel some pain. Sorry about you. But this is just part of the price you pay for having to reduce inflation. This is just where we’re at. And to her credit, Elizabeth Warren was on one of the news channels, saying what he refers to as pain is people losing their jobs. That is spot on. Along with that, though, of course, we still have the inflation. So you’re still paying more at the grocery store, you’re still paying too much and your energy costs. Oh, and by the way, you might also be out of a job. From here, we really segue into one of the important theses of this documentary that if the Fed continues to raise these interest rates, we’re really not built in a high interest rate world right now. Because all of these economies for at least a decade now have fed off of easy money. They’re looking for that low interest rate, the easy cash. And so what happens if we make this change into a higher interest rate world? And in fact, one of the commenters says all of these systems that we’ve built up over all of these years will have to be changed. I’m just editorializing here. But does that not sound like it could refer to a great R E S E T? Maybe I’m wrong on that. Maybe I’m being a little bit too tinfoil hat. I’m suspicious, let’s just say and Nouriel Roubini adds. We lived in a bubble, we lived in a dream. And now this bubble and this dream are bursting. That I absolutely agree with the commentators who have said we’ve been in an omni bubble, and now it’s all deflating and we’re going to have hell to pay. I would love for that analysis to be wrong. I just don’t think it is I think we have been on borrowed time. One of the things that I think this documentary does very well, is that it ties, what is happening now, back to the 2008, great recession. They’re very clear, they don’t mince any words in this documentary that the bad seeds that are bearing bad fruit right now can clearly be traced back to the actions that were taken in 2008. They also don’t get partisan, either. There’s no this is all the Republicans fault, or this is all the Democrats fault, or let’s blame Bush. And let’s blame Obama, none of that, which I think is smart. We need to look at the actions of these individuals. And these companies and Wall Street take the red and the blue out of it, who got wealthy who made out like absolute bandits, and then who got the crap end of the stick? They talked about how, yes, the federal government put together these bailouts and stimulus money to try to get the economy going again, and repair the damage. But at the center of all of that was the Fed. Quelle surprise, right? And they interview Richard W. Fisher, who is a former president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, there are a couple of quotes that he drops in this documentary that I just find intriguing, terrifying, all of the above. One of the things that he says is what the Federal Reserve does is provide the blood supply for the body of our capitalist economy. And what happened in 2008 is all the veins and the capillaries and the arteries collapsed. So every financial function had failed. It had collapsed and we had to restore them. If that doesn’t terrify you, you must already be zombified. You’re already out to lunch, as Gordon Ramsay likes to say sometimes on those old Kitchen Nightmares, have you lost the plot? Or you’ve lost the plot? If that doesn’t scare the poop out of you? Why does a capitalist economy need a blood supply from the Fed? Doesn’t even make any sense. Socialism? Yes, crony capitalism, which is some kind of weird, hybrid bastard baby of fascism and socialism combined together. Yes, that apparently needs the blood supply from a fed. But if we had anything resembling an actual free market? No. So that’s one part of it. For me. The other part of it is you have someone from a very high level, not just random Joe Schmo out on the street, but someone who was a president and CEO of the Fed of Dallas saying, what happened in 2008 is that the whole damn thing failed. Every financial function failed. It had collapsed. Wow. Something else he says in terms of the Feds money money printing policy is it’s almost like alchemy. You can create money out of thin air if you’re at the central bank. I thought immediately of Gordon Gekko in the first Wall Street explaining to bud when bud asked like how many how many yachts? Can you water ski behind me? How’s this? Can you live in when is it enough? And he says it’s not a question of enough. It’s a zero sum game, somebody wins and somebody loses. Money itself isn’t lost or made. It’s simply transferred from one perception to another, like magic. Same thing, oh, it’s almost like alchemy, you can create money out of thin air. If you’re at the central bank. Then you flashback to Gordon Gekko trying to tell your ass back in 1987 the truth about the system. Money itself isn’t lost or made. It’s simply transferred from one perception to another like magic. That painting cost 60 grand 10 years ago and I could sell it today for 600,000 the illusion has become real. And the more real it becomes the more desperately they want it. capitalism at its finest. Now in the documentary when Richard is talking about alchemy, and you just print all this money that is in reference to Ben Bernanke and quantitative easing. Let’s take a little stroll over to Investopedia for a moment. In their article about this topic and the key takeaways we find. Ben Bernanke is a former Federal Reserve Chair serving from oh six to 2014. As Fed Chair Bernanke oversaw the central bank’s response to the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession. Bernanke succeeded Alan Greenspan and was replaced by Janet Yellen. Bernanke introduced several strategies including quantitative easing to boost the US economy. During the 2008 recession, critics argue that Bernanke flooded the economy with too much money contributing to inflation and increased debt in quote, I don’t think that you would have to be officially an economist to draw the same conclusion that flooding the market with all of this amazing alchemical money. Just it’s like magic, it just appears. Yeah, I don’t think you have to be officially any economist to understand that printing up fiat currency willy nilly, is probably not the best idea in the world. In taking this walk down memory lane, 208, and oh, nine, one of the things that I’ve noticed, as they replay clips from the media and from politicians and from these Fed officials, is the same sense of unprecedented times. We’re going through a crisis. We want to keep the system from imploding. We want to get everything started again, this is going to be good for all of us. A rising tide will lift all boats. Don’t you want the economy to get back again? Don’t you want banks to be able to lend out money? Don’t you want things to get back to normal? I believe that as we go further into whatever this downturn is that we’re now experiencing, the same type of rhetoric will be recycled. Wait and see. We’re in a mess. This is a nightmare. Banks are failing. Don’t you want to get back to normal? Don’t you want your money? Shouldn’t you put your faith back in the system? Don’t you want to see B dC? Don’t you want a great r e s? E T? Don’t you want to live again? Don’t you want something that feels normal to you? Don’t you want this? We also see the same narrative that we have heard over and over again, about mixed signals in the economy. Yet, in my opinion, it’s not so difficult to figure out what’s going on the signals are not really mixed signals. If you understand that, no, we don’t have a 3.6% unemployment rate somehow in the face of all of these layoffs. And that No, I don’t think that what happened to silver gate and Silicon Valley Bank will just be weird, isolated incidents. Oh, that’s crypto. Oh, that Silicon Valley. Oh, that’s tech. Oh, that’s VCs. It was riskier than risky anyway. Meanwhile, it’s like, Do you not think that the wherever it is you bank that they’re not taking risks? Hello. Especially, I would say if you’re still in some kind of naivete, or normalcy bias, you definitely owe it to yourself to watch this documentary and to understand better the shenanigans and the chicanery that really go on. But my point is, same stuff, different day. The same kind of Oh, mixed signals, we don’t know, unprecedented times. There’s also an individual in this documentary who talks about the scorpion and the frog, meaning bankers and Wall Street speculators and corporate raiders, they’re going to do what they’re going to do, because it’s just in their nature. It’s who they are, they’re greedy, and they want to make as much money as possible. And they kind of sort of don’t really care about who gets hurt or damaged in the process. If they have the opportunity to turn $1 into two, they’re gonna take it every time. And it doesn’t matter if it’s ethical, it doesn’t matter what the consequences might be down the road, they just want that money. There’s also a clip, I think, from maybe a call in show or talk show of some kind where a person asks, Are these executives greedy? Or are they stupid? And I’m like, we still see the same question being asked all these years later, how Oopsy daisy, these cycles, they just happen and they happen and they happen. But who could have predicted it? We just didn’t know. And there’s this push towards painting all of these politicians and economists. As morons, they somehow got to this high position of power and they’re entrusted with billions of dollars, even though they are complete and utter idiots. It’s not that they’re greedy. We can’t allow our minds to wrap around the idea that this is happening on purpose, and it’s happening because of evil, unbridled greed. We can’t go there. It’s easier for us to say the Fed is full of stuffy old farts and old academics. They just don’t get it. We need some younger people in there. We need some people that are entrepreneurial, that have run up business, we need some, some true roll up your sleeves, good old fashioned capitalists to get in there and run the show. And I’m like, Well, if you had any idea about a free market, you’d say there shouldn’t be a show for them to run anyway, there shouldn’t be a freaking fed, let alone worrying about is it populated by people who are too old and who come from academia. They also show some of the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party protests. And one of the signs and the rally cries at one of those protests was the banks got bailed out, we got sold out. What the hell do you think’s gonna happen again? Do you really think anything has changed? They also show a clip of Sarah Palin at one of those Tea Party rallies telling people you’re winning. You’re making a difference. You’re making some real headway here. And I’m like, No, they’re not. What what changed? To me, it is the same kind of thing. I know, I’m going to get hate mail. I do try to avoid getting overly political on the broadcast. Sometimes, when you’re talking about the economy, and you’re talking about the job market and how those two things tie together, it just almost becomes inevitable. So send me hate mail. If you want, I’ll delete it, don’t worry. I’m not going to bother to craft a response to some acid minutes of my time is too valuable. But seeing that reminded me of the same narrative that we’re getting from the Orange Man, if you let me back in one more time, then I’ll finally destroy the deep state. I’ll finally destroy the swamp heads are gonna roll. It’s all going to be different this time. And I’m like, Yeah, of course it will. Of course it will. There’s a book I want to read. It’s saved on my Amazon. I haven’t gotten it yet. But it’s a book that chronicles how Biden’s earlier career actually laid the foundation for Trump. And how these two things are not as disparate. They’re not as different. They’re not as diametrically opposed as the average john and jane Q Public still buying into the red blue narrative. Think? I can’t wait to read that book. I just I feel like there’s truth there. Like, yes, yes. All of these little piglets suckle off of the same teats. If you haven’t figured that out yet. Go back to Gordon Ramsay. Have you lost the plot? Like, yes, the banks got bailed out. And the average American person got sold out. Did the Tea Party When did anything really happen out of that movement, other than it galvanized some people who felt downtrodden. And they went with their signs and they had their protest, and then the government paid no flipping attention to them whatsoever. What really changed out of that, if Orange Man gets back in what’s really going to change about the deep state and the so called swamp, probably not a GED thing. Okay, in dissecting this quantitative easing policy, and the idea that okay, for a short period of time, some window of time, it looked like things were getting better. And the idea, wink wink, was that the money this free money being given to these banks and these fat cats, they would use that to hire employees to build new facilities to manufacture things in America and do things that would help the American people and the American economy. And there’s a quote in the documentary where someone says, but in reality, it played out differently. No shit, Sherlock. So rather than hiring and building these new facilities and bringing manufacturing back to America, the CEOs enrich themselves and their shareholders. In other words, they took the easy money, and they used it to their own benefit. Clutch my pearls, what a shock. What a surprise. We also revisit that back in 2009, the banks were back to making money and paying themselves out record bonuses. Again, Wow, he’s really what a shocker. Do not be naive about that. Whatever happens in this downturn, the same people who enrich themselves and look out for themselves, they will do the same thing in this downturn. Somebody will get very rich indeed. At one point in the documentary, Neel Kashkari, who’s the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis said, the most valuable asset that people have is their job. Then he goes on later in the documentary, when the filmmaker asks him like, what do you think the odds are like how remote is it that millions of people would lose their job? As he goes on toward the end of the documentary to say that the odds of people losing their jobs is not remote. So I’m telling you over and over again, if you wait to be officially told something, if you wait until the mainstream media Telegraph’s something to you, in my opinion, you’re waiting too late. Too damn late. Do you have an RTO survival plan mapped out if you are working remotely, and you’re a W two full time employee dependent on that paycheck? That’s in somebody else’s control? And they say, come on back, or it’s your job? Are you prepared for that? Can you on a dime, switch over to RTO and be ready if you lose your job? And the only options available with your skill set? are full RTO on site? Are you prepared for that? Do you have a job loss survival plan mapped out? These are things that if you don’t think about them ahead of time, if you just wait to be blindsided with everybody else that gets pink slipped on the same day? In my opinion, you’re screwed. There’s a fantastic moment about 32 minutes in where the filmmaker sits down with Karen Petro who’s a financial analyst as well as the author of the book engine of inequality. And he talks about Neel Kashkari, his comment about a person’s job is the most valuable asset they have. And you sort of smirks and says, Well, I think that’s elitist. I don’t think that’s how someone would feel if they’re working three jobs at a supermarket and trying to make ends meet. Then on top of that, you’re saying out loud, that a person’s most valuable asset is their job. But then you’re also talking about how the odds are not remote, that they’re going to lose their job. You don’t have to be Einstein to connect the dots here, people. That is a scary statement, Hey, your most valuable asset is your job. Now we’re going to crash this sob and take it away from you. So good luck. Karen also challenges the idea of a real economic recovery. The filmmaker asks about in particular, like 2015 to 2020 and she says most middle class Americans felt economically anxious. So in my mind, I go back to Alyssa Cortes, books squeezed and thinking about people getting squeezed downward, not squeezed upward into the more economically prosperous Echelon beginning squeezed downward going from being middle class to being working poor, and what it takes to still be middle class getting more and more unattainable. With each passing year, it seems. She talks about people skipping medical treatments and not getting everything that they need, and people in the middle class doing this, because they’re not financially solvent, or they’re worried about the future. So I thought that was an interesting tidbit to really challenge this notion that we’ve heard that well, things were really good. We had we had righted the ship, things were back on course, everything was going well, we were in really good shape, and then pandemic, and then unprecedented times. And then once in a lifetime, once in two or three generations nightmare happened and kaboom. That’s what did it. She really challenges that notion. I also really like that she makes the comment people work to eat. The statistics that we see about unemployment are skewed. They’re not factoring in the full picture. So they can manipulate that data to make it look however they want. But people work to eat. They’re not working out of some noble ideal about labor. They work to eat. Well, hell yeah. Yes, people work to eat to have a roof over their head to be able to provide for the kids. This idea of the nobility of work is an elitist idea. Now, I’m not saying that people can’t be satisfied by the work that they do. They can’t draw water from that. Well, of course. I think we just have to be more practical that no, not everybody goes to work. And they wake up that morning and they say, this is the joy of my life. I’m doing everything that I want to be doing and I am so completely whole and fulfilled. Let’s get real. And about 47 minutes in investor Jeremy Grantham just lays the cards right on on the table and talks about these investors and these bankers and fat cats being a giant bloodsucker. Which yet again, goes back to my thesis says that this stuff is not happening on accident. They know what’s coming. They know what time it really is. You know if somebody of his stature would come out and laugh and say we’re like a giant bloodsucker that should speak volumes to you. Something else that we learn about in this documentary is the concept of shadow banking. I will pivot back over to Investopedia, to read off their information about shadow banking. So if it’s something that you’re not familiar with, we have a good little TLDR summary here. The shadow banking system consists of lenders, brokers and other credit intermediaries who fall outside the realm of traditional regulated banking. shadow banking is generally unregulated and not subject to the same kinds of risk, liquidity and capital restrictions as traditional banks are. The shadow banking system played a major role in the expansion of Housing Credit in the run up to the 2008 financial crisis. Even so, shadow banking has grown in size and largely escaped government oversight since then, posing potential risks to the global financial system. In quote, In the documentary, they speak to Lev Manana, who had been an economic adviser and an economist at the Fed, and he was ringing alarm bells about shadow banking, and the potential crisis that could come from shadow banking. This is another reason why I say when these politicians go out, and they do their dog and pony show about raising taxes on the billionaires and we’re finally going to make the ultra wealthy pay their fair share. I feel like it’s all bullshit. It’s all hot air. It’s done for optics, it’s done to make the average person think, Well, this guy is finally going to be V guy, he’s finally gonna be the one to make these fat cats pay their taxes and pump some money back into the economy. And it never freakin happens. The people at that level, have so many accountants, so many lawyers, they know where the loopholes are, and they take full advantage. Even if they had to leave the country. They would do it in order to hoard their wealth. This should not be a surprise to anybody. Yet, you’ll still see people seal clap and old senile old man is going to be the one Oh, Orange Man is going to be the one one of these politicians is going to finally be the one to get all these wealthy tycoons to pay their taxes. No, they won’t. And I feel like this concept of shadow banking, and what has happened, vindicates what I’m telling you, the banks will just simply move into the shadows. They’ll set up these hedge funds and these shell companies to do what they really want to do in the shadows in this very smarmy, unregulated, Dark World. You’re not allowed to know what’s going on behind the curtain, you’re not allowed to see what’s happening. It impacts the whole system, and it’s incredibly fragile. And at any point in time, it can go straight to hell, and that will impact you. But yet, you’re not allowed to know what they’re doing. It was ever thus, they’ll figure out some way no matter what regulations you put on them, no matter what you do, at the risk of sounding very pessimistic, very Debbie downer, very nihilistic about all of this. I get it. I just feel I believe that whatever regulations you put on them, they will figure out a way to game the system to beat the system because Hello, hi, how are you? Cockadoodledoo. They are the system. Please wake up in describing what happened in March of 2020 Live also comments that most people really don’t understand how close we came to something that would make 2008 pale in comparison. And the D word depression gets used people panicking taking their money out of the banks. The system’s collapsing the government saying we just have to halt we need to all go home and flatten the curve halting the economy. Again, we just have to remember how fragile all of this is. And it’s not fragile because that’s how it is everywhere. That’s how it is in general. It’s been that way by design. It’s been engineered so that whatever dustup needs to be manipulated, anytime that the market needs to be crashed or it needs to go one way or the other to benefit some particular set of fat cats, it can be it can be they interview Howard Marks who is an American investor and a writer. I think he runs oak tree cow Capital Management. And he talks about moral hazard. And in fact, he says, there’s no barometer of moral hazard. So let’s go back to Investopedia and read their definition of moral hazard. Moral hazard can exist when a party to a contract can take risks without having to suffer consequences. Moral hazard is common in the lending and insurance industries, but can also exist in employee employer relationships. Leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, the willingness of some homeowners to walk away from a mortgage was a previously unforeseen moral hazard in quote. So as Howard talks about in this documentary, if you play aggressively, and you win, and you make a hoard of money, cool, you get to keep it. If you play aggressively, and you lose a lot of money, well, no big deal, because the government will bail me out, or the Fed will print up more money and bail me out. So there’s no guard there, about you know what, I shouldn’t do this. Because if I bet the wrong way, and I lose, I am screwed. I will be penniless after this, or I will be in debt up to my eyeballs. Now, for the average person. Yeah, we have to deal with moral hazard because the government’s not going to come and bail us out. But in this documentary, when they’re talking about junk bonds, it’s not even that the Fed came to the rescue of sort of gestures broadly, the general economy, because of the lock downs in the pandemic, but they also bought up junk bonds. And as live talks about in this documentary, it was like they just started looking for places in the economy that looked like they were on fire, and they just threw money at the problem. So where is the moral hazard? There isn’t any as Howard Marks says, In this documentary, there is no barometer on moral hazard. You just let people, the shadow banks and these investors and these speculators go crazy. And hey, don’t worry about it. Because if it doesn’t go your way, you won’t have to face the consequences of it. You’re not gonna see any jail time, and we will bail you out. So how are they incentivized to do anything ethical? Spoiler alert, they’re not something we see that is similar to what has been happening in the UK, those documentaries that I talked about in the episode about living on the brink. They in this documentary, go to a group of credit counselors to talk about what they’re seeing. They also visit a food bank, and you just see row after row after row of vehicles waiting to get food. One of the men that they interview says yes, I’m working, it’s just not enough, you can go to the grocery store, spend $200, and barely have enough for a week’s worth of food. So I have to come to the food bank in order to fill that gap. They asked him if it’s recent, or if he’s been irregular for quite some time. And he says no, it’s only been in the past six months that I’ve had to do this. They interview a woman who says we’re to the point at the end of the month, where we have to choose between paying them rent, or buying food. So we have to come here. One of the credit counselors that they interview talks about people coming in asking for Credit Counseling and financial help for the first time ever. And they’ll say things like, I’m a good person, I’ve always paid my bills before. Like they sort of put up their hands playing attentively and say like, this is not my life. This isn’t something that I’m accustomed to. I’m not somebody that goes out and runs up a flat screen TV and new living room furniture and new appliances and then goes Whoopsie daisy, I can’t pay for it. Like I’m just a normal middle class person trying to get by, and I just can’t do it anymore. I think back to those documentaries I talked about in the living on the brink episode, the credit counselor in the UK saying people come in and they’ve already cut down to the bone. There’s no fun budget, there’s no frivolity, they’re not going out spending money on silly nonsense that could be eliminated. They’ve cut as deep as they can cut. And it’s just not enough. Another of the credit counselors talks about his clients saying I did what you’re quote, supposed to do. I had three months or six months of savings. I had those expenses put back but due to inflation, it ate through my savings a hell of a lot faster than what I was expecting. And so what do I do now? I’ve talked before about the idea that nobody is coming to save, you know, they may bail out banks, where the celebrities and the politicians and the VCs bank, they’re gonna bail out their cronies and the fat cats and the corporate raiders, but who is coming to save you? Outside of something like being able to go to a church or a charity, being able to go to a food bank and hopefully get enough to help you get by who is coming to save you in this crisis. Long Haul was there because if you haven’t already thought about this, in my opinion, it’s probably too late. And you’re probably too far behind the eight ball. One of the credit counselors also says it’s not just that we’re getting a higher volume of calls, but it’s the people who are calling are in a greater level of distress. People are crying, people are angry, and the situation is more drastic. So yes, there’s an uptick in the number of people calling in general. But there’s also an increase in the desperation. And the dire straits that they find themselves in. One of their counseling clients who agreed to be interviewed made a comment that I think is so important. He talks about how I’m keeping my nose above the waves for now. But the wave is a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be. And it just keeps coming. That that sentiment, right there is one of the reasons why I get on this broadcast. And I get on my blog, and I do what I do. It’s a huge reason why I decided to start Saturday broadcasts. That could be anybody. If you’re not paying attention, if you don’t understand the relationship between the broader economy and the job market, and you don’t give a damn about that. You just say hey, I go to work. Every day I punch in, I punch out, it’s whatever, my job is probably safe, I’ll probably be okay. There’s probably not going to be much hope for somebody that’s in that situation. I don’t want that to be you. I don’t want you to be the person that’s like, well, the wave is a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be. I didn’t expect that it was going to be like this. I thought that inflation really was transitory because that’s what I was told on the TV. I thought that the banking crisis really would just be isolated to Silicon Valley, because that’s what I heard on the TV. I thought that mass layoffs weren’t coming because that’s what I heard on the TV. And then after mass layoffs did show up and they showed up in a big freaking way. I thought it would just be big tech in Silicon Valley, because that’s what I was told on TV. I don’t want that to be you. Nearing the end of the documentary there’s an interview with Rana Faro her hopefully I’m saying that right, who is an author, an economic journalist and an associate editor at the Financial Times. And she makes the comment that she wants to be honest, but she doesn’t want to scare people. Again, this is another theme that we see over and over and over again in the media. We see it from politicians, oh, we want to be honest, and they’ve sort of got their fingers crossed behind their back. But we don’t want to scare people. This yet again Telegraph’s to me that people in the know, know what’s coming. They just don’t want you to panic. They don’t want you to make any moves, or worry about it. They want you right where they want you. But she comments that we could very well be in for a once in a lifetime. Financial transition. I can’t help it. I know it sounds tinfoil hat. But I’m yet again, hearing echoes of you vill own nozing und you vill be happy, the great r e s e t, hey, things are a mess. stuff went off the rails look around you it’s all quite shambolic. Why don’t we reset the machine? Why don’t we bring in digital currency. You don’t want to trust the local local bank down the street that Billy Bob is a teller at you want to trust the big banks? Let us handle all of that for you. We’re FDIC insured. You know, we’re gonna get bailed out if shit goes sideways. So you should trust us to manage this. Maybe that sounds a little bit too conspiracy theory for you? I don’t know. But I do think it’s important that when someone who is an associate editor at the Financial Times goes on a documentary about the age of easy money and says we could be in for a once in a lifetime financial transition. And I think that everybody needs to sort of strap in for that. Oh, I think you better have strapped in for it a hell of a long time ago. I hope I pray that you’re listening to this broadcast. And nothing I’m saying is a surprise to you. You’re going to go and watch this documentary for yourself. You’re financially savvy, you kind of know what’s going on already. But that none of it is hitting your ear as a shock. I titled this episode, get your money for nothing and your job loss for free. Because the documentary is about easy money, money for nothing. It’s just out there. We’ll just throw cash at any firefight. We see and hope that that works. We’ll bail out our cronies will Help them hope they do the right thing with the money Wink, wink nudge nudge. And your job lost for free because the Fed has not been shy in saying that more people need to be unemployed. So in this documentary, we have Neel Kashkari saying the most valuable asset a person has is their job. But then he goes on to say that the odds of people losing their jobs is not remote. I’ll drop a link yet again to that article from last year on CBS News that the feds ready for unemployment to go up and you know, a million or two people are gonna lose their jobs. But it’s whatever man, that’s part of the pain that old Jay Powell says we’re going to feel in order to get through this period of inflation. Please be prepared. I don’t ever tell you what to do or what not to do, what to think or what not to think. Preparation for you might look completely different than it does for the person down the street or for me and my family. If you’re a W two full time employee, do you have that RTO Survival Plan roughed out? Do you have a job loss Survival Plan roughed out? If you freelance or you own and operate your own business? Do you have Plan B, C, D, E, F, if the way that you typically make your bones goes away? Maybe not for forever, but for a little while? Are you prepared for that? Do you have an alternate way of making money during the downturn? I’m already seeing 1000s of people involved in HR, recruiting and staffing who are pounding the pavement. They’ll apply for anything that even remotely sounds like it might be a fit, because they’re laid off or they’re scared they’re about to be if the way that you make your money is not feasible, in the coming months, or maybe the next year or two. Have you wargame your strategy out? Are you in an industry that appears to be dying off? Or are you still on solid ground? I understand that these are scary things to think about. Nobody really likes to point out the elephant in the room and discuss him. But I think you have to. That’s just my opinion. And I could be wrong. Maybe you go back to social media. Maybe you sit and watch. Mindless nonsense on tick tock today, and you totally ignore this episode. But I hope you don’t. I hope you will. After you finish this episode, go over to YouTube and watch that documentary. It’s eye opening. It’s not surprising, but it is eye opening. And it really helps you to think and it really just cements the thesis that these crises happen and they happen and they happen. People go out and they protest and nothing changes and the system is what it is. I know that sounds sour and dour and I hate to end on a Debbie Downer note. I just hope that you’re prepared as best as you can be. Stay safe, stay sane. Go watch that documentary. And I will see you in the next episode. 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