Obviously, the time for real solutions to the debt problem that’s ailing the United States came and went many decades ago. Instead of addressing the Country’s mounting insolvency, lawmakers chose the expedient without exception. They kicked the can from yesterday to today.
Presently, there are no good options left to fix the mathematics bearing down on us all. Hence, in the degenerate stage of an overburdened nation-state, style over substance is what counts. Without question, Congress and President Trump played their parts to push the bill with much bravura.
On Tuesday, for example, President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan held a White House meeting with two empty chairs. Apparently, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi didn’t want to participate in a “show meeting.” Thus, they made a spectacle of themselves and ditched the meeting.
Indeed, their absence was all part of the show. Moreover, the entire episode was show; nothing more. At the time of this writing (Thursday night), the show continues on. The last we heard, the Senate vote had been delayed until Friday. By the time you read this it may be a done deal – or maybe not.
Regardless, the tax bill is all quite meaningless when you have a fiat currency that’s been stretched out like silly putty. No doubt, this has propagated immense financial speculation while outrunning actual economic growth. The effect has manifested in strange and unexpected ways.
Incidentally, following Fed Chair nominee Jay Powell’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, Senator Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren remarked that the Fed had the same regulatory attitude going into the crash of 2008 because they haven’t intervened in bitcoin.
Naturally, it never occurred to Warren that bitcoin could be a barometer of the Fed’s extreme intervention into credit markets. Without artificially suppressed interest rates and Fed asset purchases, bitcoin would’ve never become the recipient of such speculative fervor. Attempting to regulate it now is like assigning price controls by edict to address a Fed induced bout of consumer price inflation.
Besides, what’s Warren’s beef anyway?
Of the many bull markets that have risen from the depths of the Great Recession, none is starker than the bull market in cryptocurrencies. Having a justified axe to grind with the Fed’s policies of mass money debasement, computer geeks, contrarians, geniuses, the enlightened, speculators, hucksters, dreamers, schemers, and all those in between, saw the light of the cryptocurrency revolution.
Perhaps they’re on to something. From what we can tell, the underlying blockchain distributed ledger technology is an innovative means for providing an efficient and permanent transaction record between consenting parties – assuming big brother’s not monitoring the transaction record. We don’t doubt that it isn’t here to stay and will continue to gain further market share within society.
In fact, bitcoin and other decentralized cryptocurrencies may ultimately unseat our present fiat money system. As far as we can tell, this would be an improvement.
Idiots Get Rich
Yet bitcoin isn’t the only Fed provoked speculative mania. Nearly all financial assets have been pumped up into giant bubbles. Bitcoin just merits the most headlines.
Our skepticism, however, is not with the promise of cryptocurrencies. Rather, it’s firmly rooted in the present. Specifically, cryptocurrencies are in the grips of an epic speculative mania.
Are we in the first inning or ninth inning of the great big speculative cryptocurrency bubble? If you listen to cybersecurity guru John McAfee we’re in the first inning. He believes bitcoin is going to $1 million by 2020.
Is he right? Is he wrong? Who knows?
For now, however, several things are abundantly clear. Everyone – including you – is getting rich from bitcoin. So, too, everyone’s getting rich from FANG – Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google – stocks. Likewise, everyone’s getting rich shorting the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX).
What to make of it?
Without question, there’s a bull market in idiocy. And when there’s a bull market in idiocy, idiots get rich.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Being an Idiot
Thus, for idiots’ sake, we’ve boiled The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Being an Idiot down to its crystalline essence:
One: Buy bitcoin north of $11,000.
Two: Buy FANG stocks at present valuations.
Three: Short the VIX at sub-10.
We consider these to be actions for idiots. But what do we know? Remember, idiots often make the wrong decision at precisely the right time.
So, with a little luck, those who follow this guide won’t just be idiots. They’ll be rich idiots to boot. Such is the poetry of life.
for Economic Prism